Forget everything you think you know about confidence


That illusive state that we all desperately hunt and crave

The most unshakable and powerful of all human traits that signifies to us that we’ve made it. 

Confidence is indeed important and valuable but it needn’t be worshipped like a god of human attributes.

I believe that there are other values such as kindness and authenticity that warrant a higher ranking. 

Not only that but true confidence is different from what you might think.

Many people who you may describe as confident may not actually be embodying that state at all. 

The qualities that we often associate with confidence are actually more often indicators of a personality type called extroversion instead.

For those of you that don’t know about personality types, an extrovert is essentially someone that enjoys being around other people rather than being alone.

They may come across as loud and chatty in social situations. We champion extraversion in the West.

Introverts on the other hand are more interested in their own experiences and feelings and can be more retiring in social situations. 

This personality type tends to be more valued in Eastern cultures. 

We are bombarded by the media with  constant messages that extroversion is king. 

You only have to look at the majority of celebrities, particularly on these reality TV shows to understand that extroversion is being promoted as the more desired personality type if you want to succeed in life.

And the link seems to be that extroverts by definition are confident.

However that’s simply not true.

Very often the person that is doing everything they can be attract attention to themselves is doing so because deep down inside they are in fact the very opposite of confident.

Their efforts to attract attention and interaction are often driven by fear, self doubt and the need for constant validation. 

It is a mistake to think that those people that are not shouting from the rooftops or roaring with laughter at parties lack confidence.

Introverts can indeed be confident and in fact many times demonstrate authentic confidence.

Authentic confidence is a quiet self assuredness.

It’s not a ramped up state of bouncing off the walls and talking incessantly often about their achievements in an unnecessarily raised voice. 

It is a state of being comfortable with who you are and what you are capable of without the need for external validation.

It is a state that is strongly linked to other values such as integrity, wisdom and above all authenticity. 

it is certainly not a state reserved only for extroverts.

Both introverts and extroverts can attain this state.

So the next time you feel the need to be the loudest person in the room in an attempt to demonstrate confidence, remember that there is another and more authentic route. 

Khody Damestani