Creating a “New Gold” of Confidence
Now that we have looked at a number of definitions, we have to assume that confidence isn’t simply just one thing, but a combination of a number of definitions and characteristics that comprise a greater whole than simply believing you can do or obtain something. Not that any and all of the above definitions are absolutely correct or incomplete, but true confidence is something much more than any of the definitions listed above. I think that Confidence is a cornucopia of values, traits and attributes that all come together to create a feeling of positivity, euphoria and fearlessness.
With this in mind, I examined each of the above values and even added a few items of my own. The following definition is what I consider the absolute best way to define Confidence that we will be investigating in this book.
Confidence: a multidimensional phenomenon that encompasses an amalgamation of success experiences coupled with the belief that one can and will do something to produce a positive and successful result. It is strongly associated with faith and belief in one’s innate and developed abilities.
Confidence is also the mental/emotional strength to resist the negative influences of doubt, distress and negative cognitive and physiological anxiety and move towards the productive execution of a desired task.
Refining the “Gold” Definition
In creating the new “gold standard” of what confidence really could be, I took a look at a number of the different definitions and also contributing factors that seem to be a more complete explanation of why people want to feel confident. Not only is confidence about one’s belief, but there are other factors that go into creating and maintaining this powerful feeling. What I will do here is explain each part of the new definition and why each segment is important.
Confidence: a multidimensional phenomenon
Without a doubt, confidence is made up of not only one or two different components, but rather it is a multidimensional phenomenon that is comprised of a number of different traits, characteristics and skill sets. It is multidimensional because it involves not only cognitive skills, but also physiological and neurological components. As we will explain in this book, confidence is made up of not only belief assessments, but innate and developed capabilities of physical, emotional and psychological competence, grit, perseverance, perceptions of control and psychological hardiness.
that encompasses an amalgamation of success experiences
Perhaps the one quality that helps to insure the formation and durability of confidence is the actual attainment of some modicum of success doing an endeavor or having a positive experience. The sensation of achieving a productive and positive experience over a trial or situation creates a feeling of mastery or performance competence. Without success, the feelings of possible attainment and motivation to continue would be squelched or non-existent. Success, on either a large or small scale, is necessary to further promote feelings of true confidence. Thus, no matter if the personal wins or gains are deemed large or small; they are all relevant to creating a wellspring of positive success experiences which deepens the pool of masterful experiences.
coupled with the belief that one can and will do something to produce a positive and successful result.
Consistent with all of the theories, the backbone of the feeling of confidence is promoted by one’s faith and willpower that they can achieve something (whatever that something is) and that they will accomplish that task or goal to produce a positive outcome.
Although it is hard to put a quantitative measure on one’s belief or value system, the core consideration is that when an individual creates a mindset of determined spirit and fortitude, the idea that a goal can be achieved is deemed possible. The words “can” and “will do” are crucial to this equation. The word canin this context is a verb which means that a person is able to achieve or carry out whatever the task may be. Therefore, when a person says that they “will do” this, they are giving themselves the permission to carry out their personal directive based on the assumption that they can and are ableto perform effectively.
The key aspect here is that they are able to produce or carry out that order with competence in order to create a positive outcome. Execution to produce a positive and successful result is a key feature in this definition. The belief factor is the agent of positive production, but it is with the ability to execute with effective functioning that is vital to creating, maintaining and strengthening one’s resolve.
It is strongly associated with faith and belief in one’s innate and developed abilities.
Many researchers contend that confidence is not something that a person is necessarily born with, but it is a skill set that is developed and nurtured through practice, repetition, exposure and dedication. Parents, friends, coaches, and mentors are strong influencers that can provide reassurance and strength to someone who is developing their acumen for success. Coupling a determined spirit with dedicated practice often prepares one for an upcoming evaluation or test.
Having the ability to remain composed and perform to a high level of execution is a testament to their inner faith that they have the necessary skill set to succeed. Faith is the ability to believe in oneself even though there are not any outside or external indicators to justify or measure that level of belief. Faith then, like air, is the barometer of one’s belief that cannot be objectively seen, but one realizes that without it, one would certainly not be able to sustain life. The same is true of one’s level of confidence. Without the faith to believe in one’s ability, the core of the spirit is hollow and without resolve.
Confidence is also the mental/emotional strength to resist the negative influences of doubt, distress and negative cognitive and physiological anxiety
Confidence is often likened to a scale. On one side of the scale you have the positive attributes of confidence, trust and self-assurance. On the other side of the scale, you have the negative attributes of doubt, worry and fear. If you are performing or playing with a great deal of confidence and trust, the scales are tipped in your favor. You are probably performing admirably. The reason is not only are you playing with confidence, but there is also the absence of doubt, worry or negative anxiety. But the scales can tip ever so easily towards the dark side. When doubt, fear and worry enter the performance equation, the skill level is compromised and the result is sketchy, erratic and falls short of what was originally intended. Confidence is nowhere to be found because doubt and worry have taken the center stage. True confidence sets a different stage.
True confidence as we are presenting here is comprised of grit, tenacity and psychological hardiness. This means that someone with true confidence has the ability to adjust and make adaptations to negative results or performance. Confident performers move through and overcome doubt, fear and trepidation. The abilities of tenacity, relentlessness and determination are also factors that contribute to one’s hardiness of conviction and personal levels of confidence. The ability to face one’s fear and move through the doubt and still perform is one of the greatest attributes of the skill of acquiring long term confidence. Also, the ability to remain calm, composed and determined when facing droughts of success and achievement is also a characteristic of true confidence.
and move towards the productive execution of a desired task.
The final aspect of our definition is why confidence is such a valued asset to anyone who competes, performs, or simply wants more out of themselves and life. That aspect is to always be moving towards positive and productive execution of whatever it is that you are doing. Think about it: If you knew before you started a project and knew that it was going to be tough sledding the entire way, but you knew that at the end you were going to persevere and succeed……how relentless would you allow yourself to be?
That is what true confidence provides. Confident performers and confident people move through the muck and get the job done. They are always moving towards successful execution. They never give up or give in. They are relentless in the pursuit of getting to the goal line. That is why the most confident people are always given the hardest tasks….because they find a way to get the job done and will always be moving in the direction of positive execution!
Therefore, when we discuss our new definition of confidence, we are really saying that there are a number of interrelated features that make it much more dynamic and complex than simply believing in something or that you can do a thing. In my new model / definition, there are six separate but interrelated elements that comprise a much fuller and richer explanation of the phenomenon we call Confidence!
- Confidence: a multidimensional phenomenon
- that encompasses an amalgamation of success experiences
- coupled with the belief that one can and will do something to produce a positive and successful result.
- It is strongly associated with faith and belief in one’s innate and developed abilities.
- Confidence is also the mental/emotional strength to resist the negative influences of doubt, distress and negative cognitive and physiological anxiety
- and move towards the productive execution of a desired task.