Why Success Doesn’t Always Build Confidence


Confidence is like a balloon, when it’s full we can float through challenges and difficult situations with poise and effective performance, but what happens if the balloon bursts?

Possessing high self-confidence is an essential part of good performance and anyone who takes their performance seriously will be on the look out for ways to build their confidence. One thing that many people cite as being a fundamental element of self-confidence, is success. Whilst success is certainly important, it is necessary to understand that success does not always build confidence.

Increases in self-confidence are dependent on how success is interpreted and processed by the individual. If a success is considered to have been too easy, or accomplished with help, or attributed to being lucky, then little or no gain in confidence will follow. It is also possible that if a success comes at a highly taxing price (e.g. taking too much time, resources or effort) then the individual may not have the confidence to sustain further effort. It is therefore possible that the most successful people are not the most confident people. It is also quite common for inexperienced people to lack confidence because they focus too much on their weaknesses and  tend to only remember their failures.

It’s important to realise that the type of success that builds confidence is “earned success“. That is success that people have achieved through their own efforts. Efforts that haven’t been too easy or too physically or mentally taxing.


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Image credit: Hartwig HKG

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