How we embrace our own strength and power can make all the difference in our effectiveness and enjoyment about the things we do. Confidence is a mindset that we can control and embrace to demonstrate that strength and power. In our last blog, we defined confidence and provided evidence to what it looks and sounds like. We also detailed the confidence spectrum and how it can be used to control your powers. In this second blog on confidence, we are going to discuss the Five Components of Confidence, and how we can act with ourselves and others to build that confidence.

The Five Components of Confidence

As a refresher, these are the five components to (re)discovering our confidence:

  • Controlling Outcomes
  • Self-Expression
  • Ability to Perform
  • Humility
  • Social Agility

Controlling Outcomes

Controlling outcomes is our sense that we can regulate and influence our environment. A mentor once said to me, “the harder I work the luckier I become”. She was telling me that the outcome is my choice. It is not left to the universe or luck. We are the leader of our own outcomes and not victims of circumstance. If we can feel or remember that we have had great outcomes when we applied ourselves to things, logically we know we can have great outcomes again. However, if we fear we will fail, it is likely we will. It is okay to be cautious, but we can’t be paralyzed by it.


Self-Expression is our ability to express ourselves in various situations and feel heard. Speaking up when we need to and without fear of being judged. I’ve sat in several important meetings and caught myself holding back. I was holding back because I didn’t have the confidence to speak. When I examine these moments, I realize that the fear of being judged was preventing me from being in the arena. Feeling shy about expressing our ideas and holding them back will force us to withdraw from issues and opportunities. This creates the external impression that we do not have confidence and it is reinforced as a self-belief. To find self-expression, we need to generate our own psychological safety. We do not need to be extroverts to accomplish this, but creating a mindset that allows us to freely speak. If we don’t feel heard, we must practice and try. This will, over time, produce confidence in these situations.

Ability to Perform

Ability to Perform is our self-belief in our ability to learn, experience, and accumulate knowledge. This includes our ability to be comfortable in and maneuver through ambiguity. Also known as our ability to think or act on our feet. Additionally, we must overcome our self-beliefs about our own learning prowess. We all learn differently, accept that, and do it your way. We also must consider how much information we need to mitigate the risk of failure. No matter how confident we are, we will never get it right 100% of the time.

An example might be when giving an important presentation. If we feel as though we must be prepared to answer every single possible question, we might be paralyzed and come across as not being prepared. Confident people anticipate relevant questions, not every single possible question. They can trust themselves to maneuver and respond based on their intuition.  Therefore, if we do our basic research, bring in our experience, and trust ourselves in the moment, we will not only seem more confident, but we will be more confident. Lastly, the Ability to Perform is not always about what you have in front of other people, but the work you do behind the scenes. Confidence means relying on what we already know and leveraging it.


Humility is our comfortability with not having all the answers and an awareness that others don’t either. We are not perfect, and that is okay. Humility isn’t about deference or self-deprecation; it is knowing what you don’t know and being comfortable with that. Good leaders know that anyone who claims to know everything does, in fact, not know everything. Humility means giving credit where it is due but owning your accomplishments and being open to feedback. However, not all feedback is created equal, so put the feedback in perspective and use it for growth. One of the best ways to practice humility is to practice saying “I don’t know that, but I know I can find out”. Do not let your fear of uncertainty force you in a corner where you display arrogance by pretending to know all the answers. You will attract people to you by displaying humility because it is a sign of your openness to growth.

Social Agility

Social Agility is our awareness that we are never in it alone. We are a reflection, and we reflect our value and ideas against other people. Therefore, our confidence may depend on that reflection. We can clearly recognize when someone is trying to take our confidence away by making comments, dismissing our ideas, or just disengaging. When this happens, we need to be mindful that they may be reflecting their own lack of confidence on us. We need to be in tune with this and not allow others to steal our confidence.

Wrap Up

The Five Components of Confidence is a tool to help you realize where your confidence comes from, how it is affected by you and your surroundings, and how you can persist over a lack of confidence. Building and maintaining confidence is process and a journey, we cannot remain confident all the time and bouncing back from a crisis of confidence is within our control. If you want to learn more about how to control your own confidence or need support along your journey, we are here to help.