November 12, 2019
What is a trait that gives you optimism and helps you to set and achieve your goals with a calmness and hope?
Most of us like to be confident and it’s an admirable trait for goal achievement, self esteem, and better relationships.
But in our success driven world it’s easy to think we need to feel confident all the time. We then risk seeing our vulnerability and weaknesses as a sign of poor confidence.
We all have weaknesses, bad days, and things that trigger negative emotions from time to time. So we need a way to live with these facets of ourselves, and at the same time remain hopeful and confident that we can grow and succeed in our dreams and goals.
This week I want to encourage you. Weakness and vulnerability co-exist with confidence. This type of confidence comes alive when we are realistic about ourselves and what we are good at.
In a world emphasising self-focused happiness, we might think we should feel joy all the time to make great decisions. But research here shows the downside to a joyful mood in approaching a task. They found when people feel joy, this can lead to overconfidence and mistakes. On the other hand, when the participants of the study engaged in reflection of their mood, they exhibited a more balanced and realistic approach to a task because they were able to limit the impact of their mood on the job at hand.
There is a difference between realistic confidence and overconfidence.
Overconfidence is described as a self -enhancement process of seeing ourselves as better than reality might suggest. Whereas realistic confidence is awareness of our strengths and weaknesses and confidently expressing these in our words and actions 
We need self- knowledge and awareness to behave confidently in a way that is congruent with our strengths, weaknesses and values.
Self knowledge is defined in the research as “accurate self beliefs” and the researchers here found this leads to better relationships and life .
When we think about our success in goals, work, and home life, our goals often relate to career success, a happy family or personal life. Knowing ourselves helps us to choose goals linked to our capacities and values.
Confidence and vulnerability co-exist when we are are realistic about ourselves. Knowing our vulnerabilities is a sign of self knowledge, leading to better relationships and a richer life. We don’t have to be overconfident and indestructible women because when we know ourselves and accept ourselves as confident women with vulnerabilities, we live authentic and balanced lives. We can expect the ebbing tide of success and setbacks that are part of normal life.
 Koellinger P, Treffers T (2015) Joy Leads to Overconfidence, and a Simple Countermeasure. PLoS ONE 10(12): e0143263. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0143263
 Tenney ER, Vazire S, Mehl MR (2013) This Examined Life: The Upside of Self-Knowledge for Interpersonal Relationships. PLOS ONE 8(7): e69605. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0069605
Pitch your tent, grab a drink and meet us by the campfire as we catch up on what it means to explore the wilderness of our wellness challenges.
When you join, you’ll receive the Campfire self-care ebook for free. Then each month you’ll get a love letter and exclusive field notes on living with hope, resilience and purpose.
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I’m the creator of Minutes to Happy and your go-to counsellor and wellness coaching companion.
I’m here to guide you in becoming your bravest self (no matter what wellness worries and chronic health challenges are plonked in your path).