What made you confident today

Confidence: The Power of Optimism

Last she dies hope. And indeed: there is hardly anything that motivates people as much as the power of confidence - the prospect that your project can succeed and problems will be overcome. Such optimism, of course, sounds suspiciously like rose-tinted glasses and the Always think pretty positively!-Sauce from second rate motivational speakers. Admittedly, there is a fine line between serious help in life and charlatanism. Yet more and more studies suggest that confidence is a underestimated property that not only changes our worldview, but also our health and success ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

The power of confidence

You probably know this classic one Self test: Looking at the pictured water glass on the right. What would you say: is the glass half full or half empty?

Usually the assessment:

  • Optimists answer: "It is half full".
  • Pessimists on the other hand call it "half empty".

Only engineers provide one Special shape they answer something like: The water glass is twice as big as it should be. But this is another story.

The decisive factor is: The pessimist works in this country in his assessment mostly more realistic, critical, serious anyway.

The Optimist on the other hand it looks much more frugal, downright modest. Yes, even a little naive: The thing contains less water than it could, and the guy tries the word "full" ??? So stands the notorious beauties already at eye level with the immature brush of brush and gullible believers who are incapable of judgment. Error!

Scientists are finding increasing evidence that the confident and optimist, doing yourself (but also others) a bigger favor. "Complete carelessness and unshakable confidence are the essence of a happy life", recognized the Roman philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca. Today we know of others Benefits of optimism:

  • Understanding the prospect helps people Overcoming strokes of fate easier and faster and not to lose the courage to live (see: Resilience). Optimists are also less likely to develop depression.
  • Belief in your own future also has a positive effect on the body and activates the self-healing powers: The immune defense of optimists has been shown to work better, they feel pain less and recover faster from operations, which has been proven by experiments with placebos and nocebos, among other things.
  • The positive point of view even ensures that the confident on average one bigger social network have as pessimists.

In short: Confidence and optimism are an enormous source of strength for the soul, body and psyche.

Confidence Definition: What It Means To Be Confident

Already in the Bible it says that the Faith move mountains can. But that doesn't make the optimist a dreamerwho simply hides the darker side of life.

On the contrary: the optimist is just as realist and well aware of the risks that he is, as it were reflected and calculated. At the same time, however, he also has the courage to act consistently, to remain capable of acting. His Basic assumption is just the good outcome. Or as the Cologne native would put it: I still have a lot of time.

This is also reflected in the typical Synonymsmentioned in connection with confidence:

  • Believe
  • Trust in God
  • hope
  • optimism
  • confidence
  • satisfaction
  • Belief in progress
  • Belief in the future
  • enjoyment of life
  • Courage to face
  • Joy of existence
  • Affirmation of life

The last four points in particular show that confidence goes a lot with that inner attitude and ours Attitude has to do. Two properties According to the definition of confidence, the following are essential:

  1. trust

    A deeply rooted trust that things will develop the way one hopes or wishes, regardless of the most adverse circumstances or one's own actions and skills.

  2. Self-confidence

    Psychologists would also benefit from the Self-efficacy expectation speak. Where one's own actions and ability do not yet play a role in the above point, the confident person is at the same time convinced that they can basically make an effective contribution and master the situation. Equipped with such self-confidence, the optimist can of course also dare more courage.

For example, why did you get your current job? The confident one would say: "Of course also because I'm good." Certainly, some could see the first signs of an emerging narcissism here. But that would have been too short. The optimist may sound like that sometimes, but there is simply less behind it Doubt and skepticism against one's own abilities.

You could also say: people with confidence create one self-fulfilling prophecy.

Learning to be confident: how do you become more confident?

Scientists now assume that confidence about 30 percent genetic is anchored in character. Most of the rest is the result of positive experiences and is a matter of decision: Everyone basically has the choice whether he wants to look at things positively or negatively; whether he or she with hope and confidence starts a thing - or with strong ones Self-doubt and fear.

At the same time it follows that there is a more carefree attitude to life can also be learned afterwards.

From the Disaster research (They really do exist) today we know that resilient people do not see disaster through pink glasses or gloss over or suppress problems. Rather, they deal constructively with their pain, with the tragedy.

And they do that mainly through one optimistic attitude, Motto: The present is terrible, but there is also a tomorrow. Sun and rain finally also alternate. So the crisis does not get a heavyweight at all, but becomes a temporary event, a maximum challenge - and the roller coaster of emotions is not capricious.

But how do you become more confident? Here, too, psychology has advice:

  • Learn Confidence: Remember Your Achievements

    The good thing about mistakes is that you can learn from them. Some even consider missteps and grandiose failure to be the best teacher ever. Once the crap has happened, we sit down, look back, analyze the mishap, draw conclusions - and do it better next time. Hopefully.

    But what about the successes? They often fall short - and thus also shorten our horizons: In the end we just look contrite at the pile of broken glass and try to understand why. But you can also learn from successes. Even more: We learn that we can reproduce success - and that promotes our expectation of self-efficacy.

  • Learning to be confident: Find role models

    Role models provide security, orientation and motivation. People look for a role model and adapt their behavior or way of thinking. In technical terms this is called “social learning” - and it contributes enormously to confidence. Because obviously others can do it too. Mental strength then grows from building on one's own, past and comparable experiences.

  • Learn Confidence: Avoid Eyesight

    This is - admittedly - somewhat tautological, but it has a significant influence on your well-being and your worldview. That does not mean that critics should no longer be listened to. You should remain open to good counter-arguments. But unfortunately there are also notoriously negative people and incurably dissatisfied people. Such pessimists only reinforce what holds you down and drag anyone who gets involved with them into the abyss.

  • Learning to be confident: make up your mind

    And act on it. Ultimately, it remains a question of your own perspective and will: Do you want to believe in what is possible, in success - or not? You can and must make a decision about this, but then also become active and consistently act on your own choice. He who believes and hopes does not remain inactive. Only victims do that.

Over-optimism: The dark side of hope and confidence

Of course, not everything can still be achieved with confidence. Also a Tschakka! changes little about that. Illusory optimism and naive wishful thinking are downright dangerous and have triggered many a (personal) financial crisis or stock market bubble.

There is also such a thing as Over-optimism. For example, when we succumb to the sweet poison of success. First it obscures the senses, then it lulls us, lulls us into treacherous security and lets us fall even deeper.

Three examples of the dangers of confidence:

It was a simple, two-step experiment that Fancesca Gino, a professor at Harvard Business School, did with students from various US universities: first, they were asked to make two difficult decisions in order to solve a business problem, a typical one Case study. At the end of this first case study, the students then received interim feedback as to whether they had made a good or bad decision in the first test, or whether they were successful or not.

Now the second stage and case study followed. Everyone was given one more time to reflect on their own (wrong) judgment. And now it happened: Anyone who had previously been successful hardly invested any time to self-critically review their previous strategy - at a high price: The successful subjects in the first round failed significantly more often in the second round.

This also coincides with the results of a study published by the British psychologist Tim Woodman from Bangor University. 28 students took part in the experiment - none of them excessive Sports cannons, but moderately convinced of their skills.

After Woodman had them do a few physical exercises, the real test came: jumping rope. However, Woodman gave half of the test participants a new rope beforehand - with the indication that it was one that would significantly increase the level of difficulty. It is heavier, stiffer and longer - in short: Woodman unsettled the test subjects and deliberately shook her confidence (Which, however, was cheated - in fact, both ropes were identical).

Still: at the end of the one-minute test, they cut unsettled Rope jumpers better off. Not only did they get tangled in the rope less often, they also managed an average of ten more hops than the self-confident control group.

Woodman and his team interpret the result as follows: Whoever believes victory already in your pocket To have, i.e. bursting with overconfidence and overconfidence, is less strenuous, less attentive - and fails more often.

And a third study fits into this series: This time Francesca Gino and her colleague, the psychologist Leigh Plunkett Tost from Duke University des Phenomenon at.

To do this, they divided their test subjects into two groups:

  • The first was asked a situation too remember and write downin which they had power over others.
  • The second group should write down the exact opposite - a Fainting experience.

Again, participants were then asked to solve case studies and make decisions. This time, however, they also got valuable ones Tips from an expert. But - you guessed it: Those who had previously embalmed their self-confidence in their memory hardly wanted to hear the good (and right) advice, but preferred to hear themselves.

Effect: more wrong decisions.

So please don’t let your successes and your confidence let you down lull. Victories are just as good a teacher as defeats, and the more pleasant one anyway. But hope and optimism can also blind you - for example in front of the last exit and the point of changing your strategy.

Note: Confidence works wonders - but there is no guarantee.

Why we so rarely learn from success

Far too little is learned from success. Instead, the following happens:

  1. Success makes you over-optimistic.

    We are happy that something works, we get euphoric and quite a few develop an unshakable over-optimism that they could reproduce this success endlessly. In short: you become arrogant and arrogant. The danger: This creates intellectual trails from which stupid habits and wrong rules emerge, motto: We have always done it this way. It has always worked!

  2. Successes don't question us.

    Things change. Times too. That is why we usually have to constantly adapt. Theories as well as strategies. But as long as everything goes smoothly, most of them forget to continue to question themselves. They fail to reflect on what made them so successful in the past - and whether that will continue to apply in the future.

  3. Success slows down learning.

    Humans are not only creatures of habit - they are also comfortable. As long as the fire is burning and the meat is sizzling over it, he sees no need to hunt, improve, or stockpile. Stupid, if after the seven fat years come seven lean years ... Learning ultimately means recognizing why something (has) happened. It means recognizing patterns, but also staying vigilant enough to be aware of changes in parameters in good time. After a misstep, the need for this is usually clear to us. But that does not mean that the need for a victory is less.

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