False self-confidence: the heavy mask of self-deception

False self-confidence: the heavy mask of self-deception

In today’s article I will expose the concept of false self-confidence .

It is common to talk about the importance of self-esteem. Feeling good about ourselves is fundamental for ourselves and for relating to others. However, psychologists and coaches also refer to self-confidence ( self-efficacy ), aware of the relationship that it has with self-esteem.

False self-confidence: the difference between self-esteem and self-confidence

To better understand the difference between self-confidence and self-esteem, I will first talk about self-concept or self-knowledge. Self-knowledge is what a person believes or thinks about himself or herself.

Most experts interpret self-concept as an integrated set of factors of the self, basically three: cognitive (thoughts), affective (feelings) and conative (behaviors), which if identified individually could be classified as follows: the first factor, self-concept itself; the second factor as self-esteem; and the third as self-efficacy or self-confidence. Before talking about false self-confidence, we will focus on self-efficacy .


Self-efficacy is the appreciation of the capabilities one has and focuses on the beliefs of having the capacity and ability to succeed in a given context. While self-esteem is the general feeling of how valuable one is as a whole and refers to the appreciation of oneself.

People with a high level of self-confidence often set high standards for themselves . They may not always achieve their goals or their self-esteem may not be as high, but they never give up, always continue to trust themselves and their abilities. This confidence in one’s own ability allows one not to fall apart in the face of failure and to move forward in the fulfilment of one’s goals and objectives.

Although not all researchers agree, there is some consensus that self-confidence is the same as self-efficacy.Albert Bandura, a professor at Stanford University, was the first psychologist to talk about self-efficacy in the 1970s. For Bandura, self-confidence is “the conviction that a person can successfully perform the behavior required to produce a certain result.

The importance of being realistic

Self-confidence, therefore, has to do with the realistic expectation of what one can actually do to achieve a certain goal . It is an internal state that implies a real knowledge of the difficulties to be overcome, of one’s own resources to do so and, from here, of the real possibilities one has to achieve success in some aspect of one’s life.

The most important factor in self-confidence is not the blind belief that one will achieve all the goals one sets out to achieve and that one will never make mistakes, but the objectively supported conviction that one has sufficient resources to be able to overcome adversity and to rise above the mistakes that can inevitably be made. It is important to form a true self-confidence and not to fall into the error of false self-confidence.

False self-confidence: what is it?

As I have pointed out, self-confidence is an inner state characterized by a realistic conviction that one is effective in dealing with life’s demands, and they are not just simple verbal manifestations that one will achieve everything one sets out to do. It is not a matter of appearing optimistic all the time, without valuing, in any case, the real possibilities that one has and the accessibility to certain external factors that will be present.

I have already commented in the article “Personal Development: 5 reasons for self-reflection” on the importance of an objective analysis of the situation and of not letting yourself be carried away by “hunches” without any kind of control. When one adopts an attitude of “doors out” that does not reflect the distrust and concern that, in many cases, is experienced, making triumphalist and optimistic manifestations without foundation, it is what is known as false self-confidence. This behaviour, probably gratifying at the time of carrying it out, makes the person feel good about thinking this way, but this behaviour can lead, however, to confusing reality with fantasy .

False self-confidence helps to produce a self-deception that allows the person to escape from the true inner state of self-confidence that in many cases is behind the “mask”. This form of avoidance, false self-confidence, can have serious consequences on self-confidence, as it will become weaker and weaker, and more and more removed from reality.

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