How often have you met someone who plans to do something, but they are waiting until they feel ‘inspired’ to do it? The world is full of non-authors, or non-artists and millions of other potentially creative souls who are telling themselves some version of “Some day, when the feeling moves me, I’ll…(fill in the blank)”.

Inspiration and creativity are the result of having struggled towards the goal, usually with no instant reward, and often for a long time. Confidence is the same. It is the result of doing something. It won’t just arrive one day magically, out of the blue, to inspire you. 

Confidence is a concept that includes a number of different aspects of our experience. In the sense that it’s being used here, it is the ability to feel safe and secure enough to act in a certain way. 

We say we are under-confident when we feel uncertain or unsure about something, or when it feels unsafe to proceed. So confidence means that we feel ‘confident enough’ to tackle something we feel, in some way, uncertain about.

Acting with confidence means being able to take the initiative, to be proactive when a situation calls for it. Like all of these aspects, it is a choice and is used selectively. Being active (or pro-active), doesn’t mean being gung-ho or pushing ahead carelessly, but it does mean being able to engage and move, even though sometimes one doesn’t feel entirely comfortable doing so.

Confident people don’t necessarily feel confident all the time, but they know how to keep self-doubt at bay. Truly confident people are comfortable taking the lead, but can also step back and allow others to shine. Discover in this quiz seven traits shared by confident people. How do you compare?

Confident People:

Don’t put themselves down by saying things like “I’m just a silly woman”; “It was idiotic of me…”

Can accept praise When they are paid a compliment they accept it without false modesty or denying that they deserve it.

They see life as a learning process. When something goes wrong or they hit a setback they will look for what they can learn from it and add it to experience.

They are modest with a balanced view of their achievements. They don’t need to ‘grand-stand’ or shout about their successes.

They always look for potential, even when there are limitations. They have a realistically optimistic outlook based on their abilities.

Go for it

If they had to wait to ‘feel confident’ before they started anything, novices would never become experts, and beginners would never become star performers in their fields. Confidence begins with the willingness to look at yourself and make an accurate assessment of your strengths and what you are good at and deciding if you need to develop your skills or understanding in any particular area in order to go further.

I’m a psychologist, coach, and therapist. All my work is aimed at enabling people to improve personal aspects of their lives and work.