Confidence - An Output or Input of Mental Health?

It is true – Confidence is Key. Confidence boosts your perception of not just yourself, but the world around you. It is often what allows you to dive into new discoveries or charge toward your goals.

It’s clear confidence is related to a lot of good – good perception, good feelings, good outcomes, good physical and mental health. But what many people forget to address is whether it is the key input or key output of Mental Health.

The next few minutes will be a deep dive into a “chicken or the egg” analysis of Confidence and Mental Health.

We will look at the definition of Confidence, its’ key characteristics, a high-level view of how it is developed AND lost, and its relationship to your mental health.

Definition of Confidence

According to the Merriam Webster online dictionary, the 3 main definitions of Confidence are as follows:

  1. “: a feeling or belief that you can do something well or succeed at something”
  2. “: a feeling or belief that someone or something is good or has the ability to succeed at something”
  3. “: the feeling of being certain that something will happen or that something is true”

Not a ton of variations, but one thing stood out to me – The 3rd definition describes a correlation between confidence and a feeling of truth. It’s not just about feeling something is good or has the potential for success – it comes from the perceived existence of a truth.  

Key Characteristics of Confidence

In my experience, confidence often exhibits the following key characteristics:

  1. Absence of Doubt / Fear – Where confidence exists, fear and doubt are absent.
  2. Belief in the Extraordinary – The extraordinary no longer seems like a long shot.
  3. Memorable – Physiological responses such as in increased heartbeat and heightened levels of euphoria make those moments of perceived invincibility unforgettable.
  4. Energized – In moments of sheer confidence, passions are refueled and dimmed visions are revitalized.
  5. Grounded in Truth – We are confident in moments where we are grounded in truth. When we know the answer / solution, we are confident of the outcome.

How One Gains and Loses Confidence

How Confidence is Gained –

  • Experience
  • Familiarity
  • Acceptance / Positive feedback from others
  • Successful attempts
  • Receiving some form of aid that enables you to achieve a goal or
  • arrive at a solution

How Confidence is Lost –

  • Failed attempts
  • Persistent negative feedback
  • Doubt from others
  • Losing a valuable relationship or asset
  • Too many unknowns

Confidence and Your Mental Health

So why is confidence so important for your mental health?

For us to maintain mental health, we require a healthy perception of ourselves and the world around us. We require an optimistic view of the future, and hope that when obstacles arise, we will be able to overcome them.

Confidence is key to this achieving these elements of mental health by:

  1. Removing doubt and fear and allowing the extraordinary to become a part of our perceived reality.
  2. Awakening our visions and dreams for the future.
  3. Establishing a grounded presence of truth through the memorable experiences of successful attempts.

Next Steps / Closing Remarks

Confidence is key – it is both a key input and key output of mental health. It is an input by setting the stage for fundamental components of mental health, such as hope and optimism for the future. It also exists as an output of mental health, because from moments of perceived success, we train ourselves to remember and recreate those moments.

Although confidence is key, it is not always acquired overnight. It might take time and experience to develop confidence in a subject matter, or multiple iterations of refining the perceived image of yourself.

The redeeming quality is that gaining confidence is 100% achievable. Confidence does not always have to be gained in leaps and bounds, rather in smaller steps. Through each repeated successful attempt, and as you encounter increasingly similar situations, you will see your confidence grow. Be patient with yourself and remember that even though confidence might be attributed to external factors such as praise or acceptance from others, it is 100% all about your perception, which you have 100% control in changing.


  1. “Confidence Definition & Meaning.” Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster,

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