What is Confidence?

Hey gang, here is an excerpt from my upcoming book, Confidence of a Champion.  I hope you enjoy it!

God bless, Tim Marks


Confidence is a high level of belief or certainty in someone or something.  For example, I am confident the sun will rise tomorrow.  I am also confident the staircase will support my weight.  When thinking of my doctor, I am confident in his ability to prescribe appropriate treatments.

Self-confidence is simply belief in yourself.  It is the belief that you can handle a certain situation or task.  For example, I am a “confident driver” because I have certainty and belief in my ability to handle myself behind the wheel.  Social confidence means I am unafraid to walk into a room and shake hands with strangers.  Professional confidence means I feel capable to do my job well.  Confidence impacts the way you carry yourself in the world, in your interactions with people, and in the actions that you do or don’t take. Your level of confidence is based upon your personal mixture of three ingredients: self-esteem, self-image, and self-worth.  While these terms tend to get used interchangeably, there are subtle yet important differences between them.  Let’s discuss each of those ingredients in detail:


  • Self-esteem is how much we like ourselves
  • Self-image is how we view ourselves
  • Self-worth is how much value we see in ourselves


Self-Esteem.  Positive self-esteem is a feeling that we like and accept ourselves.  The opposite of self-esteem is self-loathing.  Glenn R. Schiraldi, author of 10 Simple Solutions for Building Self-Esteem, writes that self-esteem “is a realistic, appreciative opinion of oneself.  Realistic means we are dealing in the truth, being accurately and honestly aware of our strengths, weaknesses, and everything in between.  Appreciative, however, means we have overall good feelings about the person we see.”

In his book Honoring The Self, author Nathaniel Branden describes how different levels of self-esteem might affect us.  He writes, “A person who does not feel competent in the performance of some particular task, such as flying an airplane, designing a computer program, or operating a business, does not necessarily suffer from poor self-esteem.  But a physically healthy person who feels fundamentally inadequate to the normal challenges of life, such as earning a living, certainly does.  A person who feels undeserving of some particular award or honor, such as the Nobel Prize or universal adulation for having dashed off a fairly simple love song, again does not necessarily lack good self-esteem.  But a person who feels undeserving of happiness, who feels unworthy of any joy or reward in life, surely has a self-esteem deficiency.”  In order to have confidence, we must like ourselves.


Self-Image.  This is the way you view yourself.  Brian Tracy says, “The person we believe ourselves to be will always act in a manner consistent with our self-image.”  Self-image is connected to our self-esteem, but they are a little different.  For example, let’s suppose you are very tall.  If you have a positive self-image, you might say to yourself, “Because I am tall, I command attention and have an advantage playing basketball.”  Your self-esteem then says, “I like myself for being tall.” Or the opposite might occur.  If you have a negative self-image, you might say to yourself, “Because I am tall, I’m gangly, my head scrapes the roof and I stick out in a crowd.”  Your self-esteem then says, “I don’t like myself for being tall.”  Maxwell Maltz, author of Psycho-Cybernetics, says “The “self-image” sets the boundaries of individual accomplishment.  It defines what you can and cannot do.  Expand the self-image and you expand the “area of the possible”.  The development of an adequate, realistic self-image will seem to imbue the individual with new capabilities, new talents and literally turn failure into success.” To have a healthy self-image, you need to view yourself in a positive way.


Self-worth.  This is the recognition of our fundamental value and worth.  I read once, “If you really put a small value upon yourself, rest assured that the world will not raise your price.”  Low self-worth says, “I don’t matter.  If I were to vanish, no one would notice or care.  I’m worthless.”  Obviously, these are the tragic words we would hear from someone very depressed or, in the worst possible cases, even suicidal.  If you have these thoughts, I would strongly recommend that you reach out to your pastor, a counselor, your spouse or a trusted friend.  You are being lied to by the evil one.  A high level of self-worth says, “I do matter.  The world is a better place because I was born.  My life is making an important difference to those around me.  I am doing, and will continue to do, great things with my life.  I am a valuable person.”


17 thoughts on “What is Confidence?”

  1. This was a great article and reminded me of the my value. Looking forward to getting your book and digging for all the nuggets. Thanks for using your life for the benefit of all of us.

  2. Tim, Thanks for the reminder that it is only when I accept my cracks and flaws that I can move forward to achieve my goals.

  3. Wow. I want this book yesterday. I have really enjoyed reading the excerpts you have posted from this book and even shared it with people. I have learned a lot from your in depth discussion on confidence and relationships with yourself.
    Jeff Campbell

  4. WOW! This is going to be a great book Tim. I am truly excited about continuing to learn and improve in all three of these areas. Thank you again for your guidance and encouragement.

  5. Awesome excerpt, can’t wait for the book, I definitely struggle in this area at times! Thanks Tim for tackling an important topic!

  6. What an excellent teaser to your book that shall be coming out! I look forward to reading it. You still impress me with all you have done to push through your difficulties of reading. You are now not only a great reader but an excellent writer. Keep charging up that hill and leading the way.

  7. Thanks for the post Tim. I am so excited for this book to come out! This is a topic that everyone can benifiet from and some people are in dyer need of.

  8. That’s a great excerpt and helps to know the meaning of the self-terms. Looking forward to your book.

  9. I am excited to read the whole book. It is subtle the differences, but so significant once you explained them. Thanks for this post and for your talks in Wisconsin this past weekend. What you and Amy shared has greatly impacted our lives in many ways and also has left significant deposits to many who were in attendance. We appreciate you both!

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