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One of the best insights about that I've come across about confidence is that, in order to become more confident, we must learn and commit to avoid saying anything that is not the truth. And, by truth, here I mean that which is beyond any doubt (to the best of your current knowledge and ability). If you only say that which you believe to be true and avoid at all cost that which you deem doubtful, than your confidence will improve and stronger. Confidence is a reinforcing loop.
Confidence (or even self-esteem for that matter) is a reinforcing feedback loop, which means that once you gain confidence, that initial momentum will push you to become even more confident, in an almost perpetual cycle. Which also means that the first few steps are harder, then it becomes easier.
It seems (at least from my own observations) that doubting and second guessing, makes us look and be perceived as less confident. While telling the truth does not correlate with other people's perception as doubt does, removing doubt and second-guesses, works on our own perception of self-confidence, which then in turn, will result in being more confident in front of other people. In my opinion it is our perception of self-competence that needs to be overcome first, than the rest follows. So, when we tell something that we are not sure about, we internally doubt ourselves and our confidence.
In reality, most things are not binary, and we should be aware of this and all the nuances rather than judging in absolute terms. Sure, this does, to some degree make us come across as unsure, or rather, less confident. But, as I said previously, confidence in my observation, is mostly an internal conviction about your actions and words, followed by outwards perception, which again is dependent on your own conviction. So, when dealing with nuanced issues that are harder to be generalized into binary truths or lies, convince yourself that issue is complex and nuanced not binary opposites.
Confidence is about your internal conviction about the nature your actions and words, as true or not true.
It will then affect the way that you express yourself; doubts and second-guesses, will make you come across as less confident, which will be reflected outwardly.
To avoid this, make it a point to avoid saying anything that you're unsure or have doubts about, while saying only what you are sure to be true.
This in turn will make you feel more confident in everything that you say and do, and will be reflected on your outward perception.
Confidence will act as a reinforcing feedback loop.
Learner -- Lawyer -- Mad Scientist Extraordinaire
Confidence (and self-esteem) is very important because a lack of it is a great impediment in interaction with other people. People who seems more confident, are also perceived as more competent (even though it's not true), and vice-versa. Which can affect your credibility as an expert in your field or perceived competence in your job.
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