Whether you're prepping for a super important work presentation, or you’re finding yourself giddy over how someone complimented your appearance, confidence is tucked into the cracks of nearly all aspects of our lives. As we’ve come to know more and more about psychology in our modern world, confidence is essential—it has a direct impact on the rest of our lives, including whether or not we find success. But, confidence is sadly not the prevalent mindset within society.
Insecurity is a common trait that many individuals hold, and it, unfortunately, impacts a person’s overall confidence levels. Confidence is comprised of plenty of moving parts, and its meaning can vary between people based on environment, ideology, and plenty of other elements. But, the question is: how can we build it in ourselves? Many psychological theories suggest that confidence is made up primarily of two parts: external and internal.
To give you a better idea of the complex makeup that is confidence, we'll explore some components that play into external and internal self-esteem to help us understand what makes one develop self-trust and assurance.
External factors are a considerable component of the confidence puzzle, and most individuals’ confidence levels rely upon their outward selves. External confidence, in other words, includes things like a person’s physical attributes, fashion sense and clothing choices, or how they might appear on social media.
External confidencerelies heavily on what others think of us; the people we surround ourselves with play a large part in our personal feelings. If we feel that others view us as attractive, successful, or in an overall “good” light, our confidence levels are often higher than if things were flipped.
Let’s take a deeper look into some of the most commonly relied-upon elements that play into external confidence.
While it might seem obvious, how we perform particular things that we care about, such as an important exam or a work presentation, offers us a few brownie points in our confidence books.
On the other hand, not only do concrete successes matter to our confidence but even seemingly high levels of success, including a large income or owning expensive material items, have a direct impact on how we feel about ourselves. Money might not buy happiness, but if a person seems successful on the outside, external confidence is heightened.
That said, if we are more prone to failure, our confidence levels are also more likely to be lower. Additionally, even if we merely feel thatothersthink we’re unsuccessful, confidence levels are also likely to decrease.
Often, our weight is significant when it comes to our overall perceptions of ourselves. Whether someone made a negative comment in the past about some extra pounds you might have put on, or you find yourself regularly comparing your body to that of a fitness guru on Instagram, your physique is a key factor in your experiences. And, when we shed a few pounds, it’s common to feel that confidence has taken their place.
Research has gone to show that caring for our physiques—and even the mere perception of physical fitness—can have positive impacts on our self-esteem and body images. That said, not only does the way we feel about our bodies affect confidence levels, but another’s view of us as physically fit also contributes to our external confidence.
Like our bodies, other physical attributes also take up a considerable portion of external confidence, including everything from facial features to toenails. However, hair plays a bigger role than one might think. Consider how great you feel after a long-overdue haircut or a fresh color. Luscious locks have symbolized masculinity in men and femineity in women for centuries, and those ideas are far from extinct in modern society.
Believe it or not, male pattern baldness is a notable contributor to low confidence levels in men. Hair loss in men has been proven to decrease feelings of worth and even negatively impact the overall quality of life. Medical treatments for hair loss can be expensive, leaving plenty of men at a loss.
Fortunately, Your Hair Matters hair systems are 100 percent human hair, look natural, and blend seamlessly into your natural hair. They are designed with your needs in mind—a realistic solution to replenishing confidence.
Internal confidence is how we genuinely feel about ourselves as individuals—based on the good, the bad, and the ugly aspects of our personalities. Internal self-confidence is generally more important to overall success and happiness, as it directly impacts risk-taking, action, and goal pursuit.
But, it’s a bit more complex than external factors. Internal confidence is more psychological, comprising three different ideas: self-efficacy, self-esteem, and self-compassion. While these three components might sound like the same thing, they each play a different role in developing internal confidence, which, in turn, encourages an increase in external confidence.
Although we can find confidence through external successes, we also need internal confidence to get there. Self-efficacy is a fundamental concept that involves believing in your capabilities to handle future situations.
Self-efficacy is essentially a forward-focused belief that often acts as the foundation for pursuing goals and finding success. That said, if you feel that you wouldn’t be able to run a marathon, your low self-efficacy can block you from attempting to run that marathon; thus, making that belief come true. But, on the other hand, if you have confidence in your abilities, you’ll be much more likely to accomplish your goals and make things happen for yourself.
Self-esteem seemingly goes hand-in-hand with confidence as it is the overall evaluation of oneself or all-around judgment about one’s self-worth. While it is psychologically considered a personality trait, self-esteem is often long-lasting and difficult to alter. Nonetheless, it describes how much a person “likes” themselves or how valuable they feel as a whole. Self-esteem is often a result of a combination of life experiences, genetics, age, health, social environment, and plenty of other influencing factors.
Both super high and super low levels of self-esteem can be damaging to mood, emotion, and experiences, so it is beneficial to find a balance and keep it somewhere on the positive-yet-realistic side.
Internal confidence levels are also heavily influenced by a person’s self-compassion. Self-compassion is a practice that includes using kindness to refer to and think about yourself, picturing yourself as part of a larger society (humanity) rather than isolated, and being mindful of how you respond to painful feelings and unhealthy thoughts. Self-compassion is also being loving toward all of your imperfections and understanding yourself, your actions, and your abilities in a realistic but positive way.
The self-compassion component of inner confidence is considerable protection against self-judgment. It can keep us from going down the rabbit hole of unworthy feelings that creep up after failures or other negative experiences.
Tips for Improving Overall Confidence
To give you a head start in developing more confidence in yourself, here are a few valuable tips that can help foster positive thoughts:
Implement positive self-talk daily by giving yourself compliments, writing down what makes you unique, and mindfully acknowledging negative thoughts by letting them go.
Find hobbies or activities that make you feel happy and help you feel confident in your abilities.
Take care of yourself by eating well, exercising, and taking mental breaks when you need them.
Seek out ways to serve others and offer your support.
Be patient with yourself—you’ll reach your goals in due time. For now, celebrate what you have accomplished and take baby steps toward achieving your future aspirations.
Confidence, although complex, is essential. If you’re struggling with low confidence, know you’re not alone. However, practicing self-assurance and trust can be life-changing. Working on areas where we lack confidence can help us find peace, happiness, and ultimately, success.