There’s a big difference between a true sense of security and one that only appears to be so. Even though sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference, due to subtle indicators that aren’t visible from the outside.
There’s at least two reasons I can think of that make this topic something important to explore. One is for one’s personal growth and the other is for when you’re dealing with others. The key determining factor of confidence is not requiring proof. What I mean is that if someone is confident in their idea or whatever it is they’re taking on in life, they won’t feel the need to prove it to themselves or others. If there’s even a minimal need of this, then confidence might be around the corner, but it hasn’t fully taken place just yet.
When we look at the definition of confidence, three of them are:
- The feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust.
- The state of feeling certain about the truth of something.
- A feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.
The way confidence is defined makes it pretty clear that there is no need of proof. You know (you feel and/or believe) whatever the decision or whoever the person you’re bestowing confidence upon is a sure thing. I would go a step further and add that even if it’s confidence in uncertainty, it’s still confidence because it’s rendering uncertainty a sure thing.
So when it comes to yourself, if you notice a need for approval or confirmation of being on the right track (with a decision or your thought process on a subject), you may want to explore why you feel this need. Through questions and thought on the need for approval you can arrive at the reason for your uncertainty or lack of confidence on the matter and in turn, you can find answers or get the confirmation you need to move towards confidence.
If it’s confidence when dealing with others, what I’m talking about here (for the purpose of this blog post) is confidence portrayed in a boastful, arrogant and conceited way. Confidence at its purest form, at least in the way I’ve experienced it and seen it, is authentic (it feels super genuine, like it’s a part of that person). It usually comes across as a person who is expressing in their body language, tone and choice of words certainty, affirmation in regards to their belief with no signs of belittlement towards others. When I’ve seen it in its arrogant form (so to speak), it is quite different.
When someone acts with confidence, but isn’t; it comes across as a competitive dialogue or as a person who is talking in a way that expresses superiority (where they are superior to me or to those they’re talking to or about). This type of confidence when encountered can tell you an entirely different story about the person you’re dealing with and that story is that this person is super insecure.
Their confidence is merely a façade that gives them a false sense of security (and superiority, if I may add) that is a clear sign of them needing confirmation from the external (validation) that they are good at what they do or are doing the right things. When dealing with these types of individuals, it is quite hard to empathize or be nice to them, and think nicely or at least neutrally about them. The reason is the belittlement component. No one likes to be talked down to. With awareness of this though, one can know that when dealing with someone who shows signs of arrogant confidence they are most likely quite insecure. Their need to feel superior, which is shown through their behavior and how they talk, is a representation of this.
The next time you see someone who expresses themselves with an arrogant confidence, just remember that they are probably suffering with many doubts and insecurities.
How do you identify true confidence?