As a hypnotherapist I specialise in helping people to develop confidence and self esteem. But what is confidence? I find a great deal of misunderstanding among my clients; many tell me that they want to become more confident “but not too confident”, as if confidence can be dangerous in large quantities.
Many people, it seems, associate brashness and arrogance with confidence. Indeed, arrogant people may be strong in some dimensions of confidence, but they are seriously deficient in others. Truly confident people are aware of their own emotional state, and in tune with the emotions of others. True self confidence leads to feelings of relaxation in a wide range of situations. Such relaxation feeds the individual’s confidence, setting up a virtuous circle.
In order to understand self confidence we have to consider it as a multi-dimensional quality. Your confidence at any specific moment is a complex blend of factors, including social confidence, physical presence, peer independence, stage presence and physical presence. Everybody has their own, distinctive, profile of confidence.
So the bullying, ‘alpha male’ business leader who struts around the office may indeed be strong in physical presence and stage presence, but may lack confidence in the value of their opinions, and may indeed find it difficult to stay true to their core values and beliefs.
This is at the heart of real confidence : the ability to remain true to those values which you hold dear. A balanced, self-confident person is the same in any company. The presence of high status individuals, or low status individuals, does not significantly change their responses or outward displays. A truly self confident person knows what they believe and can remain comfortable expressing their beliefs regardless of the prevailing fashion.
Is this you? Do you feel comfortable expressing yourself in a group, with people from all strata of society? We all fall short of the ideal, in this as in other aspects of our lives, but it is comforting to know that self confidence can be developed and nurtured.
Many thousands of people have taken the Confidence Club questionnaire, which profiles a person’s strengths and weaknesses against 5 different dimensions of confidence. The questionnaire can be found here : http://www.confidenceclub.net/process/questionnaire.php
If you have ever found yourself wondering why your confidence seems to desert you in certain circumstances, take the questionnaire and find out precisely where your strengths and weaknesses lie. You may be surprised by what you can learn about yourself.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jim Sullivan is a hypnotherapist and confidence coach. He may be contacted via Confidence Club : www.confidenceclub.net