Confidence - A Complete Guide

by Clementine, 6th December 2020

What is self-confidence & self-esteem & self-efficacy?

When we talk about what is confidence, we are looking at three interchangeable but relevant terms, which are self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-efficacy.

Self-efficacy is the belief in your ability to handle what life throws your way and your belief in your ability to influence your situation and feeling like you are the agent of your own life - believing that you can change things when they're bad. 

In general, self-esteem has more to do with self-worth, which is a belief in your own worth and value as a human being, which helps give you high levels of self-esteem. Self-confidence is largely discussed as being about faith in your own skills and abilities to handle your day to day life, like right now.

One way to look at these elements of confidence is how they differ in tenses. Self-confidence is more about a present moment experience, whereas self-efficacy is looking to the future, knowing you can handle it. In a way, self-confidence links back to the past too, because your belief in your confidence to deal with things now is based on how well you've dealt with things from the past.

Causes of low self esteem

The causes of low self-esteem are idiosyncratic. But what's key to know here is that it isn't something you’re lumped with, it's something you have learnt. We can all learn how to build our self-esteem. In fact, improving your self-esteem is something you can do independently. In fact, if you do this, it will give you more self-esteem!

Your confidence comes from a variety of sources and you can boost both your self-esteem and confidence using some simple techniques. These can be internal mental factors or they can be a result of the environment you find yourself in, such as your work or social life.

If you think you've got self-doubt, low self-esteem or low confidence, you've learnt it somewhere along the way, which could be way back when or you might have got into the habit of it more recently. But either way, it's not an innate character trait.  

Like most things, different people with low self-esteem will have different causes for why their self-esteem isn't great. Some may have experienced past trauma which has led to low esteem, some may not have had good role models in their life or may not have been parented in a nurturing way. The list is endless.

Working on your self-esteem and confidence is important work because self-confidence has been consistently associated with better physical or mental health, better social lives, high levels of performance, higher job satisfaction and so on. What's key here is self-confidence is not an innate characteristic. It's not something that people are gifted with or people either have, believe it or don't. 

Equally, it's not dependent on how you look, what qualifications you have or other things that we like to pretend magically brings us confidence. This thinking pattern is something that we slip into all the time: "I'll just buy this new outfit, spend even more time on my fitness regime, I could just get that… that will help me" - which is not true. Rather, self-confidence is an ability. It's a skill that can be acquired and improved on over time. 

So if there's a little voice in your head saying right now: "I'm just not a competent person", then hear this and really hear it. Anybody can develop self-confidence, you included. In fact, a great way of looking at this is that if you believe that you're an unconfident person, that probably means that you're in the habit of practising self-doubt. So confidence, in a way, is a habit. Self-doubt is also a habit. 

Any of your habits will involve the way you act, the way you think, the way you feel on a routine basis, which become patterned in to your life and you repeat them regardless of whether or not they're real. So somebody with a problem with self-esteem or low confidence will just be in the habit of thinking: "I can't do this," even when they don't have any evidence for that at all. And most people will know somebody like that.


Building your confidence

There are a variety of techniques which help build confidence or boost self confidence - we use a range at Clementine. From our sleep sessions, which help place positive suggestions in your sleep routine, to our in-depth courses, which use multiple hypnotherapy techniques to help you tap into your self-confident, self-esteem and self-efficacy. 

Our Confidence Course is all about building self-confidence, and what we mean by that is a general belief in your own capacity to meet life's challenges and succeed in what you do. These can be useful if you consider yourself to have low self confidence or if you are looking for ways to feel more confident in general.

There are a variety of ways to help build confidence, and in our Confidence Course, we focus on the following areas and techniques to help provide you with the tools needed to boost your self-confidence, self-esteem and self-efficacy.

We start off our journey of building confidence by looking at building awareness around why you want to become more confident and the kind of confidence you want to embody to help build a more colourful image of what it might be like to be more confident. We also use techniques that pull on confident experiences and help you build awareness around these.

We then use anchoring techniques to help link positive experiences with an anchor which is practised and repeated to help you access these feelings more easily. Even those who have never felt that they are confident will be able to find an area of life where they do have confidence, and we help you find these situations through awareness.

We also teach about confident physiology, body language and scientifically backed postures that are proven to increase confidence.

We cover how to talk to yourself in a way to help inspire confidence and we wrap all of this into visualisations that provide tools and resources for you to utilise and practise regularly to help boost beliefs in yourself. 

Tip #1: Find Your Power Colour

Some confidence boosters appear to be universal. Studies have shown that people can experience higher levels of confidence when wearing the colour red, and even that athletes and sports teams score significantly higher when in a red strip. That’s a super useful tip. Wearing a red shirt or shoes... or just red nail varnish to your next presentation could make a difference. Or else, if red is not for you, perhaps there’s another colour that has always had a special kinda magic.

The article below discusses the role which colour plays on confidence and the different effects colours have on people with low self confidence as well as those who are already confident.

Which colour makes you more confident?


Tip #2: Habit Stacking

Habit stacking is when you identify existing habits as triggers or reminders to build (or stack) new habits on top of an old one. The idea is that modifying an existing routine is far more effective (and easier) than trying to build a brand new routine from scratch. Say for example you lack confidence before meetings at work. Simply write down what you do when this happens. From there, look for your triggers or reminders as a way to insert new, positive behaviours and habits to begin building a positive approach. 

For example, let’s say before your meeting you usually pop to the toilet and then head to the kitchen to make some coffee maker. You could do a sneaky short Confidence session while you go to the bathroom and then listen to a confidence-boosting podcast or check out your Mantras while you make the coffee. This is tapping into a habit that’s already ingrained (turning on the coffee maker or going to the toilet) as a trigger to add a new positive confidence-boosting action to your routine.

Tip #3: Be Prepared

You might already be clear on the areas of your life where you lack confidence. Try making a list of things that would help you to prepare better for that experience or occasion the next time it arises. It’s tempting to try and overhaul everything at once, but patience is key. 

Whether it’s about allowing more time and space surrounding the event in question or even having some bullet points, like your key messages, things you’d like to say or communicate in the situation. Having these to hand will give you something to refer to and will give you a boost to your confidence. 


Tip #4: Be Kind to Yourself

Words can have a subtle and impactful effect on your wellbeing. As the Emerson quote goes: “You are what you think all day long”. So keep a check on that inner voice and keep talking to yourself kindly. Talk to yourself as though you are talking to a much-loved friend. And use the Mantras section to tell yourself some supportive things – “all day long”.


Tip #5: Pen Power

Writing things down can have such a powerful and cathartic impact on our confidence and self-esteem. Worries or things you feel unconfident about feel better on the page. It’s a weight off. Also, when something is logged or written down, it improves clarity and adds in an extra layer of accountability, so you can review what’s going on without any confusion about what was supposed to happen. 

There’s been much research to show that journaling and getting thoughts down on paper is a great way to find out new insights about the things troubling us, plus it also acts as a way of processing the experience. The more you write about the thing that troubles you, the less emotional charge this troubling thing will carry. The result – more confidence and a greater sense of self-esteem.


Tip #6: Butterfly tapping

The “Butterfly Hug” also known as the “hug of self-love” is a form of bi-lateral stimulation used, originally, in a field of therapy called EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing). It’s used these days as a self-soothing technique in a number of therapies including hypnotherapy and NLP. 

While it’s often used for sufferers of PTSD, it can also be used in day-to-day situations for calming, grounding, lowering stress levels and coming back to the present moment. Plus, it’s great for a confidence boost. 

With the morning Mantras sessions in the Clementine App, we’re using the Butterfly Hug, partly, as a self-soothing hypnotic induction technique (the rhythm of the tapping can help people to quickly access a calm and focused state of mind). 

In addition, the technique can be a powerful way to anchor and process positive ideas, sensations and other resources. It’s for this reason that we’ve chosen to use the BH while Clementine listeners repeat the positive mantras listed in the morning sessions. 

It feels wonderful, like a relaxed self-cuddle, and can be used as a way of taking a time-out to reconnect with yourself when things feel difficult. It’s our hope that Clementine listeners will add the skill to the many others they learn using the app. 


Why does being confident matter?

Learning how to be confident is great, but let's look at why it's important to be self confident and how it can make you feel. 

Confidence matters because it can have an impact on how we feel about our lives, ourselves and others. It can help us step into our power. It enables us to feel brave and resilient, to face challenges and hurdles with greater ease. When we're confident, we're more likely to move forward with opportunities, whereas if we’re not feeling confident, we may avoid them. These factors in turn can help many people change aspects of their social lives, word lives and make sure they deal with situations in the best way.


How does confidence affect performance?

Confidence impacts our performance in many ways. If we enter into a situation with more confidence we’re more likely to achieve our goal, feel good about what we’re doing, feel good about ourselves – and others will notice too. Research shows that confidence enables us to perform better at tasks and skills. In terms of confidence, they found, regardless of their gender, that confident people tended to be more accurate. 

Source – study by Warwick University 


How does confidence affect our health?

When you’re feeling confident, you’re more likely to make better decisions and choices about your health. You are more likely to take care of yourself, get out and about more, be active and make healthier food choices. Confidence can also give you a positive outlook on life, increasing your mental and emotional wellbeing, which in turn will have a positive impact on your overall health.

In fact, feeling more confident can help increase your boost health and becoming more healthy can help you boost your self confidence! So it's a win-win. 

Increasing your self confidence to improve your health - success consciousness


Is over confidence a problem?

While here at Clementine we focus on helping people become more confident, it is possible to be over confident, which in turn can lead to negative experiences both socially and in terms of achieving goals. Over confidence may make people believe they have skills and knowledge which they do not possess. As a result, negative personality traits such as arrogance and being self-centred may come across. Rather than this confidence being an asset, it may begin to clash with other confident people. Being overconfident could also lead to losing money from poor financial decisions or wasting energy on an idea that would never work in reality.


How Clementine can help boost your confidence

We have sleep sessions that include confidence boosting suggestions and sessions that help you to think about how you could use a feeling of calm relaxation in your day. This helps you train in confident thoughts repeatedly as you go to bed in a nice, easy time.

We also have our Pick Me Ups, which will help you feel more confident in the moment, and our in-depth Confidence course, which uses more techniques to help you work through your feelings of low confidence and how to build up confidence.

We’re big believers of having good morning and evening routines as a container for your day. By repeatedly using the Mantra session in the morning, and a hypnotherapy sleep session in the evening, for example, you give your mind solid boundaries to work within: your day begins after your morning mantras and it ends when you put your headphones in at night.

So long as you’re not prone to waking up and working on your laptop at 2am (which we strongly recommend you avoid, fyi), this kind of routine can train your brain to fully switch off at night to rest and rejuvenate. By starting with a Clementine recording, you’re reminding your own mind that you prioritise self-love, self-care, calm and confidence.


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