In order to determine whether there is a link between character and confidence we need definitions of character and confidence.
Confidence is a skill that can be learned and taught. There are three levels of confidence:
- Being consistently confident even when you have no background or experience.
- Being able to convert confidence into influence and opportunity.
- Being able to tap into the power of your subconscious mind to solve problems more quickly and convert emotions into productive behaviors.
Those who have studied character and character development have identified seven elements of character:
- Societal impact
Let’s examine each in more detail including how they are impacted by confidence.
Confident people are less likely to cave to peer pressure and get involved in things that are not in their, or society’s, best interests. Their lack of dependence upon others’ perceptions for their self-image makes it easier for them to deal with the peer pressures they’ll inevitably face. As a result, confident people are more likely to do the right thing whether or not anyone is looking.
Confident people find it easier to be respectful to others and of others’ perspectives. They view differences of opinion, differing belief systems, as a source of new information that may or may not be helpful to them. They do not judge others or their ideas, instead they respect the person’s right to their opinions and beliefs even when they don’t agree with them.
Less-confident people tend to be more judgmental. In part, because they feel that they are being judged. Their judgments are a defense mechanism to avoid being judged.
Confident people find it easier to hold true to their values…even in the absence of scrutiny. They are less likely to hide their mistakes. Instead, they take responsibility for them. They view their mistakes as part of the learning experience and are grateful for what they learn. This attitude enables them to look to the future with excitement and anticipation.
Less-confident people are more likely to hide their mistakes. They find it difficult to admit mistakes and shortcomings for two reasons. One is that they feel it will further diminish their image in others’ eyes. Two, it deepens their own estimate of their self-worth, which in their mind is already diminished.
People who are confident tend to be more fair in their dealings with others. They are more likely to possess an abundance mindset which inclines them to sharing the good fortune they possess.
Conversely, less confident people tend to possess a scarcity mentality and, in extreme cases, a victim’s mentality. It’s difficult to deal fairly with people when you don’t feel that life is fair to you.
Confident people are typically happier which creates a desire on their part to share their happiness, their knowledge, their good fortune with others. They are confident and want others to feel confident and capable as well. Confident people treat people kindly, inspire them when they’re experiencing doubt, encourage them in moments of adversity and lend whatever knowledge and expertise they have in helping them.
Less-confident people typically focus on what is happening to them, how they feel and what others think of them. Consequently, they give little, if any, thought to the impact what they’re doing or what they’re saying is having on others.
It’s difficult for anyone in an egocentric state to be kind, compassionate, caring, inspiring and encouraging.
Confident people believe in their ability to deal with anything that comes their way. This belief enables them to view challenges as learning opportunities…as the potential for growth in skills and abilities. The successes this belief engenders further enhance their confidence, their excitement about life and their desire to continue exploring whatever intrigues them.
Less-confident people feel less capable of dealing with life’s challenges. They doubt their ability to deal with the challenges they face which often becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. With each failure they feel less capable, less confident and, potentially, victimized.
Confidence enables society to enjoy the benefits of a person’s skills, abilities and talents. The lack of confidence awareness deprives society of these benefits.
As you can see, confidence and character are inextricably linked. But what does this mean for you?
My goal in writing this blog is to give each of us, me included, an opportunity to evaluate where we are on both the confidence and character spectrum. We’d all like to think that we are of good character and confident, but since none of us is perfect this brief analysis can help us determine where we might improve…knowing that improvement in one area, character or confidence, will actually help us improve in both.
For our kids
We’d all like our kids to grow up to be confident and of good character. Using the elements of both described above can help you determine where your kids could use some guidance.
Please don’t lecture them. It doesn’t work. Instead ask them questions that help them realize the errors in their thinking. As they make the discovery, through your questions, they’ll validate the answers with their own experiences which means they’ll embrace the concepts more readily and employ them more quickly.
Let others know that you love them by sharing this blog post. They’ll appreciate that you care.
I love hearing your thoughts and experiences, please share your wisdom in a comment.
If you’d like to enjoy great confidence, check out our Confidence Self-Study programs (opens in a new link).
If you’d like to enrich the lives of others by teaching them to be more confident, check out our Teaching Confidence Instructor Certification program (opens in a new link).