Your recent performance hasn’t been stellar, and it might even have cost you a promotion. Then again, has anyone told you for a fact that you were lined up for advancement? Is there even a position waiting to be filled?
People generally know when they do good and when they do bad, but there are plenty of exceptions. Often are the times when the illusion of failure affects our decision-making, and the illusion of success empowers us to fare much better than we’d expected. In short, success and failure that hasn’t occurred yet is just in our head. Which makes choosing what you believe very important, so long as you are aware of what you are doing. According to Dilbert author Scott Adams, “Confidence is similar to will power in the sense that neither of them exists and yet society is quite certain they do.”
Confidence influences decision making
To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence
– Mark Twain
Ignorance isn’t something I’d recommend practicing, but appearing confident is. Confidence gives off a positive vibe that cause others to trust you more with your actions and what you have to say. Their feedback helps build even more confidence in you, and it’s been scientifically proven that confident people handle decision making with great aplomb. Adams shares an example involving a quarterback which I found particularly noteworthy:
“A quarterback might imagine himself able to throw the perfect pass 100% of the time in order to succeed half of the time. He would be using confidence as a useful illusion because it keeps his energy in balance after some bad misses. … The quarterback [is] just using a trick to pump up his performance. Otherwise he’d feel like a failure for completing only half of his passes.”
There are drugs that supposedly help you fend off anxiety and build confidence. Benzodiazepines are a type of medication used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and a range of other conditions. However, drugs usually do nothing more except supplement what the body fails to obtain and / or produce naturally. In the case of anxiety, people can (and should) try to tweak themselves.
Not to be confused with arrogance
Confidence: a state of being certain either that a hypothesis or prediction is correct or that a chosen course of action is the best or most effective
Self-confidence: having confidence in oneself
Arrogance / hubris: having unmerited confidence—believing something or someone is capable or correct when they are not
Overconfidence / presumptuousness: the excessive belief in someone (or something) succeeding, without any regard for failure
Confidence may well be a self-fulfilling prophecy because those who exercise it take more shots. Generating your own temporary illusion of confidence is okay as long as you are aware (not necessarily knowledgeable) of what you are doing.
One way we’re helping everyone feel confident in what they do is provide intuitive communication & collaboration tools that make life at the office not just easier, but fun and productive. High morale makes teams and individual people productive, which leads to everyone scoring better, raising confidence levels company-wide. We’ve tested it and it works 😉