Another Reason Why Confidence is so Important

I've written about the importance of confidence before, but I forgot to mention one of the most important aspects of confidence. I'm talking about the spiraling nature of confidence. Confidence can create a spiraling, or cyclical pattern. This pattern can be positive or negative depending whether you have high confidence or low confidence. Here is a simple flow chart to explain what I mean:

High confidence ---> motivation ---> effort ---> success ---> more confidence ---> repeat

Low confidence ---> less motivation ---> less effort ---> less success, more failure ---> less confidence ---> repeat

You can easily see how confidence can create a self-fulfilling prophecy. We've all experience it for ourselves or have seen it happen to others. We've seen it catapult people to the highest levels of success and we've seen it sink people down to rock bottom. 

However, it is not this simple. Life, as well as psychology, is complex. Things do not always happen in this predictable manner. Sometimes high confidence doesn't lead to success. Sometimes low confidence doesn't lead to failure. Sometimes a very confident person who has everything going for himself, suddenly has something bad happen which destroys their confidence. Sometimes a person with low confidence who experiences a lot of failure suddenly receives some good luck and their confidence increases. A positive cycle isn't always easy to sustain. A negative cycle isn't impossible to break. This is because of the power of our conscious minds. As humans, we can consciously decide to increase our confidence, even if we've experienced a lot of failure. And if everything is going right in your life, you can still make the mistake of thinking too negatively and decreasing your confidence.

The two points I'm trying to make is that 1) confidence is important and can create a spiraling effect, and 2) you can consciously improve your confidence no matter your circumstances. This is why it's so important to actively monitor, increase, and maintain your confidence. You want to make sure you maintain the positive cycle, and not get sucked into the negative cycle. If you're having success and your confidence is high, remember to keep this confidence to help you maintain your success. If you're not having success and your confidence is low, try to snap out of it and improve your confidence so you can get back on track.

These ideas have been written in Jordan Peterson's book 12 Rules For Life. His simple advice about this topic is "stand up straight with your shoulders back."

Body language is one of the many ways to improve your confidence. Most people think that your mindset affects your body language, which is true, but the inverse is also true. Body language can affect your mindset. By acting confident on the outside, you can actually improve your confidence. You can also draw confidence from your preparation, your past success, the success of people similar to yourself, or from your special skills/talents. Thinking about these things (self-talk) can improve your confidence.

But remember, wishful thinking isn't enough to truly improve confidence on a deep level. You can't just think "I'm the best. I'm going to win" if you don't have the skills or haven't prepared enough to back up these claims. You actually have to put in the work in order to truly believe your positive self-talk and increase your confidence.

Next week I will write about a special confidence-boosting tip that you can use in certain situations.