10 Myths About Confidence

10 Myths About Confidence

Since I started the Executive Impressions blog, I’ve had many readers contact me asking about the same thing: confidence. How do you get it? How can you get more of it? It seems that confidence is something many feel they don’t have enough of.

But I’ve also found that there are a lot of misconceptions or myths associated with confidence. When people start to believe these myths, confidence can begin to appear unattainable.

In this post I want to share with you 10 myths that I have discovered about confidence. I hope by sharing these myths with you, confidence will feel more attainable for you.

1. You Have to Be Born Confident

Wrong. Nobody is born confident. Confidence is something you develop as you go through life. Confronting challenging situations, pushing your boundaries and doing things that you never thought you’d be able to do, all breed confidence inside of you.

2. When Women Are Confident, They’re Pushy and Bossy

Wrong. Unfortunately, this is a fear for many women. But there are ways you can still project confidence as well as understanding, likability, and femininity. Using techniques that I teach my clients, there are ways to be confident as well as elegant.

3. Men Naturally Appear Confident

Wrong. I’ve had quite a few e-mails from male clients and readers of the Executive Impressions blog asking how they can project more confidence and executive presence in the office. Men can suffer from self-doubt and hesitancy, as well as women. We’re all human at the end of the day.

4. You Have to Be an Extrovert to Be Confident

Wrong. Being an extrovert doesn’t always mean you’re confident. You can be a shy extrovert, just as you can be a confident introvert. In fact, most of us are somewhere in between an introvert and extrovert. Being an extrovert simply means that you draw your energy from external sources. You feel more energetic when you’re around others.

5. Confident People Are Arrogant

Wrong. There are ways to project confidence and authority without coming off as arrogant. The problem usually arises when people think they have to boast about their achievements and life to appear confident to others. But in reality, it’s when you put yourself and your life to the side, and focus on the other person instead that you look more confident, and likeable.

6. You Have to Take Big Risks

Wrong. Confidence can come with taking small risks or big risks. It’s all related to pushing the barriers of your comfort zone and doing things that are new for you. If you don’t often step outside of your comfort zone, then striking up a conversation with somebody new at work might be a big enough risk for you to feel more confident. If you often step outside of your comfort zone, then something that pushes your boundaries a little more, such as booking a parachute ride, will work better for you.

7. You Have to Be Successful to Be Confident

Wrong. Confidence must be with you on your journey to success. If you don’t have enough confidence in yourself to achieve your goals or dreams in life, then chances are you won’t reach them. Believe in yourself, always.

8. You Have to Like Public Speaking to Be Confident

Wrong. You don’t have to like public speaking to be confident. There are many confident people who don’t like public speaking. Barbara Streisand is one of them. She famously suffers from stage fright and was classed by Susan Cain in her book Quiet as a shy extrovert. If you prepare enough in advance, I guarantee you’ll be able to step on that stage.

9. You Have to Be the Life of the Party to Be Confident

Wrong. In fact, when you come across somebody who is loud and outgoing, they’re most likely trying to hide their insecurities. Confidence isn’t all about being the most talkative person in the room. It’s about feeling comfortable in your own skin, and being happy with the choices you’ve made in your life.

10. You Can’t Fake Confidence

Wrong. I believe you can fake confidence. As Amy Cuddy explains in her TED talk, when you adopt powerful postures for 2 minutes it can actually increase your level of testosterone, decrease your level of cortisol, and make you feel more confident, powerful, and less stressed. Basically, if you believe you’re capable, the more you will be.

10 Myths About Confidence

Image courtesy of Jennifer Kumar/Flickr.com under Creative Commons Licence. No changes were made to this image.

Now I want to hear from you. Which myth resonates with you the most?

About Kara

Kara Ronin is the founder of Executive Impressions. She is an executive coach who specialises in leadership presence, social skills and business etiquette. She is also the creator of Bestselling Udemy course, Business Etiquette 101. Kara’s advice and unique perspectives have been featured in Time Inc., Business Insider, Ignites Europe (a Financial Times Service), The Muse, The Local France, The West Australian, and more. Kara works regularly with lawyers, investment bankers, and finance professionals to help them build presence, authority and influence in business. Get Kara's insights delivered straight to your inbox

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