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TitsMcGhee's avatar

To be convincing, attractive, successful, interesting, well-rounded, motivated, and happy, some modicum of confidence is required.


Pol_is_aware's avatar

@TitsMcGhee: So would you say confidence has to come first, or could it be the result of having those ends?

augustlan's avatar

Interesting question… chicken or egg. I think it could go either way. Some people seem to be born to it, while others acquire it as they go along. Many others never seem to get there at all, regardless of their circumstances. It leads me to believe that there may be a genetic component involved. I’ve even seen this dynamic played out first hand, by observing my 3 children as they grow up. All of their (very different) personalities seem to have been fully formed at birth. The oldest is quite accomplished academically, and has plenty of friends but little confidence. The middle has struggled more, and her confidence varies from ‘over confident’ to ‘non-existent’ depending on her circumstances at any given time, and the youngest was born with confidence in spades. All 3 are girls, born within a 4 year period, and raised exactly the same way – in the same house, with the same parents.

TitsMcGhee's avatar

@Pol_is_aware: Confidence comes first. You need some form of confidence to achieve any of those qualities. For example, if you want to be successful, you have to have the confidence in yourself to get to that point. Another example – you can be physically attractive, but if you don’t have confidence in yourself and in your appearance, you won’t be as attractive.

augustlan's avatar

As to the main question, confidence will surely make it easier to survive in this world, but is not strictly necessary. To achieve happiness and contentment, though, I’d think you’d have to have at least some confidence.

Pol_is_aware's avatar

@augustlan: Interesting. I was thinking about my brother and I, and I’ve always been the confident one. The thing is, he had an accident, around the age of 2, where his pinky was almost cut off in a revolving door, and I’ve always wondered whether that played a role in how he has always been an indoors type, while I’ve been the opposite. This does come back to “nature vrs nurture” in the end, doesn’t it?

augustlan's avatar

@Pol_is_aware It really does. I think it’s definitely a combination of both. Your poor brother’s pinky! :(

Pol_is_aware's avatar

@augustlan: It’s fine now, no scar, physical, at least :D

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

Confidence is a necessity in leadership.. without leadership where would we be?

TaoSan's avatar


LOL Chicken or egg. EXACTLY what I thought

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

Having courage can cultivate confidence. You don’t need confidence to have courage; courage can come from feeling you have nothing left to lose, so WTF?, take a chance.

Dog's avatar

Because I have confidence I know I can paint anything.
However to reach this level of confidence it required taking the time to educate myself on painting and training myself through hours of study.

I feel that confidence comes from knowledge of ones self and ones abilities.

Mr_M's avatar

@TitsMcGhee is SO on the money with this one. All of the things mentioned (attractive, successful, interesting. yada, yada, yada) don’t mean a THING without confidence. And you get confidence by having supportive parents and a supportive family.

Yes, you may GET confidence by having those things, but NOT because you HAVE those things but because those things help the people who are important to you (i.e., your family) tell you supportive things. If you are attractive and you win a beauty contest, if your family tells you how beautiful you looked, makes a big deal out of it, etc., you can feel confident in your looks. If they don’t even show up for the contest (ex.,) you won’t be. Over time, if they continue to do the same thing, you can be gorgeous and you won’t feel it or act like it. You can be very smart yet go through life feeling dumb because the support system wasn’t there for you. We all know people like this.

But it’s not ALL your family. You have to be receptive to their support. Some people can be told they’re beautiful all their life but feel ugly just the same. Morbidly obese people often feel this way because they’ll look at their bodies instead of their face.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Confidence is everything. If you’re unconfident it radiates outward and people around you will sense your uncertainty.

VzzBzz's avatar

Have you ever heard the saying, “fake it until you make it”? It’s true but grueling.

Mr_M's avatar

And then there was the commercial “Never let them see you sweat”.

Blondesjon's avatar

Confidence is subjective. One man’s confidence is another man’s arrogance. It is a fine line.

Is it important? Like anything else that is subjective, it depends.

cak's avatar

@Blondesjon – I was just thinking, before I got to your post, a lot of people confuse arrogance for confidence. It is a fine line and some people really don’t see when they have crossed from confidence to arrogance.

Confidence can be learned from other sources, not all people have the support system in place to help them learn how to be a confident person. I know someone that despite her terrible upbringing – abuse, neglect, she is the strongest person I’ve ever met. Not arrogant, but very confident.

SeventhSense's avatar

Confidence is not being fearless but admitting you are afraid and moving forward anyway.

As Kipling said in his poem “If”.

“If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: Hold on!”

Jiminez's avatar

Self-actualization is impossible without it. Then again, confidence is the result of a whole range of factors.

YARNLADY's avatar

With many other traits, confidence is what helps people achieve their best potential. It has to go hand in hand with talent, motivation, and several others to be most successful.

aviona's avatar

I’m wondering this very thing right now. Because, apparently to outside sources I am lacking confidence—self-assurance. I don’t feel ugly. I don’t feel stupid. I just feel…worthless. But I don’t buy into all that affirmation bullshit, so how am I supposed to build this apparently needed confidence?

Garebo's avatar

It is very important, it is how a person defines confidence like otheres have said that gets confusing. The best book on the subject I read was published I believe in 1912, it’s called “How to Develop Self Confidence in Speech and Manner” by Grenville Kleiser.

YARNLADY's avatar

@aviona Many people find it hard to believe that confidence and self assurance can both be built up by pretending. I tell you this is true. Studies have shown that good luck rituals can make you feel as if you have an advantage over the situation and improve your self confidence. This can be as simple as carrying a good luck penny in your pocket or shoe. How does it work? It is your mind’s way of pretending.

Keep a journal of compliments and achievments. Writing down your compliments can help with building self confidence. Take a calendar and write on it every time you receive a compliment, plus the ones you give yourself for doing something well.

Laughing or giggling can build self confidence. They release your happy hormones, called endorphins, and make everyone around you cheery too.

Good health is a very important part of self confidence. Eat more fruits and vegetables, fewer calories, and get plenty of exercise. Walk at least a mile every day.

Wear clothes that fit the weather. When you feel comfortable, warm, or cool, you are more likely to feel confindent.

Ask a beauty salon worker for advice about a hair cut that is most becoming to your face type. Good looking hair goes a long way to producing self confidence.

aviona's avatar

Thanks for the advice @Yarnlady

tabbycat's avatar

Confidence always attracts people. The confident person always seems like a winner, and we all like winners.

Two people can go on a job interview, and the confident always has an edge. He/she will often get the job over someone else who is more qualified. I say this from the point of view of one who has applied for jobs, and one who has hired people. And, no, it’s not always fair—or intelligent.

Nothing succeeds like success, and nothing succeeds like someone who is confident in his success.

mattbrowne's avatar

Setting realistic individual goals is key. When you’ve created them it’s important to remain confident about reaching them. However a group of people, or a society, should also have high-minded seemingly unrealistic goals as stated by this Michelangelo quote:

The greater danger for most of us is
not that our aim is too high and
we miss it, but that it is too
low and we reach it.

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