The Correlation between Self-Confidence and Motivation ESSAY

The Correlation between Self-Confidence and Motivation 2

Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and its mental processes. The origins can be traced back to Ancient Egypt and Greece as a subdivision of philosophy. It did not come into

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its field of study until the 1870s. Having undergone many advancements in the field of study by

great minds like Socrates, Wilhelm Wundt, Sigmund Freud, and Ivan Pavlov. Psychological

studies have more relevance today and applications than at any time in recent history. The

present-day function of psychology today is providing people with the mental tools to handle the

psychological stresses people encounter daily. Creating a protective shell around people to ward

off potential emotional and psychical harm. This can help people by giving them an explanation

of their behavior and giving them better decision-making mechanics, stress management, and

how to predict future behavior patterns. Enable people to live fuller lives, having better

connections in relationships, be more motivated, and greater confidence (tegna2017, 2018).

Motivation is the desire to fulfill the provision of a goal. It’s critical in creating and

completing one’s objectives. It’s possible to influence our levels of motivation and discipline

according to research. Motivation can come from multiple sources and the reasoning behind our

motives can vary. You can be motivated by forces outside of yourself which is called extrinsic.

For example, you could have been motivated by the events of 9/11 to enlist in the armed forces

to defend your country from foreign invaders. People can also be motivated from within which

is called intrinsic which can be an even greater force and much more satisfying (Psychology

Today, 2020). One great example of understanding the different levels of motivation came from

Abraham Maslow in 1943 who invented the hierarchy of needs. The lowest level of the pyramid

is our most basic needs such as hunger, shelter, and avoiding uncomfortable environments. The

highest level is called Self-actualization “according to Maslow and other humanistic

psychologists, self-initiated striving to become what one is capable of being (Rathus, 2020).”

The Correlation between Self-Confidence and Motivation 3

The pinnacle of human achievements what we all strive to obtain whether we understand the

levels or not. However, the top is not static but a daily process that we go through starting anew

each day.

“Confidence is a belief in oneself, the conviction that one can meet life’s challenges and

to succeed – and the willingness to act accordingly (Psychology Today, 2020).” To be confident

is being grounded in a genuine understanding of what your abilities are and being settled in that

knowledge. This helps you make a good first impression, able to deal with stress, improve your

professional life, and gain integrity. Confidence is something that can be acquired, through

working on an area whether it be academia, sports, or a professional career by setting goals and

accomplishing them. In a social setting, confidence can be gained by learning and understanding

the social flow, then putting it into practice. Negative feelings such as anxiety and doubt can

lower your confidence. This can make you come across as having a lack of confidence and harm

your social or professional life. There is also coming across as overconfident which some can

interpret as being cocky or arrogant. It can go as far as becoming a narcissist which will make

most people want to avoid being around you (Psychology Today, 2020).

We have touched briefly on motivation and confidence, what they are, how do you get

them, and what their purpose is. However, is there a correlation between the two? Is one directly

affected by the other? One possible connection can be found in sports. A study was done in 2019

investigating the relationship between Self-confidence and motivation in high school students

who participated in sports. According to the study (Toktas & Bas, 2019) evidence showed the

more successful a student is in the sport the more positive the results will be and it can provide

them with a measure of self-satisfaction and self-confidence. In turn, they will have better

reactions to their environment and resonating with those around them. Results were better where

The Correlation between Self-Confidence and Motivation 4

they had positive support from coaches and teachers helping to build them up. This also can give

students who do not score high as other students in academics another avenue to gain skills and

talents which will increase their self-confidence. In the future, this will help the students be

happier and better decision-makers (Toktas & Bas, 2019).

There was another study done on a practical way to develop your confidence and

motivation. Our confidence can often be hindered by negative people and most commonly our

doubts and fears. According to Scott (2009), there is a 4-step process on how to build your

confidence and self-esteem. In this process, you first take note of your good qualities, abilities,

and accomplishments. Secondly, you recognize what qualities you want to build on and keep this

in mind as you do so. Thirdly you create an image of yourself as a successful person and being

acknowledged for those efforts. Finally, you see yourself as an affluent, overflowing person,

with all you want. This can be done by anyone with a piece of paper and a pen. Start by writing

down all your talents and your accomplishments. It’s important to remind yourself of these

things because it’s easy to forget them or be filled with self-doubt. This is an easy way to create a

positive mindset by focusing on the optimistic rather than the negative. A change of attitude can

greatly increase your confidence and make you feel more motivated to perform the required steps

to gain what you want. “By feeling you will get what you want, you will feel you deserve it and

will ask for it, and other people will agree you deserve it, too. (Scott, 2009).” You will be

manufacturing an air of confidence and enabling you to achieve your goals. When other people

give you acknowledgment this will also increase your self-esteem.

The level of our self-confidence can greatly affect how we perform certain tasks. Self-

confidence is your judgment of what you are capable of and is not a motivational perspective

alone. According to Kanfer (1990) motivation can be broken down into two workings: goal

The Correlation between Self-Confidence and Motivation 5

choice and self-regulation. Self-regulation can be further broken down into monitoring yourself,

evaluating yourself and your reactions. Being aware of how well you can accomplish a task is

important to your self-esteem. When we are constantly filled with questions about our ability, we

lose self-confidence. The more you are focused on did I make a mistake, or can someone else do

it better, and feeling you are not intelligent enough to complete the task will ultimately destroy

your confidence. (Druckman & Bjork, 1994).

Learning can also play a great role in our confidence making us more motivated in our

goal setting. According to Hicks (2016) taking a course in your field of expertise will help you

learn new things and rebuild your confidence. You can also learn things that are not directly

related but still apply to your daily life can also be a great tool. Knowledge is endless and you

will never reach a plateau where there is nothing else to learn. The goal is to never stop learning

and expand your horizons building a better you. The possibilities are endless, and the process of

learning will increase your sense of self-worth (Hicks, 2016).

From the most basic needs to a higher awareness of self and our self-assurance to pursue

the heights of human achievements, these two concepts are intertwined. Motivation fuels our

desire to pursue goals by attaining these goals we build confidence in ourselves to repeat the

accomplishment or chase higher aspirations. The evidence shows a strong correlation between

motivation and confidence, which hinges on success. Failure and negative forces whether from

internal or external sources cannot damage one and affect the other. However, you cannot have

one without the other, when you have the motive to follow the dream you have a measure of

belief that you can do it. Surround yourself with positive influences and successful people, never

giving in to failure you are on the road to be a highly motivated and self-confident individual.

The Correlation between Self-Confidence and Motivation 6

Works Cited

Druckman, D., & Bjork, R. A. (1994). 8 Self-Confidence and Performance. In D. Druckman, &

R. A. Bjork, Learning, Remembering: Enhancing Human Performance (pp. 173-174).

Washington D.C.: The National Academies Press. Retrieved from

Hicks, M. (2016, November 17). The Relationship Between Confidence and Productivity.

Retrieved from Productivityist:

Psychology Today. (2020). Confidence. Retrieved from Psychology Today:

Psychology Today. (2020). Motivation. Retrieved from PsychologyToday:

Rathus, S. A. (2020). Psych, 6th Edition. Boston: Cengage.

Scott, G. (2009). Chapter 8: Increasing Your Confidence and Self-Esteem. In G. G. Scott, Want

It, See It, Get It!: Visualize Your Way to Success (pp. p85-111). American Management

Association International.

tegna2017. (2018, March 7). The Important of Psychology in Today’s World. Retrieved from

University of the District of Columbia:

Toktas, S., & Bas, M. (2019). Investigation of the Relationship between the Self-confidence and

Motivation of High School Students Participating School Sport Contests. Universal

Journal of Educational Research, 472-479.

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