Posted on March 31, 2018 by Jenny Cromack

What is Self-Confidence?

Weinberg and Gould (2007) described self-confidence as “the belief that you can successfully perform a desired behaviour.” Self-confidence itself is multidimensional, meaning we can be confidne tin one area of our lives, but less so in other realms. How confident we are depends on the specific behaviour or taask and the sociocultural factors, such as those around us, the environment, previous experiences etc.

Researchers often describe two “types” of self-confidence – trait and state-like- which refer to the stability of our confidence. Trait-like self-confidence is often part of ones personality and is therefore stable. Those high in trait-like self-confidence will be relatively confident in most walks of life, and generally an overall confident person. State-like self-confidence, however, varies depending on the social context, behaviour, time, and the references used to evaluate ourselves. State-like self-confidence is therefore relatively unstable and often changes.

Albert Bandura (1997) used the term self-efficacy, which is often used interchangeably with self-confidence. Much like state-like self-confidence, self-efficacy relates to situation specific self-confidence and is the belief in our ability to perform a given task (much like Weinberg and Gould initial description of self-confidence).

being more confident

Why is Self-Confidence Good?

Being more self-confident or more self-efficacious has several key benefits which are as follows:

  • Arouses positive emotions
  • Facilitates concentration
  • Influences goal setting
  • Increases effort
  • Increases performance (at given task; sport, work, life)

So how can you be more self-confident? Here are our top tips to becoming more confident!

Sources of Self-Confidence!

Bandura proposed several sources of self-efficacy that, if sought out, could help us increase our self-belief in relation to a given task. The sources of self-efficacy are as follows:

Performance Accomplishments: Experiencing success/failure at task in question. So we could find opportunities to achieve success in our given task, which would help us become more efficacious. Getting involved in the task will help us a) experience success and b) learn from any failures.

Vicarious Experiences: Modelling and seeing significant others performing the task. Seeing our friends, team-mates, or colleagues perform similar taks may help us learn and have more beleif in the task.

Verbal Persuasion: Recieving positive/constructive feedback can help persuade us that we do have what it takes. So seeking out this feedback from peers, team-mates, bosses, or colleagues could help improve our self-efficacy.

Imaginal Experience: Using imagery (see blog) will help you imagine performing the task at hand and can stimulte similar physical feedback and provide a confidence boost. Practicing your task over in your head using the imagery blog details will help.

Physiological States: Managing helpful physiological states. So if being overaroused hinders you then learn to control it via relaxation techniques.

Emotional States: Manage emotional states. If being happy, energised, or tranquil helps you feel more confident then try stimulate these emotions.

Ways of Improving Self-Efficacy!

Based on some of the sources of self-efficacy here are a few ways (but not an exclusive list) of how you may improve your belief in your own abilities:

  • Grasp at opportunities to experience success, get involved and do the task! Expect some failures but see them as a positive learning curve.
  • Act and think confident. Confident thoughts, feelings, body language, and behaviours are linked.
  • Use imagery techniques.
  • Prepare for the task. The old saying “fail to prepare, then prepare to fail”. If you are prepared you will feel more confident going into the task.
  • Surround yourself with positive people. A compatible social climate will help you get the support, feedback, and modelling you need to become more confident.
  • Goal setting. Map out your goals to perform and get better at the task. Ticking off short term goals will help you feel more competent.

You Can Do It!!!