confident woman left arm straight up on a mountain with a cloudy sunset background

Is Confidence an Emotion? Explore the Skills of Being Confident

"Confidence isn't merely about feeling good, it's about believing in oneself even when the world says otherwise." - Bayu Prihandito

Key Takeaways

  • Confidence, in its essence, is a complex combination of self-belief, skills, and attitude, significantly influencing our daily actions and decisions.
  • While confidence is rooted in our emotions and perception, developing Emotional Intelligence (EQ) can enhance and stabilize our self-assuredness.
  • Overconfidence can lead to pitfalls; hence it's crucial to maintain a balanced sense of self-awareness and self-worth.

Ah, confidence! A trait so desired, yet often elusive. The embodiment of swagger, the wind beneath our wings, the pep in our step. But ever paused to wonder what it really represents? Is it a fleeting emotion, a permanent state, or perhaps a skill we develop over time? Where does confidence reside, in the heart, or perhaps, the mind?

Is Confidence an Emotion?

two confident people overlooking mountains arms straight up in the air victory

When we say "emotion", we're typically referring to those complex psychological states induced by neurophysiological changes—often a result of external stimuli. Emotions, like joy, anger, and sadness, are reactive. They rise and fall, often on a whim, in response to life's roller coaster of experiences.

Confidence, on the other hand, seems to play a different tune. If you've ever felt confident about, say, presenting in front of a crowd, it wasn’t merely a spur-of-the-moment emotion. It was a culmination of experiences, practice, and a deep-seated belief in your abilities. Can such a profound, rooted feeling truly be termed an 'emotion'?

Renowned psychologists and behavioral experts, such as Dr. Carol Dweck, hint at confidence being more aligned with mindset than a transient emotion. It’s not just about feeling good. It's an internal belief system, one that you cultivate and nourish over time. For instance, you're not born with the knowledge of how to ride a bike, but after those initial falls and stumbles, once you get the hang of it, a certain sense of confidence emerges. This confidence isn't merely a by-product of success but is woven intricately with perseverance, resilience, and belief.

Moreover, confidence can sometimes run counter to our immediate emotions. Ever been in a situation where you felt nervous or anxious, yet deep down, there was a voice saying, “You got this!”? That's confidence, contradicting and overriding a fleeting emotion, acting like an anchor amidst turbulent seas.

In today's digital age, with emotional intelligence being touted as the new IQ, confidence and emotions often dance in tandem, with those with high EQ often display greater self-confidence. It's a fascinating interplay, one that showcases confidence not as a mere emotion but as a beautiful blend of belief, skill, and emotional resilience.

Understanding Confidence

word confidence highlighted in pink in a dictionnary

Confidence is an intricate emotion, often misunderstood or oversimplified. In our quest to truly grasp its essence, let's dive deeper into its definition, its sources, and the interplay between feeling confident and being confident.


At its core, confidence is the belief in oneself and one's abilities. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, confidence is "a feeling of self-assurance arising from an appreciation of one's abilities or qualities." Unlike transient emotions like joy or sadness, confidence is more of a steadfast belief, acting as the foundation upon which we build our actions and decisions.

Sources of Confidence

Confidence doesn't emerge in a vacuum. It's cultivated through various factors that play pivotal roles in shaping our self-belief:

  • Experience and Mastery: Just as a musician gains confidence with each performance, our experiences and mastery in a particular field bolster our self-assurance. The repeated act, whether it's public speaking, writing, or even cooking, polishes our skills and solidifies our belief in our abilities.
  • Positive Feedback: It's undeniable that when our efforts are recognized and appreciated, it boosts our confidence, elevates our performance and self-belief.
  • Internal Dialogues: The conversations we have with ourselves significantly influence our confidence levels. Positive self-talk can reinforce our self-worth, while constant self-criticism can erode it.
  • Physiological Factors: Ever noticed how a straight posture or a genuine smile can uplift your mood? There’s a body-mind connection that influences our confidence. Body language, hormonal levels, and even physical fitness can play a role in our perception of self-worth.

    The Difference Between Feeling Confident and Being Confident

    At first, feeling confident and being confident might seem synonymous. However, a closer look reveals a nuanced difference:

    Feeling ConfidentShort-term confidence often triggered by external factors like compliments or a favorite outfit. It's emotional and can easily change.
    Being ConfidentLong-term, stable belief in one's abilities. It's less affected by external factors and is built on skills and past achievements.

    How Emotions and Confidence Intertwine

    Confidence is often at the intersection of our emotional landscape, acting both as an outcome of certain emotions and a catalyst for others. Understanding this intricate relationship between confidence and emotions can provide insightful perspectives on human behavior and personal growth.

    In a study published by the American Psychological Association, it was found that individuals who exhibited high levels of positive emotions (like joy, gratitude, and contentment) were more likely to report feeling confident. Conversely, those with increased negative emotions such as anxiety and sadness were more likely to express lower levels of confidence.

    Furthermore, in organizational settings, a survey by Gallup revealed that employees who felt valued and recognized were 2.6 times more likely to say they feel confident in their roles. This data underlines the undeniable tie between our emotional state and our levels of confidence.

    Experts' Opinions on the Topic

    "Confidence isn't a state of being, it's a state of action. And our actions are invariably influenced by our emotions."

    Dr. Susan David, a renowned psychologist and author of "Emotional Agility," opines that emotions and confidence are deeply intertwined. When we feel positive emotions, it becomes a reinforcing cycle – the positive feelings boost our confidence, which in turn leads to more positive actions and outcomes.

    "Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen."

    On the other hand, Dr. Brene Brown, an expert in vulnerability and courage, points out that even negative emotions can sometimes be a path to genuine confidence. Experiencing emotions like fear or doubt and then overcoming them can lead to a more authentic and resilient form of confidence.

    Emotional Intelligence and Confidence

    hand holding four wooden cubes written EQ and IQ related to confidence

    Emotional Intelligence has emerged as a crucial aspect of personal and professional success in today's world. It goes beyond traditional measures of intelligence and considers our ability to recognize, understand, and manage our emotions and those of others. The relationship between EQ and confidence is particularly noteworthy, drawing attention to the concept of 'emotional capital'.

    Definition of Emotional Intelligence

    Daniel Goleman, a renowned psychologist, defines Emotional Intelligence as the ability to recognize our own emotions and those of others, to differentiate between different feelings and label them appropriately, and to use this EQ to guide our thinking and behavior. It involves four primary components:

    • Self-Awareness: Recognizing and understanding our own emotions.
    • Self-Management: The ability to regulate and control our emotions, especially in difficult situations.
    • Social Awareness: Understanding and recognizing the emotions of others.
    • Relationship Management: The ability to establish and maintain healthy relationships with others.

    How Emotional Intelligence Impacts Confidence

    Emotional intelligence, when harnessed correctly, becomes a significant source of what experts term 'emotional capital'. Dr. Martyn Newman, a clinical psychologist and author of "Emotional Capitalists," describes emotional capital as the reservoir of emotional resources a person can call upon to effectively navigate life's challenges. It's akin to financial capital, but in the realm of emotions.

    Here's how EQ can boost confidence:

    Improved Self-awarenessKnowing your emotions and triggers helps you anticipate your reactions, boosting self-confidence.
    Better Decision MakingHigh EQ helps balance logic and emotion in decisions, leading to better outcomes and more confidence.
    Robust RelationshipsEffective relationship management reduces conflicts and improves social confidence.
    ResilienceHigh EQ individuals recover from setbacks more quickly, reinforcing self-belief.

    Confidence and Emotion: Dissecting the Connection

    The Nature of Confidence

    Is confidence an emotion? This question has captured the minds of many. Confidence, at its core, represents a belief in oneself. It's that inner voice whispering, "I can do this." This state of mind doesn't align directly with traditional definitions of emotions like joy, sadness, or anger. Instead, confidence feels like something a little more grounded. It’s not just a fleeting state – it's a mindset developed over time.

    "Confidence is not an emotion you just feel; it's an experience you cultivate." - Bayu Prihandito

    How Emotions Shape Our Confidence

    Diving deeper, our emotions play a great role in shaping our perception of self-confidence, either good and bad, they provide a lens through which we view our abilities. A person who often feels positive will naturally have a sunnier outlook on their skills and achievements. But life is not always a straight path. There are times where setbacks make us question our capabilities. This is where EQ comes in handy.

    A robust EQ helps us navigate these feelings. It aids in recognizing when our emotional state is influencing our sense of confidence. By understanding one’s feelings, one can set them aside and approach situations with a clear mind. This doesn't negate emotions but gives them a rightful place in our decision-making process.

    Is Self-Confidence a Skill or an Attitude?

    various tools on a table for DIY as a skill

    Self-confidence is often a term tossed around in personal development spaces, but what truly defines it? Is it a skill one hones over time, or is it an inherent attitude that shapes our worldview?

    Exploring Self-confidence Definitions

    At its core, self-confidence is the belief in one's abilities to achieve a goal. It is an assurance in oneself, one's powers, or abilities. It's a positive belief that in the future one can generally accomplish what one wishes to do.

    Skill vs. Attitude: The Debate

    The question arises: if confidence is about belief in one's abilities, then is it something we learn (a skill) or something we adopt as a mindset (an attitude)?

    Self ConfidenceDescription
    SkillSome say self-confidence can be developed through practice, much like a skill. For example, public speaking can improve with consistent effort, showcasing confidence as a learned ability.
    AttitudeOthers argue it's an attitude shaped by your mindset. People with a "growth mindset" embrace challenges, boosting their inherent confidence. This attitude shapes how one approaches uncertainties.

    While it's a nuanced debate, most situations indicate that self-confidence is a blend of both. It's a skill because we can develop it through practice and exposure. Yet, it's also an attitude because our deep-seated beliefs about our capabilities significantly influence our actions and reactions.

    The Two Sides of Confidence

    The PositiveConfidence can be empowering, allowing people to take calculated risks and seize opportunities. This can lead to professional advancements, deeper and more fulfilling personal connections, and an overall sense of well-being. Additionally, confident behavior often inspires others, creating a ripple effect of self-belief within a community.
    The NegativeWhile confidence has its merits, overconfidence can be a downside. It might lead to poor decisions, such as underestimating challenges or assuming one is always right. This can result in both personal and professional setbacks. Furthermore, excessive confidence can sometimes come across as arrogance, which might alienate others and hinder relationship building.

    Final Thoughts

    Confidence, though intangible, has tangible effects on our life. It's an intricate balance of self-belief, skills, and attitude. Recognizing its role and consciously cultivating it can lead to transformative changes in multiple facets of our existence.

    At Life Architekture, we understand the nuances of self-confidence, guiding individuals in tapping into their true potential. With our unique offerings and expertise, we aim to bridge the gap between potential and achievement, laying the foundations for a brighter, more confident future.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is confidence?

    Confidence refers to a belief or conviction in oneself, one's abilities, or a particular outcome. It's an individual's assurance and trust in their capabilities to handle situations, express their thoughts, or take on challenges.

    How does emotional intelligence relate to confidence?

    Emotional intelligence involves recognizing, understanding, and managing our emotions and those of others. High emotional intelligence aids in understanding one's self-worth, navigating social intricacies, and handling criticisms—factors that directly boost confidence.

    Why can overconfidence be detrimental?

    Overconfidence can lead to a lack of preparation, underestimating challenges, or overlooking crucial information. It can result in errors in judgment and potentially harm relationships if perceived as arrogance.

    Is there a difference between self-confidence and confidence?

    While they're often used interchangeably, self-confidence generally refers to belief in oneself and one's abilities, while confidence can also encompass trust in an external outcome or another individual.

    How can I build my confidence?

    Building confidence is a journey that involves self-awareness, challenging oneself, learning from failures, celebrating successes, seeking feedback, and continuously enhancing skills and knowledge.