The term self-confidence is often interchangeable with self-efficacy and self-esteem, however, all three terms have different rooted meanings. The focus of this article is to utilize a psychological perspective to better understand these terms as well as ways to increase one’s self-confidence.
Defining the terms self-efficacy, self-confidence, and self-esteem is important in understanding their daily significance. First, self-efficacy is the belief in one’s ability to complete a task. Some tasks include cooking dinner or completing a homework assignment. While the term self-confidence is a broader term and refers to the likeliness of completing a goal, directly based on your previous experiences. For example, if you play soccer the more you practice, the more your confidence increases, regarding playing the sport. Lastly, self-esteem refers to a belief in overall worth, in other words, the resurgence of being a good person.
Self-esteem is more complex in comparison to self-efficacy and self-confidence as the system is interconnected to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. The hierarchy emphasizes the need for self-esteem as it leads to high self-respect.
The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) explored another perspective while correlating the term “psychological momentum” (PM) to confidence. Psychological momentum is a phenomenon that shifts behavior, the theory, illustrates how momentum can positively contribute to reaching one’s desires. The momentum manifests itself into overall happiness and resilience, encouraging individuals to take more risks despite the outcome. The process is charged by ability (self-efficacy), experience (self-confidence), and esteem.
There are ways to improve confidence with the help of positive psychology. The first is to take risks, although this appears like a difficult task, it can easily start to expand your comfort zone and thus building experience. Another option is to adjust your posture to appear taller as it helps foster a confident mindset. The most significant way to increase confidence is to be aware (mindful) of your thought process. Once an individual is aware, they will be able to correct their thought process transforming negative thoughts into positive ones.
Article by: Alexis Takagi
Burns, K. M., Burns, N. R., & Ward, L. (2016, April 18). Confidence-More a Personality or Ability Trait? It Depends on How It Is Measured: A Comparison of Young and Older Adults. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4834661/
Iso-Ahola, S. E., & Dotson, C. O. (2016, August 31). Psychological Momentum-A Key to Continued Success. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5006010/
Ravenscraft, E. (2019, June 4). Practical Ways to Improve Your Confidence (and Why You Should). Retrieved from
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