A question that keeps coming up about self-confidence is this. Why is there a difference in self-confidence depending on what we do? If we are confident in one area, why doesn’t that confidence cross over to other areas?
Have you ever wondered about this? Before we address this question directly, let’s make sure we are clear on some important concepts.
Self-confidence is not the same as self-esteem!
The first thing we need to understand is that self-confidence and self-esteem are not the same thing at all. Now I have read countless articles that claim they are the same, so let’s define the difference and rid ourselves of this misnomer.
Simply put, self-confidence is our personal assessment of our own abilities, and self-esteem is our personal assessment of our worth or value as a person. One may affect the other, but they are clearly not the same.
Consider this major difference
We all have a variety of abilities, some that we are good at and others that need work. This means that we evaluate our proficiency in each of these areas separately. The fact that we may be good at math has no influence on how good we are at spelling. In fact, because the two are unrelated, they each get their own confidence rating.
On the other hand, self-esteem is about the whole person. Even though we are made up of a multitude of different aspects, self-esteem is a blanket approach. It is a personal estimation of the composite person without regard to the individual components. In this case, emotionally speaking, one size (rating) fits all.
How are they related?
The relationship between self-confidence and self-esteem is not as close as you might think. First of all, we should never conclude that a lack of confidence in one, or even several areas, is somehow tied to a lack of self-esteem. Even people with a healthy sense of self-worth have areas in their life where they don’t have a great deal of confidence. The distinction here is in realizing that ability does not equal personal worth.
On the positive side, when we perform a task well it boosts our confidence in that particular area. Feeling confident makes us feel good about ourselves in general, which has a positive influence on our self-esteem. So developing our overall sense of self-confidence is very likely to increase our self-esteem as well.
Back to our opening question
As we learned, there is a difference in our confidence depending on what we do because confidence is task specific. It’s hard to be good at everything and on the surface; confidence seems to depend on performance. Now, let’s look at the crossover effect. When two sets of skills are unrelated, like math and spelling, there is no confidence crossover. However, when two tasks are similar in some way, it’s a different story.
People who are veracious readers are often good at spelling. Why? Because the two are related. There is considerable overlap from one to the other. Reading means seeing how words are spelled over and over again. This exposure has a positive influence on our ability to spell correctly. This is especially true in a language like English, which refuses to abide by its own rules. If you feel confident about your reading skills, there is a 90% likelihood that you will also feel confident about your spelling skills.
Creating the crossover perception
Remember, self-confidence is based on how we feel about our own abilities. We can create confidence transference by identifying a similarity between two different tasks. It doesn’t matter if that similarity is real or imagined, as long as we perceive it to be there.
Let’s say that you are a good dancer but you have never taken an aerobics class. So you reason that they both involve coordinated movements done to music. They both have a series of moves that are repeated, and they both involve exercise. The conclusion, “since I am a good dancer I feel confident that I will also be good at aerobics.”
Teach yourself to recognize similarities
The better you become at seeing how one task is like another, the more you can spread self-confidence from one area to the next. As you practice making these connections it becomes increasingly easier to do. Of course, there are some natural limits to this type of transference. For example saying: “I am already good at driving a car, so I should also be good at brain surgery since they both involve eye-hand coordination,” is probably not going to work.
To make the most of this simple technique, don’t be afraid to be creative within reason. Keep in mind that your perception is what’s important here. Always look for a reason to transfer your feelings of confidence in one area to another through task similarity.
Building self-confidence A-Z
There are many ways to increase our personal level of self-confidence. To build unstoppable self-confidence means adjusting our beliefs, perceptions, habits and language. It also means building on smaller successes to create momentum. Subtle shifts in these areas can produce amazing results.
Did you relate to the definition of self esteem?
How about its relationship with self-confidence?
Do you agree or disagree?
The lines are open!
Watch this video: To truly understand what is involved in building unstoppable self-confidence, we first must understand the relationship of Cause and Effect. In this short video Dr. Robert Anthony explains why cause is more powerful than effect and how you can use this knowledge to build your self-confidence very quickly. Self-Confidence Creator Video.