Do You Have Self-Confidence?
By Salvatore V. Didato, Ph.D.
News America Syndicate
Special to the Montrose Voice
Willie Loman, in ArthurMiller's "Death of
a Salesman," once was a self-reliant man.
But through a series of setbacks, he lost
the trait which once served him well. In
the story, he deludes himself into believing that he still has self-confidence and
winds up a loser.
Unfortunately, some of us are like this.
We falsely think we have enough self-
confidence for happiness but, like Loman,
it only supports a kind of tinny optimism.
Self-confidence is the mark of a happy
person. It isn't something easily gained,
however. It takes a lifetime of successes,
from little to large, to build up such inner
strength and it would be hard to imagine
living successfully without it.
Where do you stand on this most important personality trait? For the items
ahead, use this three-point scale to pick
the answer which best describes you: often
true—1; sometimes true—2; rarely true—3.
1.1 am not a spontaneous person around
2. Down deep, I don't like it when the
joke is on me.
3. I grant favors and requests of others
when I really don't want to do so.
4. My friends don't follow my suggestions in things like picking a restaurant,
choosing a movie, etc.
5. I have trouble making decisions like
buying clothing, setting a date with
friends, going on vacation, etc.
6. When people push ahead of me in a
line, it's not like me to make a fuss.
7.1 Bpend a lot of time improving and
rechecking the things I complete.
8. I think of appropriate thoughts to
express to others, but only after we've
Those who are self confident are often
persuasive. They can usually get others
to see things from their point of view.
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This isn't a test of right versus wrong
answers. Now and then, we all compulsively check our work for errors, have trouble making decisions, and do favors
unwillingly. But most people who are self-
confident answer the items "rarely true."
Find your score by adding the numbers
which go along with your answers.
20-24 points—You have "high self-
13-19 points—You are like most of us
with average self-confidence.
8-12 points—You are low on self-
Self-confidence and success go hand in
hand. Anyone, from a successful mother
to a champion boxer, can possess this combination. When Muhammad Ali once
declared, "When you are as great as I am,
it's hard to be humble." he was an example
of some rare high achievers who have a
super abundance of self-confidence.
Generally speaking, people with high
self-confidence have many things going
for them. They tend to be dominant in
social groups, are good at problem-solving
and enjoy many friends. The quiz items,
which are similar to those found on personality tests, show the following:
1. Self-confident persons can express
their spontaneous thoughts and feelings
without being self-conscious and guarded.
2. Self-confidence goes with self-
acceptance. The ability to laugh at yourself is one of the strongest signs of both
3. It is difficult for those with low self-
confidence to refuse doing a favor, because
their needs for acceptance are high.
4. Those who are self-confident often are
persuasive. They usually can get others to
see things from their point of view.
5. People with a high self-confidence
level can make decisions without agonizing over them. If they make a mistake,
they have enough faith in themselves to
roll with it and land on their feet.
6. Expressing objections to others takes
self-confidence. Those low on this quality
find it tough to oppose people who oppose
7. Those with little self-confidence often
doubt their ability. Therefore, they check
and recheck their work.
8. Self-confident persons speak their
mind. On the other hand, those who think
of the right thing to say after it's too late
usually have a glimmer of a thought at the
appropriate time, but lack the confidence
to speak out.
NOTE: Whatever your score on the quiz,
there's always room to improve. Keep in
mind that associating with self-confident
friends often helps to form new habits. Try
to mirror their behavior and learn how
they deal with their self-doubts and face
challenges which confront them.
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