Lesson 9

Understanding the Abilities of Confidence


What are the “Abilities” of Possessing Confidence?


In Section One we looked at the definitions of confidence and the multidimensional qualities that it possesses.  In this section we will now give some attention to many of the attributes or tenets of confidence that align with this feeling. The following is a list of five vital elements that solidify the feeling of believing in oneself and that one can accomplish great things in their life.  I will identify each one and relate it to the previous story of Alex Glick or other celebrities or athletes that you may know.  See if you can integrate these values into your life and situation. You may possess more of these than you think!

The Abilities of Confidence


  1. Stability

The stability of one’s confidence means that one has a stable base of confidence and self-trust that whatever they want to do, they do not have to worry if they “have it or not”.  Their feelings or emotions are relatively stable and with each attempt at something new, they are relatively unscathed to the ravages of failure and rejection.  Stability in regard to one’s confidence means that you are not prone to over-reacting with emotional mood swings when things do not go your way.   In Alex’s case, he had the presence of mind and also the durable inner strength to continue to ask people if they wanted to dance.  He did not lose his cool and react with an overly emotional mood reaction.  He simply thanked them for their time and moved on.  Thus, his confidence state was deemed relatively stable.


  1. Reliability

The reliability of one’s confidence means that a human being can expect that their level of confidence (in whatever endeavor they are participating) can be relied upon or depended upon to perform consistently well.  In Alex’s case, his self-confidence in being able to dance was instrumental in him being able to go up to different people throughout the night and ask them to dance. Because he had reliable confidence in his dancing prowess, he could trust that whenever someone did say yes, he could express his ability to dance well at that point in time because his dancing skill confidence was reliable.  In simple psychology, we often use the term reliability to suggest that an assessment tool or test would produce consistent and accurate results. In this case however, we are merely stating the reliability of Alex’s dance capability to perform.


  1. Sustainability

When we use the word sustainability in relation to confidence, we are talking about the maintenance of a certain level of confidence that a person may possess over a period of time.  Unlike all of the other abilities, sustainability may be the most important of the group, because the premise that one can sustain a high level of confidence over a period of time is crucial for long term success.  Tiger Woods is a great example of an athlete who has sustained high levels of achievement and confidence over a career that has spanned over twenty years. Tom Brady, quarterback of the New England Patriots and a six time Super Bowl Winner, is another superior athlete who has shown remarkable durability and sustainability during his twenty year career as well. Sustainability in confidence means that one can maintain a certain level of execution and performance without peaks and valleys of varying fluctuation.


  1. Adaptability

To be able to adapt and change to an ever-changing environment or situation is crucial to one’s well-being and overall mental fitness. To be able to have adaptable confidence means that with every new challenge or opportunity that presents itself, you are able to be mentally flexible and learn from that experience and move on. This is a highly valued skill set that is absolutely necessary in the work place and makes you more valuable to your employer and your fellow employees because you have the insight and capacity to adjust to whatever conditions that befall you.  In sports such as football, the ability to monitor the present situation and change to meet the defensive shifts that occur throughout the game are vital to success. One of football’s greatest coaches ever, New England Patriot’s Coach Bill Belichick’s gives this line to his players: “Do Your Job…Whatever it takes.  As if that isn’t enough, consider what legendary basketball Coach John Wooden said about adaptability: “Adaptability is being able to adjust to any situation at any given time.”  Thus, being able to adapt is being in control of yourself and that flexibility allows you to perform to your highest level.


  1. Durability

Durability of confidence is fairly straightforward in the usage.  To say that one has durable confidence is to say that they have a trait that is capable of sustaining a great deal of stress and strain without sacrificing one’s belief or faith in something.  Possessing durable confidence means that one is psychologically hardy or can deflect feelings of vulnerability without losing one’s ability to withstand challenges and pressures.  It is considered a valuable trait because if one has durable confidence, they also possess the ability to cope with stress more effectively.


  1. Comfortability

            The final ability that we will mention in this section is the notion of having confidence comfortability.  This is the feeling that you have when you are comfortable in your own skin and you think, act and feel the way you do and are happy with the results!  So many times, people are often looking on the other side of the fence and wondering if they can ever be as happy as what they see “on the other side”.  What they find out is that the grass is not greener on the other side, but it just appears that way.  The same fertilizer that you may or may not be using is what they are spraying on their lawn over the fence.   True confidence is being comfortable with what you are doing and where you are at in any given moment of time.  Couple this with a positive and optimistic mindset and success and high achievement are sure to follow.



            What has become clear in my years of practice and research is that confidence is not simply made up of basic beliefs that one can do a thing or achieve a goal, but it is made up of a variety of skill sets that couple with one’s belief system and provides personal motivation for meeting challenges head on.  Many of these “abilities” work hand in hand to persuade an individual to cope effectively with the ups and downs that we all face from time to time, but these same abilities also keep us on track and in pursuit of meeting new challenges while at the same time gaining wisdom and experience. The following is a personal philosophy that I had written several years back and it delivers a powerful message of what confidence truly can be in terms of experience gained.


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