Confidence is a feeling that allows you to reach your goals and aspirations with or without hesitation. It’s a common misconception that confidence means the absence of fear. However, on the contrary, having confidence means doing the thing you want to do despite fear. Being confident means being sure of yourself, not in a condescending way but in a secure way. It means that a person can rely on themselves in situations of need.
Having confidence can be one of the most attractive qualities in a person. Projecting confidence helps people gain credibility, make a solid first impression, deal with pressure, and tackle personal and professional challenges more effectively. A confident person is more likely to move forward in life and is more likely to succeed than a person who lacks confidence.
Where does confidence come from?
There are two types of confidence: Intrinsic and Extrinsic.
Intrinsic confidence is synonymous with self-confidence. It means that the source of your confidence comes from within, and you are not dependent on others to provide it to you. Extrinsic confidence means the confidence you get when it is offered to you. The source of your confidence is external and is dependent on others.
Let us see in detail what they are.
1. Intrinsic confidence
Intrinsic confidence is usually also used instead of self-confidence. The confidence comes from within and is induced by your achievements and happiness. However, contrary to popular belief, self-confidence is not always intrinsic. One survey says that only one out of ten people claim that their self-confidence is intrinsic. Others claim their self-confidence to be extrinsic. This proves that developing natural intrinsic confidence is difficult. Not many people have the mental strength to do so, and those who do develop it after years of practice. When a person can accept their achievements and look up to themselves as someone that should be appreciated, one is on the path to achieving intrinsic self-confidence.
Some ways you can develop natural confidence are:
1. Knowing your limits
Knowing your limits is a very important step in developing self-confidence. Knowing what you can’t do is an essential element in knowing what you can do with confidence. Once you know your limits and values, you stop judging yourself unfairly. If you aim for higher than you can achieve, your self-confidence shatters, and you get demotivated. However, if you set small goals for yourself and focus on achieving them, you are more likely to believe in yourself to achieve your goals.
2. Stop comparing yourself to others
Comparing yourself to others can be a very harmful habit, in a positive or a negative sense. If you think more of yourself than others, you become overconfident and develop condescending habits. You get in over your head and start thinking less of others. However, if you feel less of yourself, you create an inferiority complex and get into the vicious cycle of further thinking less of yourself. Hence, it is essential to strike a balance between being adequately confident and over-confident.
3. Act on your skills
In the end, to develop self-confidence, you should have the skills to assure you that you are worthy of this confidence. If you plan on procuring a skill and then fail to do so, you should lack confidence. It is called being self-aware. Hence, being self-aware is tied with being self-confident. It is possible to lack confidence despite having an appropriate skill level, but competence and self-awareness are always the factors.
2. Extrinsic confidence
Extrinsic confidence means depending on others to provide you with confidence. The people around you make you believe that you are worthy of all that you achieve and inspire you to achieve much more. Extrinsic self-esteem is the type of self-esteem that originates from outside of yourself. In other words, it’s the type of self-esteem you get from external sources such as other people, compliments, achievements, or praise. External confidence is useful when you need short-term motivation. You can always depend on others to motivate you for limited periods of time.
It is much easier to achieve intrinsic confidence and does not require much work. While there is nothing wrong with being dependent on others, extrinsic confidence is not always adequate. It is the slow transition from extrinsic confidence to intrinsic confidence that matters more. When you are dependent on extrinsic forms of self-esteem, you are being fed rather than cooking your food. So essentially, you can’t cook yourself. No matter how much we want to believe in ourselves if others don’t, it leads us to question ourselves. It is always unhealthy to entirely depend on others for anything, let alone being your source of happiness. It will always be challenging to find people you can rely on for constant motivation.
Which one is better?
From the above discussion, it is fairly easy to guess that intrinsic confidence is better than extrinsic. While both are sources of confidence, depending on yourself is better than relying on external sources to boost confidence. When you’re building your self-confidence internally, the external events have little to no influence on your internal feelings, not because something terrible is going on with your life that will mean that your self-confidence level will plummet. On the other hand, if you are expectant of receiving self-worth from other people or external sources, you are dependent on those factors to feel good about yourself.
If you plan on depending on the people around you to keep you happy, you are giving away control of your life to others. If these people can push you up, they can just as easily pull you down. The very people and or things that give you self-esteem can easily wipe out all your self-confidence in no time. If our skills are questioned, our confidence is shaken, and we feel the need to prove ourselves to others. The thought of pleasing others comes before pleasing ourselves, and that is highly harmful.
Hence, while both intrinsic and extrinsic are viable sources of confidence, they work differently. It is essential to experiment with both and find the one that works best for you.
Now that you know where confidence comes from, it might be helpful to understand where motivation comes from. Check it out here.