The Wisdom Of Insecurity: What You Learn By Gaining Confidence

Updated March 8, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Are You Ready To Become More Confident?

Confidence can be an elusive quality. We typically know confidence when we see it in others but it might be challenging to identify it in ourselves. 

The world can make it tough to stay confident sometimes. Body images, societal definitions of success, and anxiety are all factors that can cause confidence to decline.

In his book, The Wisdom of Insecurity, Alan Watts discusses how our focus on the future can damage our confidence and well-being. He suggests that staying more present in the moment can improve our self-confidence and reduce anxiety.

At first, it can seem difficult to stop worrying about the future and focus on the present. Anxiety can overwhelm us, and the pressures of society can feel unavoidable. Self-confidence can seem far away if you do not see yourself as worthy of it.

However, removing the source of your worries - a fear of failure and anxiety about the future – can be even more challenging if you have not gained self-confidence.

You can learn so much by letting go of anxiety and working on your personal confidence. There can be numerous benefits to gaining confidence that extend from your professional life into your personal life. Once you have more self-assurance, productivity, and recognition can await you. 

Confidence Can Make It Easier To Relax

Perhaps we have all had moments where we have laid down in our beds for the night, shut our eyes, and been hit with uncontrollable anxiety. 

Luckily, learning how to feel confident can work wonders against anxious thought patterns. In The Wisdom of Insecurity, Watts states that anxiety about the future can keep us from staying present at the moment. He writes about one way to effectively reduce this type of anxiety, encouraging mindfulness as an antidote. By focusing on what is happening now, we can gain confidence and relax more easily.

Confidence can give us the peace we need to stay present. Rather than speeding mentally into the future, you can focus on remaining mindful of this moment.

If you have confidence in your ability to handle whatever tomorrow may bring, you can focus more on relaxing today. This decrease in anxiety can make you more effective in your life, which can lead to more self-confidence.

Gaining confidence also typically means reacting better under stress, contributing to overall relaxation. Before gaining confidence, a problematic situation might send you into a spiral of fear and anxiety. However, increased self-confidence can help reduce the stress of uncertain situations. This can leave you better able to handle problems in your life.

Success Can Come Quicker

Although confidence can help you relax, it can also help you take control of your life. Feeling disappointed in yourself after a rejection is normal. Maybe you were passed over for a promotion, or your job application was rejected. It's entirely natural to feel disappointed or assume that this will last forever.

However, understand that building your confidence can be one of the best ways out of these situations. 

When you seek new opportunities, increasing self-confidence can allow you to focus on presenting your strengths. You are more likely to continue to look for new opportunities when you have confidence, which also increases your likelihood of success. Confidence can also improve your “bounce back” time, allowing you to start trying again not long after a failure.

Furthermore, you often put yourself out there more when you believe in your abilities. When you believe in yourself, others are more likely to believe in you as well.

Once you start projecting that confidence, others may take notice. Whether it's a potential employer or a current boss, people may begin to see you as the capable person you are. This means you would have more opportunities to succeed, advance, or prove yourself closer to your goals.

Relationships Can Get Better

If you want to meet new friends or a potential partner, gaining confidence can be a great way to draw people toward you. Because of their calm, self-assured attitude, confident people are more likely to attract loyal people. Faith in yourself can give you the energy to attract people to you and the self-assurance to approach others.

Furthermore, once you have made contact with someone else, the other benefits of your increased confidence continue to help you. Things like your increased success in achieving your goals or calm manner can make others more likely to stick around through the ups and downs.

Your existing relationships can also benefit from an increase in self-confidence. Anxiety, insecurity, and a lack of ambition can drive people apart.

When someone loves you, whether that is a partner, a parent, a sibling, or a friend, it can be challenging for that person to see you think negatively about yourself. 

Your Health Can Improve

Gaining self-confidence can have many social benefits, but its benefits extend beyond the interpersonal. Because physical and mental factors can often influence each other, a lack of confidence can affect your physical and psychological health.

Regarding mental health, people with little confidence may have difficulties with anxiety, panic disorders, and depression. When someone feels like they are incapable of handling a situation, it can lead to feelings of panic and hopelessness that can spiral into mental illness.

Stress and a lack of self-confidence are not just hard on your mental health. Long term stress can cause health issues like heart disease, chronic pain, and more.

A lack of confidence often leads to stress, and stress can lead to high blood pressure, overeating, and alcoholism as people seek out unhealthy coping mechanisms. Gaining confidence can help you realize that you do not need unpleasant coping mechanisms, which can improve your health. Additionally, because stress can cause high blood pressure, the stress-reducing effects of a sense of confidence can improve physical health.


Staying present, stopping anxiety, and maintaining a positive self-image can still be challenging, even if you know the benefits of these behaviors. Often, people find that to gain confidence and improve their lives; they might need professional help.

However, mental health care can be challenging to navigate. Without that needed confidence, it can seem impossible to seek the help you need. If mental health care seems out of reach, there is still a way to seek professional help for your problems.

Are You Ready To Become More Confident?

BetterHelp can set you up with affordable, convenient online counseling with certified professionals. With over 1,500,000 registered users and 2,500 licensed counselors, BetterHelp is a trusted service. With various flexible, digital counseling options, BetterHelp is discrete and available on your time, so there is no reason to put off getting the help you need. Users of BetterHelp can communicate with their counselors by exchanging messages, instant messaging, talking on the phone, or video conferencing.

BetterHelp can place you with a counselor that will be right for you and your needs. Studies show that online therapy is not only more convenient, discreet, and affordable than in-person therapy, but it is also just as effective and sometimes even more effective. 

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