I was talking to my daughter yesterday and I asked her what she thought confidence was. My daughter is by all accounts a reasonably confident young woman.
Her first thought was that no one is actually “confident” all day long. She said everyone is situationally confident.
What does that mean? She explained it like this:
If you ask a coder to give a Tedtalk about coding, they might be nervous about public speaking and not be confident in that regard. But, no matter what, they are going to be confident in coding.
Now ask that same coder to give a Tedtalk about dog grooming, and then they instantly become unconfident about everything.
I asked her about herself: does she think she is confident?
Her answer; most of the time. She is confident in the things she knows, like the things she studied for her French test the other day.
But- her next example showed me something else. She did moot court competitions throughout high school and continued into college. Briefly, moot court is similar to arguing in front of the Supreme Court. You and your partner plead your side of a case to a panel of judges, and another team pleads the opposite side. She spends a lot of time prepping for these, and feels mainly confident entering a competition. But sometimes the judge will ask her a question that she has absolutely no idea how to answer.
At that moment she begins to lose confidence in her ability.
She says that she has become really good at stating things in a confident manner. She has enough skills in her toolbox to push her through the parts of life that she feels are out of her depth. But this does not mean that she felt confident at that moment.
She says after a competition the first thing people say to her is that her confidence is what got her through the round.
So that’s the explanation of someone who appears confident, yet doesn’t feel it. Fake it till you make it.
I asked her to describe what makes someone confident. Instead of a laundry list of adjectives, she said confidence comes down to one thing:
She said it is impossible to be confident if you are not resilient. Confidence is the ability to screw up, lose, embarrass yourself, whatever, yet still get up and do it again.
You can’t be resilient without confidence, you can’t be confident without resilience.
what say ye about my daughter’s theory?