The word is used a lot, but what is actually meant? I looked into it and came up with a range of interlinked meanings, representing different elements of confidence.
Imagine a cake, with 5 layers and topped with icing: the confidence cake.
Each layer is important, but there is a process to building the cake.
The first layer is about presentation: how do you carry yourself in your body, such as posture, non-fidgeting, facial expressions and the clothes you wear, the chosen style and hairdo offer people an impression of you and your confidence. Interestingly, if people put a lot of effort into their presentation, it might be an effort to hide the fact that they are low in confidence….
The second layer is behaviour and communication. Are you calm, observant, smiling, listening or talking, loud or silent, asking questions that are inviting or intrusive, connecting or self-obsessed? The way you talk to others communicates your level of confidence. Most confident people love to listen, allow others to talk about themselves and are not shouting to be heard.
Third layer is attitude and a confident attitude shows through in calm behaviour, a feeling of trust and a sense of optimism. The different attitudes that someone has form their mindset, which is the fourth layer. The combination of attitudes creates the mindset and confident people are trusting, positive and calm. This mindset encourages adventures, open mindedness and love for everything and everybody as people with this mindset don’t feel threatened by life. They are solidly rooted into themselves.
And that leads to the last layer, the feeling of confidence. That is part of who you are, even when all the other layers are not in place, nothing can take that away. This innate confidence might get a wobble (as Ruby Wax did), but it quickly bounces back. If you reach that layer, you are sorted.
1. Feeling – you are either having it or lacking it
2. Mindset – a set of attitudes
3. Attitude – a settled way of thinking or feeling about something
4. Behaviour – the way you act and communicate
5. Presentation – mainly the way you dress and your posture
And the icing?
Perception – the way you are being seen by others. No one can look through the icing, so any confidence display at any level will show you to the outside world as a confident person.
Struggling with confidence? Why not talk to me for half an hour and get a grip on what to do next. It’s on me, so grab your slot now.