One definition of confidence is “a feeling or belief that you can do something well or succeed at something.” I personally believe that we have control over a lot of things in our lives, but confidence is an interesting situation. In some ways, we can choose whether or not to be confident, but without any evidence to back it up that confidence is not very useful. Being overconfident can lead to failure because your belief that you can succeed is exaggerated, while not being confident at all when you should can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Confidence is hard sometimes. We all have certain insecurities and doubts about ourselves. I think the best way to gain confidence is through experience. For me personally, having achieved something once gives me enormous confidence that I can do it the second time. For example, attending the career fair at Bryant last fall gave me a lot of confidence that I could succeed again this year, and this benefited me in the form of not being nervous and presenting a good first impression to employers. Successfully living on my own and being completely independent during the summer while succeeding at my internship has given me confidence to permanently live on my own and work at a full-time job.
Trust is also an important factor in confidence. Most of the time, you are trusting yourself to come through when it really counts, but often times you have to rely on others as well. You need to trust that other people are going to help and support you if you need it in order to be confident going into a new situation. Part of the reason I was confident living independently this summer was because I knew that if I ran into any problems I could always ask my parents for advice and they would always be there to support me. In some ways, it can be a two-way street. If you are confident in someone else’s abilities than that may cause them to be more confident in themselves, which in turn gives confidence right back to that other person because they trusted you.
At the end of the day, having as much confidence as possible is great, but it is something that needs to be achieved. I had some confidence in my abilities to succeed academically in college because of my track record from high school, but it wasn’t until I actually started succeeding in college that my confidence began to get stronger and stronger. It is a continual process, and the more experiences you take, the more challenges you take on, the more opportunities you have to increase confidence. Even if you fail, you can look back and be proud that you had the confidence to try something out of your comfort zone.
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