By Annita Katee
Confidence is a state of being. It’s accepting and trusting the control you have of your life by honoring your mind, body, and soul. When you look up the term confidence, there are many different definitions and variations. We know the confident woman who lights up a room when she walks in, we know the confident employee who effortlessly pitches in a business meeting, we know the confident person posing for photos while everyone is passing by and watching - and the list goes on. There may be many different types of confidence, but there’s a commonality between them all, confidence starts from within and it’s something everyone can have.
There’s a misconception that confident people are born confident. This is not true - confidence is a skill that is developed by going through life and putting yourself in new and uncomfortable situations, pushing boundaries, and most importantly, not being scared to be wrong or fail. Albert Einstein said it best, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” You can’t expect to be more confident by waiting for it to happen. Something has to change, something has to give, it’s something that needs to be worked on.
Types of Confidence:
While there are various situations and ways we can view confidence, scientists believe there are only two types - epistemic and social.
Epistemic confidence is having confidence in one's competence, opinions, and/or conclusions. You know the convincing person that says things like, “I’m 100% certain he’s lying,” or, “I guarantee this product will work,” they most likely have epistemic confidence. While having epistemic confidence is not a negative if your skills and strengths are leveraged appropriately, be wary, because it can go from confidence to an ego very quickly.
Social confidence on the other hand is deemed to be more valuable and tends to be the one that more likable and powerful role models have. It’s the confidence that stems from self-worth and security in yourself. But most importantly, socially confident people know they’re not always going to be right, are able to listen and learn from others, and in turn, admit fault and make changes where necessary.
The Confidence Gap
But obviously, there’s a lot more to the puzzle than two types of confidence, another factor is the confidence gap.
While men are not exempt from doubting themselves in all aspects of life, they certainly don't let their doubts stop them as much as women do. An internal report by Hewlett Packard found that 100 percent of men apply for a job or promotion even when they only meet 60 percent of the qualifications, women, on the other hand, only apply if they meet 100 percent of them. It’s not that women lack the ability to do the job, they just lack the confidence in trying. Research shows this gender gap closes as women get older, the issue is the many missed opportunities due to a fear of failure.
So what can we do about this?
The Connection Between Confidence And Beauty
While someone’s physical attractiveness is subjective, confidence has been deemed by researchers as one of the most attractive qualities. Whether it’s a platonic friendship or potential partner, we’re attracted to people who are sure about themselves as it makes us feel intrigued while relaxed, safe and secure.
While we’ll get to the things you can do to work on building your confidence, let’s first focus on the connection to beauty.
In 2017, a study by Harvard Medical School, named 'The Lipstick Effect’, saw 186 female participants randomly assigned to three groups; wearing makeup, listening to positive music, and coloring-in pictures, with results showing those who wore makeup outperformed in the confidence aspect of the multiple choice quiz and achieved higher grades.
The conclusion, when you feel good about yourself on the outside, it enhances your self-esteem, attitude, and personality on the inside - your confidence. While confidence doesn’t necessarily come from wearing makeup, it’s not vain to do whatever regime you need to do for yourself to feel your best.
Here at Nativa SPA, taking the time in our day to nourish and care for our skin is our priority. Not only does it make us feel good to take this time to honor our body, but with added benefits like our Quinoa Oil with 30 times more omegas than coconut oil, our external beauty also wins.
Scent has also been proven to play a huge role in confidence. According to one study, 90 percent of women surveyed said they felt more confident when wearing a fragrance compared to when they aren’t. This is because our olfactory system (our sense of smell) is directly connected to the limbic system - a part of the brain responsible for interpreting memories and emotions. So when we put on a fragrance that we can connect to positively, it has the ability to instantly give us a confidence boost. All of the Nativa SPA moisturizers are created with an intentional aromatic compound that de-stresses the skin and mind with its antioxidant properties. Each scent is unique and therefore able to play a role in confidence through positive emotions.
Improving Our Confidence
It’s important to remember that even the most confident looking people struggle sometimes. There’s always something we can work on and improve within ourselves. And while there’s no definitive step-guide to building self-confidence and self-esteem, there are things we can do to help us grow in that area.\
The first step is to get clear on what you want and deserve. For example, are you wanting to improve your confidence within a social setting or are you looking to improve the way you see and treat yourself? Getting into the specifics allows you to have greater success as you’re aware of where your weaknesses lie rather than saying a blanket, “I want to be more confident.”
Now that you’ve determined what you’re searching for, physically write it down. And not just the words, but the feelings that go with it. Write down the emotions you’ll have when you achieve what you want. Will you feel strong? Will you feel powerful? Will you feel self-reliant?
It’s important to remember that creating growth in any aspect of life is a personal journey. No two journeys are the same, therefore, they shouldn’t be compared. Sometimes when we aspire to be like someone e.g. we love the way they can command a room, we forget we have different paths and have had different life experiences, in turn, there’ll always have different outcomes. Comparison is the thief of joy. Someone else’s win is not your loss. So celebrate your wins and others too. We’re all just trying to better ourselves in our own ways.
2. Commit and Go For It
You can’t wait for change, you have to change. Pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone will develop your confidence - because one of two things will happen; you’ll either fail or you’ll succeed. And if you are to fail, chances are you’ll bounce back and realize it’s not so scary after all.
But remember change is a work in progress, it won’t happen overnight. Think of building confidence like growing a plant. You need to nurture it. It needs the right amount of water, food, environment, and love to grow and survive. In the same way, just because you stepped out of your comfort zone once, it doesn’t mean the work is done, you’ll just be one step closer.
Another great way to grow in this area is to give back. When former monk and life coach, Jay Shetty was asked where confidence comes from, he said it comes from serving people. “When you see the impact you have on others, you will feel such a deep sense of self-worth,” he shared. So commit to giving back, commit to taking that class, commit to starting that business; don’t limit yourself because it’s out of your comfort zone and you’re afraid to fail.
3. Create Your Personal Tool Kit
Take the top athlete in the world, they may be the best, but even they can not guarantee they’ll win each and every time. In the same way, when you’re on a path of growth and change, you may fall off the bandwagon sometimes, so having a distinct personal tool kit to get back on track is vital.
The fundamentals will allow you to get back to knowing what makes you feel your best. It can be as simple as starting the day right by making your bed first thing, or spending extra time on your skincare routine and really breathing in the calming scents of your moisturizer. Your tool kit is simply a list of simple things that you know make you feel your best self.
While no toolkit is the same, some other ideas may include; not looking at your phone when you wake up, meditation, gratitude journaling, daily affirmations, long walks, talking to a friend, enjoying a nutritious meal, and/or reading a book.
At the end of the day, just remember that your journey to confidence is your journey. There’s no right or wrong way to get there, but by following the above, you’ll be able to make the first steps in challenging yourself and reap the benefits. Noone is confident every single day, but it’s those days of self-doubt where we have to work extra hard. Find your reset button, reconnect with Mother Nature, enjoy a longer whole care ritual, fuel your body with nutritious foods - because your confidence starts and ends with you.
Australian-born, based in L.A., Annita cannot be defined by one thing alone. She is a bright & passionate journalist who writes about Health & Lifestyle, hosts a podcast and is a children’s author. Yep, she's all that!