In this video I’ll define it correctly so that you’re never left in any doubt again about what it is and how it’s achieved.

 I’m also going to critique a definition of confidence from a TED Talk, and offer you a much more simple and effective way forward.

 And I’ll share with you my ‘triangle of confidence’ to identify three things that can help you build and reclaim your confidence; The Three ‘C’s.

 I know about this stuff because I’ve had to rebuild my own confidence, virtually from scratch as a young man.

 I went from doing my school exams in a room on my own because of panic attacks to lecturing internationally and speaking on the radio to 80,000 listeners about one of the deepest topics known to man.


 I’ve been teaching confidence for over ten years now and my obsession with accuracy of personal development terms allowed me to arrive at a reliable, elegant and robust definition of it.


The first thing we need to do is get clear on what confidence ISN’T.

That starts with the obvious observation that confidence isn’t competence. If it were, two things would be true;

ONE: You’d have to gain competence in every field of endeavour that life has to offer in order to be a confident person.

AND TWO: Competence in a given field would be a guarantee that you’d feel confident every day.

We’ve seen self-confident people be confident in themselves even when they’re not in control of a given situation or competence. And we’ve seen even the greats lose confidence, in such things as sports and music.

You will have experienced both of these for yourself, too, no doubt, because confidence and competence are different things.

  1. What is Confidence?

So what is confidence?

I said I’d critique a definition of confidence from a TED Talk, and it’s this one by Dr. Ivan Joseph in about 2012. He says;

“I use the definition of self-confidence to be the ability or the belief to believe in yourself to accomplish any task…”

It’s easy enough for us to do a thought experiment to see if this definition holds up under examination.

The essence of this viewpoint is that you have no limits, but is that reality?

If you can jump three metres and you’re at the top of the Grand Canyon looking at a five metre gap, you can either acknowledge to yourself that you can’t make the distance, or you can kid yourself that you can, try and fall to your death.

A mundane example works just as well: You have a dozen things to get for your child’s birthday party and maybe there isn’t time to get all of them.

So we can see that a capacity to be clear with ourselves about what we can do and what we can’t do becomes very relevant very quickly.

Confidence isn’t about telling yourself you can do it, it’s about being honest with yourself about WHETHER you can do it. …and WHETHER you want to.

We need to move beyond this whole “You can do it”, “You’ve got this” culture. You need to be free to be honest with yourself in those moments when you haven’t got this.

And this means ridding yourself of the judgement that “should” xyz, …whatever it is. …that you should be able to do this or that.

Judgementalism is unreality, as I say. So if we’re assessing reality as the basis of our confidence, we need to stop buying into the trap of self-judgement.

When I’m coaching, I don’t tell people “they’ve got this”, I ask them if they have.

And even if they say ‘Yes’, I’m still looking at their facial expressions and body language to see if they’re congruent.

Every great sports person has delivered their greatness by being honest with themselves about what they CANNOT do, in virtually every second of their careers.

And of course this is the same for all other fields of greatness, and, also, for the rest of us in the ordinary moments of our lives.

So while that TED Talk defined self-confidence as “the ability or the belief to believe in yourself to accomplish any task”, here’s my definition;

“Confidence is the ability to confide in yourself!”

…the clue is in the word. Confidence is about confiding. In its essence, confidence is about your self-honesty.

In short, the reason it’s possible for us to lack confidence is because we can lie to ourselves.

You might also want to ask yourself why you’re not feeling confident. Do you really want to do the thing? If something’s in your heart, you’ll tend to achieve it. If it’s just in your head, you probably won’t.

This is fundamental, because being true to yourself is the basis of self-confiding.

And so any time you’re not feeling confident, you can ask yourself what you’re not being honest with yourself about!

Another important point to recognise, then, is that confidence can’t be defined by any surface appearance or behaviour. It’s an internal state of consciousness.


Now, what if we returned to that TED Talk definition of confidence to see if we can prise out the heart of its message?

It seems to me the point it sought to make was that we don’t short-change ourselves with regard to our potential and what we ARE capable of.

Well, if we’re not acknowledging to ourselves the full extent of our potential and passions, we’re not confiding in ourselves, and that’s not confidence, either.

So what we can realise there is that this particular concern is a SUBSET of the definition of confidence as the ability to confide in yourself!

That stands to reason, right? Because as well as being honest with ourselves when we CAN’T, we might be honest with ourselves about when we CAN.

  1. The Triangle of Confidence

So what’s my triangle of confidence?

Well, I selected three things which you can focus on to help you build and reclaim confidence. The first is conscience.

And I’ll share with you Colin Turner’s definitive insightful quote on the nature of conscience.

Conscience is misunderstood, because we’ve been given a false definition of it, leading most people to see it as something that’s there to stop our fun or make us behave like saints and angels.

But conscience just means your own knowing. The etymology of it is that it comes from the Latin con science, ‘with knowing’; or ‘with knowledge’.

And as Zach Rehder says; “Trust your own knowing!”

So conscience and confidence are the same thing! All you have to do is rid yourself of the false relationship to conscience that you will have picked up along the way.

Oh yes, the Colin Turner quote; This is a goodun. I love this. “When you have a fight with your conscience, and get beaten, you win.”

…’cos it’s you, it’s your truth. And if it’s not your truth, that’s not your true conscience, that’s just your conditioned, false conscience.

  1. The next part of the triangle is being conscious; exercising and honing your conscious awareness.

As Peter Rangar said in our conversation video; “Being conscious… is your answer!”

Consciousness is just a posh word for noticing. The task here is to notice – recognise – when you’re not feeling confident, then you can do something about it to turn it around.

As I said, you can ask yourself what you’re not being honest with yourself about. This involves replacing a belief with awareness.

A lot of definitions of confidence say that it is about belief. Confidence has got nothing to do with belief. It’s about awareness! Awareness of reality. Awareness of what’s real.

I could hold the belief that it’s sunny outside, but if it’s actually raining my picnic’s going to get wet.

  1. And the third part of the triangle is choice.

You can recognise the difference between the illusion of choice, when you’re reacting to other people’s demands that you seek their approval, and your own genuine choice.

The latter is an expression of Love Consciousness, whilst the seeking the approval of others is an expression of Fear Consciousness.

By practicing observing your own nature when you’re in Love Consciousness and your state when you’re in Fear Consciousness, you can confide in yourself as to whether something is actually your genuine choice.

The mere recognition that something isn’t your genuine choice starts the process of returning confidence to you.

So we now have a correct understanding of what confidence is and how to get it.


But whilst confidence is the ability to confide in yourself, the underlying biggest key to all of that is the ability to face all your emotions, thoughts and feelings, which very, very rare few people have mastered.

Fortunately, I can help with that.

So check out this video on how to have emotional freedom and face everything with total confidence.

Kissing Consciousness, Potten End, Herts, HP4 2SH. United Kingdom


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