The Meaning of Confidence

I don’t normally write about myself in a personal, or critical, fashion. However I feel it is necessary here in order to try and explore some issues that I am having currently. Namely confidence issues. Apart from my issue isn’t a lack of it… my problem is that I can’t seem to communicate this confidence to others. They just don’t seem to see what I feel. And I think that they should!

I am doing this then because I genuinely think that this is an important thing to discuss, and it is probably something that others have come across, or struggled with. I mean, haven’t you ever walked out of interview feeling that it went really well, you felt relaxed and at ease; only to be told you didn’t get it because they wanted someone more confident, more self-assured?

So. What is confidence?

Is it subjective? Because I feel self-assured. I feel confident in myself. I am an inquisitive and curious person – sometimes maybe my over-analytical brain helps to put me under the searching spotlight of doubt. It makes me look like someone searching for approval after the fact, because I question, I explore the moment. But I’m not. I’m not going over it (whatever I have said or done, whatever situation it is) in my mind, and out loud, because it bothers me; I am simply a problem solver. I like to know all the answers.I like to figure out why something happened and what I could have done differently. But I do not think that that necessarily translates to a lack of confidence.

Nevertheless people keep telling me (I’m exaggerating perhaps. Maybe two or three people in various job interviews) that I do not portray self-assurance in group assessment situations. In interviews. I am not confident enough for the role, not the person they are looking for.

How do they have the right to tell me that? If I feel confident then I must be confident, surely? Or is it an invisible underlying characteristic that you just have to naturally possess – synonymous to that golden bubbly personality trait that everyone supposedly wants. Or is it just something you act, something you can put on? A mannerism for public situations?

Lets look at the official definition. Analyse it even.

Definition of Confidence

Definition of Confidence


Perhaps the answer lies in-between two of these definitions. The first and the third.

Like I thought – it is a feeling of self-assurance. I know I am capable, so I feel confident. If they cannot see that then there is there own problem; right?

Except for the first definition. There is a feeling to be recuperated by the other person. They have to feel that they can rely on you. They want to get a feeling telling them that they can trust in you, in your abilities.

So therein lies my problem. I appreciate myself fine. That isn’t the issue! I have been looking at this with the impression that I have to reflect that to others – I have to show them a smiling-bouncing-off-the-walls person in order to give some kind of secret impression of the true meaning of a confidence that you can’t really put your finger on. But this simply isn’t the case. That would be me being something, trying to be something, I am not. That would be false. All I have to do is make them believe in my capabilities. Make them trust that I can do what they need me to do. It is only relevant to the moment – to that particular situation.

So there is my revelation. Confidence is not a personality trait. It is simply a reflection of one moment in time; a mirror showing you a current ephemeral state unique to your milieu in that very second. It is linked to different times in your life when you may or may not have it depending on how much you trust yourself in that situation, and how much others can trust you in return.

I am not condemned. I am not to be continuously overlooked for professional roles because I don’t laugh and shine in interviews, twinkling my eyes in all the right places. This may be the case. I may not get some roles because they want that shining bubbly person. But if it truly confidence they are looking for, real confidence, then I know I can give them that.

Although. I do still think I twinkle. It’s just a twinkle is only a twinkle when you are standing in the right place, when your looked at under a certain light…

One response to “The Meaning of Confidence

  1. Pingback: How to be Fearless | Abstractions of Life·

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