Why having self-confidence beats having confidence any day of the week

Have you ever stopped to ponder the difference between confidence and self-confidence?

Confidence is based on your past achievements, like being confident you can write a doctoral dissertation because you have written a master’s thesis. Essentially you make an inference that because you have achieved something in a past experience, you can achieve something similar in the future.

Self-confidence is a bit different. Instead of being grounded in the past, it’s anchored in the present and future. Self-confidence is trusting in yourself to rise to the challenge without needing the benefit of experience. Having self-confidence means you believe that you can figure something out because of your innate qualities.

The difference between confidence and self-confidence matters a great deal when it comes to earning a doctorate. Because when you set out to earn a doctorate, you will be faced with doing things you have never experienced before. So, if you are relying strictly on confidence to see you through, then you will struggle when you get to parts of your program that are foreign to you.

This is why you can feel confident going into your program and then become completely blindsided by your lack of confidence along the way. The cognitive dissonance of believing you are a confident person and then struggling with confidence in your doctoral program can be very stressful and sometimes cause a downward emotional spiral.

On the other hand, when you rely on self-confidence to navigate your challenges, then the hurdles you face in your doctoral program won’t wreak havoc with your emotions or your peace of mind.

If you are struggling with a lack of self-confidence when it comes to your doctoral program, I can help. Book a quick chat with me to find out how I can help you cultivate your self-confidence.