What does it mean to be confident?

by | Oct 20, 2021 | Emotional Intelligence

What does it mean to be confident?  

After hearing the best definition of confidence from the leader of a virtual retreat I was recently on. He said confidence is to ‘con-fide’. He went on to say that to ‘con-fide in yourself’ or to ‘con-fide in others’ requires you to be vulnerable, to acknowledge how you are feeling, or hold the space for others to be honest also.

So much of what I do is helping people build confidence so I thought this would be a great question to pose in our latest luminous coffee club.

I thought I’d share some of the insights and ideas that came out in the conversation in the hope that they are helpful to you:

How has the current environment impacted your confidence?

  • Over the past 18 months, we have latched onto things for fear of scarcity and uncertainty, it can be hard to ‘confide’ unless you close out the noise and create the space to do it


  • It can be hard to confide in ourselves when we’re feeling so disconnected especially if we’re concerned about what the future holds, it can be difficult to listen to your gut and feel confident in the decisions you are making when life is so up in the air


  • Feeling so isolated and not having friends around you to confide in can impact our trust in ourselves and increase the fear of failure right now


  • Sometimes it feels like you’ve got to trust in yourself first to feel like you can then trust in others


What does it take to build confidence?

  • COVID has made me rethink what confidence means – historically it’s meant making independent decisions and just going with my gut but now I’ve flipped that to lean into others, to help me reach my destination. This has been about being vulnerable enough to say, you know what, I’m probably not going to get to the best solution by myself so who are the people that I need to bring in? This has helped build my confidence and others have fed back they have loved being a sounding board.


  • You have to tell it to yourself ‘to be confident’ before you can tell it to others. Sometimes you have to challenge yourself to reach out and invite people to hang out. One business colleague was leaving so I asked her to go out to dinner the next month – we’ve been catching up every month for four years and I was shocked that she wanted to be my friend. I had to be honest with myself and then have the confidence that people would respond well to me asking.


  • On the opposite end of the spectrum, we can be all about our friends and feel sad if we can’t connect or be there for them all, but you have to create some permission to also make time for yourself.


  • I know a lot of people, but not all are deep connections – the last 12 months highlighted for me that it wasn’t actually helping my confidence to know these people instead I’ve been thinking about who I want to create deeper connections with to be able to have more meaningful conversations. This made me realize people genuinely care and I’m worth caring about which built my confidence.


It starts with confiding in yourself first 

The overall theme bubbling is; creating some space to honesty confide in yourself. When we do this, we can then turn this outward and actively think about ‘who do I need to confide in?’ We’ve all become a bit insular due to being restricted to our LGAs. If you are reading this perhaps, you’re game to think about:


Who do you want to reach out and connect to about where you are at? 

I invite you to see what happens to your confidence when you do this. (I’d love to hear, please email me if you do this and are happy to share)


I also invite you to have a crack at our closing reflection exercise if you want to have a play?

Ask yourself:

“I feel stronger when you…”   

Take a moment to tune into your answer and see how it feels, perhaps it just might have the power for you to connect with your sense of confidence today.

If you want to join our next Luminous Coffee Break conversation sign up to receive emails as to when we’re hosting the next one. Click here to subscribe.


To your health and happiness,

Clare Robinson,
Founder & Head Coach, CLARETY

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