“From the outside” it seems that some people have it all and can do it all. Our insatiable thirst for celebrity news is fueled in part by the fact that celebs are so confident and they make us want to be like them. Of course, if you and I had whenever-we-want-it access to a makeup artist, image stylist, trainer and nutritionist, we’d probably feel pretty confident, too.
When you think of overconfidence, what name pops up first? How about Donald Trump? Or how about the diehards on the TV show “Fear Factor”? Trump, for example, appears invincible even in the dire straits of bankruptcy—where he definitely doesn’t live now. Do you remember people from school who were always “winners”? Is there someone at work who walks on air and makes you believe it, too? Are you envious and do you ask yourself, “Why not me?”
We boomer gals are in our prime, rich with wisdom and experience. Let’s “just do it.”
Putting on airs
Maybe you’ll appreciate the results of this study, reported in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. The authors found that over-confidence biases self-judgment because it helps people attain higher social status than the rest of the human herd. Overconfident people are perceived as more competent, and so they receive higher status. They exhibit behaviors that infer their competence—even if they don’t really have extra abilities—and their desire to have status. That, in turn, helps them develop higher levels of overconfidence and so on, and so on.
This reminds me of “more money than sense.” This time, though, it’s “more confidence than ability.”
Yes, you can
So it’s true: Think it and it shall be—perceived anyway, by others. It’s a strong message for people who suffer from chronic low self-esteem—the polar opposite of over-confidence. Ever know someone who’s always criticizing themselves or what they’ve done? Nothing is good enough and the person feels bad about themselves as a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Tomorrow, wake up and say to yourself confidently that, “Nothing can stop me!” And maybe nothing will. Act like a winner and you can be the winner that you already are.