Self Confidence and Self Efficacy

The two traits of self-efficacy and self confidence are both useful, and come naturally to the Dangerous Child due to his training and experience.

Self Efficacy

Albert Bandura is arguably the most cited author on the subject of self-efficacy, and he defines self-efficacy as an individual’s beliefs about their capacity to influence the events in their own lives (Bandura, 1977). __

Self-efficacy is closely related to one type of self confidence — confidence in one’s ability to deal with situations as they arise:

… Psychology Dictionary Online defines self-confidence as an individual’s trust in his or her own abilities, capacities, and judgments, or belief that he or she can successfully face day to day challenges and demands (Psychology Dictionary Online).

… Typically, when you are confident in your abilities you are happier due to your successes. When you are feeling better about your capabilities, the more energized and motivated you are to take action and achieve your goals.

Self-confidence, then, is similar to self-efficacy in that it tends to focus on the individual’s future performance; however, it seems to be based on prior performance, and so in a sense, it also focuses on the past. __

People tend to enjoy doing things that they are good at. If a person is good at solving puzzles and problems — of whatever type — they will have more confidence and enthusiasm when faced with new puzzles and problems.

Ways to Build Confidence

  • Get Things Done
  • Do The Right Thing
  • Follow Through
  • Think Long-term
  • Don’t Care What Others Think
  • More here

The way to build confidence is clearly to succeed at getting things done, over and over again. It is particularly useful in this regard to get meaningful things done — things that you can take pride in. It is also helpful if one is guided by his own inner compass rather than by outside opinion. Overcoming failure is just part of the experience of gaining confidence through getting things done.

Here are a few attributes of confident people:

  • They don’t seek attention
  • They don’t make excuses
  • They don’t avoid conflict
  • They aren’t afraid to make decisions
  • They seek feedback for informational purposes
  • They are not afraid of failure
  • They don’t ruminate on negative thoughts
  • They don’t broadcast negative energy outward
  • They focus on the task, not on themselves
  • They deal with criticism then move on
  • They know when to take action and do so without asking permission


As in self-efficacy, meaningful self confidence comes from proving oneself competent to solve problems and to achieve things that are often thought difficult. Think of it as a “habit of competent achievement.”

When this type of competence is combined with an unconventional vision and genius, we often find persons who are sources of disruptive innovation and change. True disruptive geniuses are rare. Either they arrive on the scene too early (Leonardo da Vinci), or they have a character flaw that limits their scope of vision, or they get caught up in the social milieu of the times and fail to step far enough out of the mainstream.

We are living in a time of hyper-conformity, when most of the public believes that “consensus” is more important than verifiability, accuracy, falsifiability, or precision in science. In truth, consensus is the shite of science, but how are the people to know this in this age of group mind?

And so it should be clear that this world needs a variety of youth movements that lead the young to think independently from the crowd, to immerse themselves in the deep science of pattern, movement, language, and the passions of humanity — past, present, and future. Movements such as the Dangerous Child movement, where youth are financially independent several different ways by the age of 18. Where youth are not intimidated by the appeal to authority or to the majority opinion. Where youth are not swayed by emotional arguments based upon any type of consensus at all — without having worked their way through the arguments and the evidence themselves.

To have a confident future we must have confident youth and young adults with the intelligence, creativity, and hands-on skills to see things through.

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