What is Confidence?

In a nutshell

Giving confidence a definition and knowing how to build it isn't always easy. That's why as part of our #NewtonBelieveYouCan campaign, we want to start having honest and open conversations about confidence to support and encourage people in building their own. 


Newton Europe


Newton Europe

Posted March 31, 2022

We’ve been working hard at Newton to start having open conversations about confidence. It’s a subject that at first people might think is simple: either you have it, or you don’t. Over the course of creating our #NewtonBelieveYouCan campaign, we’ve come to realise just how hard it is to answer the question, ‘what is confidence?’

As our digital world continues to grow, perceptions of confidence are becoming increasingly complex. What you see online can be very different to reality; a taboo we want to address, especially as we become more active on social media. Recently, we asked some of our people to film themselves offering confidence tips for our Instagram. Here’s a couple of examples of what we got back:

I've taken about 15 videos. So, if I don't send it now, I'm never going to send it.

Don’t Sheldyn and Ali look at ease and self-confident? It’s easy to see their videos and assume so, but that’s not quite the case. When sending her video over, Sheldyn said:

‘I’ve taken about 15 videos. So, if I don’t send it now, I’m never going to send it’

Ali meanwhile joked:

‘I hate filming myself, always feel like a bit of a chump haha’

Behind the scenes, it becomes clear that people who might appear to be confident online, or indeed in person, aren’t necessarily feeling the same internal confidence as they display externally. Scratch the surface even a little bit, and you’ll soon realise that everybody struggles with feeling underconfident at times.

Taking things further, we next decided to directly ask some of our consultants what confidence means to them. For Emma, it is ‘knowing that your own abilities and experiences have prepared you adequately to achieve in the moment that you’re in.’ She links confidence to self-belief, understanding that if you back yourself, then ultimately you’ll perform better.

Chris on the other hand suggests There are two types of confidence in my opinion: intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic confidence relates to self-confidence and comfort in oneself. Extrinsic confidence is confidence you have in your surroundings, the people around you, the situation, and your ability to convey being in control.’ Like Emma, he recognises self-belief but also acknowledges that you have to feel comfortable in your surroundings before you can demonstrate true confidence.

Confidence can be quiet, it can mean being vulnerable, it can be challenging yourself.

It’s clear that confidence means different things to different people. It’s not just having the ability to shout the loudest or appear to be most in control. No, confidence can be quiet, it can mean being vulnerable, it can be challenging yourself and most importantly it can be recognising that it’s something everyone has to work to achieve.

Keep an eye out on our social for more honest conversations about confidence, hopefully giving you the chance to improve your own!