I would say, easy to identify, yet probably difficult to define, conceptualise, or even measure what self-confidence means? I believe one of the main requirements to success, happiness and reaching your goals is confidence. Having a tremendous amount of self-confidence, will definitely be a useful attribute in just about every aspect of your life. Lets face it, you were probably not born oozing with self-confidence, that is, self-confidence is not something innate, yes it can be taught, nurtured and even built over the years, at any stage in life. Confidence is not to be personally owned by anyone; the person who has it, learns it and continues to build upon it. Ultimately, your degree of confidence is truly the outcome of how you perceive yourself - which is eventually how people will perceive you too. How people relate and respond to you is certainly a reflection of how you perceive yourself. Therefore, if you don't currently have a high degree of self-confidence or a lack self-esteem then it could likely be because you may be concentrating on your not so positive traits or on what you are not doing right. I was certainly guilty of this crime. I was potentially my own worst enemy! The good thing is though, I discovered that I could alter this behavior and took the necessary steps to improve my self-confidence. The fact of the matter is, even the most talented person on earth at some stage, probably had to build confidence in their talents from a foundation that consisted of faith and knowledge, just like anybody else. Naturally, this of course differs from one person to the other, but the necessary job is similar. Confidence and attitude are accessible to all of us according to our skills and requirements and not somebody else's, as long as we make use of our God given talents. Being self-confident is ultimately an approach which allows us to have a positive yet reasonable viewpoint of ourselves and our conditions. However, i'd like to point out that having self-confidence does not necessarily mean that you will be able to do everything. During a period of my life where I was certainly not as self-confident as I am today, I relied on the constant approval of other people in order to feel good about myself. It certainly prevented me from taking risks because I was so afraid to fail. It was almost as if I did not expect to succeed before I had even begun.
Very rarely did I acknowledge any comments or praise that were paid to me, and would often put myself down. Whereas by stark contrast, the self-confident woman I am today is much more willing to risk the disapproval of others because I now truly believe in my own skills and abilities. I have finally accepted myself; flaws and all, just imperfectly perfect and no longer feel I have to conform in order to be accepted. In summary, self-confidence is not necessarily a general trait or characteristic which permeates all aspects of a persons life. It is quite common that individuals will have some aspects of their lives where they think they are quite confident, for instance, academics and sports, while at the same time they may not feel as confident in other areas, for example, their personal appearance, social relationships, among others.
Self confidence is definitely not the key to everything. However, it might be the key to something, but what I have learnt without a shadow of a doubt, is that loving yourself is the key to everything. If you love and believe in yourself this will go hand in hand with self confidence.