Having confidence in yourself is not a bad thing. People who are confident are often the most successful in our society. It is this strong sense of confidence and self-worth that enables people to go out into the world and achieve their goals. Confidence, more than any other quality, contributes to positive results when pursuing goals.

But can you be overconfident and turn it into a negative? Is it possible that having too much of a good thing turns into a bad thing? It is a good idea to know your strengths and be sure to go out and take risks to achieve your own goals, these are admirable qualities. Although if confidence makes you inflexible, you are opposed to trying new things, or you are unable to listen to others, then it is clear that it is detrimental to success and well-being .

What if you have too much confidence in yourself

Excessive self-confidence can cause a number of problems in a person’s personal, social and professional life. Some of these problems are:

    • Missing opportunities, such as not taking projects because they seem too easy or below your abilities.
    • Taking on too many responsibilities. Say yes to responsibilities that you lack the necessary skills.
    • Social consequences. You may seem too arrogant. At work you may think that you are more capable than you really are and in a relationship you may think that other people are below you.

Beware of high self-esteem

High self-esteem could sometimes have undesirable consequences. Children with higher self-esteem will be more likely to engage in risky behaviors. People with high self-esteem can also have worse relationships because they blame their partners for any problems with the relationship. High self-esteem is also linked to a higher frequency of violent and aggressive behaviors.

That doesn’t suggest that self-esteem and confidence are bad. In some situations, even overconfidence can help you succeed. Confident people can convince other people that they have certain abilities even if they don’t, just because of their inflated ego . This can show in certain narcissism or arrogance, qualities that are not usually liked socially.

Everyone, one moment or another, can feel overconfident in one’s abilities from time to time, and that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Sometimes you may overestimate your ability to do something AND then realize that you don’t have as many skills as you thought. You assume reality and look for a way to improve. In other words, this excess of self-confidence can be corrected with a certain humility. You will learn to use your mind more intelligently and to be more realistic about your abilities and possibilities.

It is when this overconfidence is common that more serious and often long-lasting consequences can arise.

Causes of being overconfident

There are different factors that can contribute to excessive levels of self-confidence. Education, culture, personality and lived experiences are very important in this regard. We are all from the center of our own universe, so it is not surprising that our perceptions, experiences, thoughts , needs, and desires are continually on our minds. But why does a person have such an exaggerated sense of self?

Cognitive biases can play an important role in this because they can contribute to overconfidence in one’s opinions and ideas. These biases cause people to interpret experiences biased towards their own existing beliefs, attitudes, and opinions. 

As a result, people often tend to believe that their own way of thinking and acting is superior and “correct.” This can lead to people not considering how other ideas might be beneficial, as well as not seeing any potential downsides to their own approach. It is this illusion of personal infallibility that can contribute to being overconfident. 

Trust perceptions

So how do we determine what levels of self-confidence are appropriate? And are these levels the same for different people and in different situations? Self-confidence is not just a psychological construct; it is also heavily influenced by culture. Individualistic cultures, for example, tend to value self-confidence more than collectivist cultures. Society’s expectations of how much trust people should have has a powerful influence on how we perceive trust in both ourselves and others.

For example, during the first half of the 20th century, self-confidence was sometimes viewed as a detriment, depending on who you were. People were expected to obey authority figures, including those who were older or higher in the social hierarchy. Self- confidence in children and women was particularly frowned upon, as children and women were generally expected to be obedient.

As the cultural tides have turned, the expectations of society in terms of self-confidence have also changed. People are motivated to be independent and self-esteem has become a treasured characteristic. Parents want their children to be confident, to know what they want, and to be motivated to achieve their goals.

Social norms influence perceptions of trust

But the way we perceive self-confidence is not always consistent from one person to another. For example, female leaders who behave the same as their male counterparts are more likely to be perceived as bossy, emotional, or aggressive. This double trust standard makes it more difficult for women to be promoted in the workplace and rise to leadership positions. The behaviors necessary to be successful in the workplace are the same that women are often punished for exhibiting.

In addition, socially there is a tendency to penalize others when they behave in ways that are considered violations of social norms. Norms dictate that men should be confident and assertive, while women are expected to be warm and affectionate. Behaving outside of these norms can have several consequences for both men and women. Men who are not very assertive may be seen as shy or weak, while women who are self-confident are considered bossy … there is still a lot to go on! 

Elle Mcdonald

I am Elle Mcdonald Specializations in Psychology . Graduated in psychology from the University of Tennessee in 2000. Diploma of Advanced Studies in the Department of Personality, Evaluation and psychological treatments with excellent results.

First Level of Master in Clinical Psychology at the Center for Behavioral Therapists (recognized with a scientific-professional nature by the College of Psychologists)

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