When you enter an unfamiliar environment or ponder a difficult decision, what do you feel? Do you second-guess yourself or agonize over what to do? Confident people are not immune from self-doubt, but they enjoy a strong sense of security, clarity, and trust in themselves. Confidence affects every area of your life, including work and relationships. Many experiences can damage your confidence, but it’s worth making the effort to build it back up again. Here are ten reasons why confidence matters:
#1 Confidence can make you healthier
Studies indicate that confident people tend to be healthier and live longer. It could be due to the positive effects of emotions associated with confidence – happiness, optimism, and satisfaction. People who lack confidence often struggle with emotions like fear, depression, and anxiety, which are associated with negative health effects. Confidence can also help you with fitness goals. If you have the desire and confidence to exercise, you’re more likely to see success than if you doubted your ability to rise to the challenge.
#2 Confidence can keep you safe
Confident people are less likely to do things they don’t want to do. This can include risky, dangerous activities that others are pressuring you into. Consider why teenagers are at a higher risk for poor decisions or reckless behavior. It’s often because teenagers are still building their confidence and sense of self, which makes them more vulnerable to peer pressure. Anyone without a healthy amount of confidence is more likely to cave to peer pressure, even when they know better.
#3 Confidence helps with decision-making
Many people struggle with making decisions. If you lack confidence, it’s natural to doubt yourself, try to reverse a decision, or criticize yourself if things don’t go according to plan. Confidence helps keep things in perspective. You’ll feel more secure in your ability to make decisions and if the outcome isn’t exactly what you want, you’re more likely to be able to adapt.
#4 Confidence helps with resilience
Speaking of when things don’t go your way, confidence helps you put failures in perspective. No one likes making mistakes or being disappointed, but when you have confidence in yourself, you know you have the skills necessary to tackle any challenges that come your way. The more challenges you take in stride, the more your confidence and resilience increase.
#5 Confidence improves your relationships
There are a handful of reasons why confidence matters in relationships. Confident people are less dependent on others for assurance and approval. They’re comfortable being themselves, which encourages more honesty in a relationship. Confident people are also more likely to maintain healthy boundaries. Because they aren’t as dependent on others for their sense of worth, confident people are less likely to cave to those who don’t respect them.
#6 Confidence makes you a better communicator
Confident people are often good communicators. They aren’t afraid to be direct when necessary and don’t second-guess themselves while they’re talking. Someone with low confidence may struggle with making their needs and wants clear because they aren’t sure of themselves or they’re afraid of how others will respond. This lack of clarity makes misunderstandings more likely. Confidence, on the other hand, ensures more direct, honest communication.
#7 Confidence earns you respect
It’s no secret that people respect confidence. Confident people give off the impression that they know what they’re doing and are therefore more trustworthy and inspiring. The world’s best leaders – in every field – are all confident. Remember that “confidence” doesn’t mean “arrogance.” Confident people also earn respect by listening to other perspectives, responding to criticism, and understanding their weaknesses.
#8 Confidence can help manage anxious feelings
Everyone feels anxious at some time. You might have an important meeting at work or need to have a difficult conversation with someone. Confidence helps shield you from the nervous voice that says “You can’t do this. You should give up.” Instead of feeling trapped by negative self-talk, confidence provides an alternative message: “You can do this.”
Note: Clinical anxiety functions differently than the situation-specific anxiety we all face. Building confidence may help with some effects of clinical anxiety, but we understand that anxiety is a mental condition that requires more treatment than just “be confident.” For clinical anxiety, please seek professional help.
#9 Confidence motivates you
To achieve your dreams and be successful in any area of life, you need motivation. You can find motivation in many forms, but confidence is one of the most important. Confidence helps you look back at your previous successes, no matter how small, and use them as fuel for the future. It helps you feel proud of what you’ve accomplished in the past and hopeful for what you’ll achieve next.
#10 Confidence is linked to self-esteem
While confidence and self-esteem are not mutually exclusive (people can have good self-esteem but struggle with feeling confident), they are linked. Confidence can help you build better self-esteem and vice versa. Knowing your value and what you bring to the table boosts your confidence, while confidence grounds you in who you are and what you’re capable of.