There are different camps regarding the topic of confidence and self-esteem. There are those that believe that low self-esteem leads to success. For example, there is the article released by the Harvard Business Review titled “Less-Confident People Are More Successful” by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic.
I disagree with the position presented by this article and I know that many other entrepreneurs and business coaches agree with my point of view. It is confidence and high self-esteem that leads to success. Self-confident people trust themselves and their work. They also make more decisions which leads them into achieving more of their goals. Boosting self-worth happens when you truly trust yourself, your decisions, as well as your capabilities. As self-confidence increases, self-worth becomes higher too.
The article by Chamorro-Premuzic stated:
There is no bigger cliché in business psychology than the idea that high self-confidence is key to career success. It is time to debunk this myth. In fact, low self-confidence is more likely to make you successful.
After many years of researching and consulting on talent, I’ve come to the conclusion that self-confidence is only helpful when it’s low. Sure, extremely low confidence is not helpful: it inhibits performance by inducing fear, worry, and stress, which may drive people to give up sooner or later. But just-low-enough confidence can help you recalibrate your goals so they are (a) more realistic and (b) attainable. Is that really a problem? Not everyone can be CEO of Coca Cola or the next Steve Jobs.
While it is true that not everyone can be CEO of Coca Cola or the next Steve Jobs, it is also true that success is not measured by the fact of you achieving one of these positions. Most entrepreneurs do not want to be CEOs of Coca Cola or follow the footsteps of Steve Jobs.
Self-confidence is not about a title or publicity; it is about accepting responsibility and accountability for decisions you’re making. Self-confidence is about stopping the self-sabotage process of asking “why me” and instead taking control over their life.
Mr. Chamorro-Premuzic also stated three reasons why low self-esteem leads to success:
1. Lower self-confidence makes you pay attention to negative feedback and be self-critical… Low self-confidence may turn you into a pessimist, but when pessimism teams-up with ambition it often produces outstanding performance.
Unfortunately, no examples were provided of how a person with low self-confidence and pessimistic can also be ambitious. However, the article does mention that low self-confidence may turn into pessimism and I agree with this statement.
2. Lower self-confidence can motivate you to work harder and prepare more: If you are serious about your goals, you will have more incentive to work hard when you lack confidence in your abilities. In fact, low confidence is only demotivating when you are not serious about your goals.
How can someone with low self-esteem find the motivation to work harder on their goals? Motivation is the desire to do things. However, if you do not have the confidence in yourself that you can accomplish the task, why would you do it?
3. Lower self-confidence reduces the chances of coming across as arrogant or being deluded. Although we live in a world that worships those who worship themselves — from Donald Trump to Lady Gaga to the latest reality TV “star” — the consequences of hubris are now beyond debate. According to Gallup, over 60% of employees either dislike or hate their jobs, and the most common reason is that they have narcissistic bosses.
Self-confidence does not always translate into being narcissistic arrogant people. If you go to a doctor and it is recommended that you have surgery, do you want a doctor with confidence in his/her ability to perform the surgery successfully or one with low self-esteem?
People with high self-confidence and healthy self-esteem are typically good listeners. They focus on what other everyone has to say and they study what they hear. They are more centered on improving themselves and in addition they learn a lot by hearing others. They notice that their decisions are in their control so when they apply what they have to learn to future decisions. They are supportive of themselves and others understanding that leads to sustained confidence.