The link between self-confidence and resilience

Skills and Development Hallam SU
3 min readApr 30, 2020

Have you ever felt confident about something, felt well prepared, felt secure and self-assured? For example, going to a job interview. Imagine you have a well-rehearsed presentation, you have your ‘STAR’ examples to meet the person specification, your ‘dress to impress suit’ and your practised power stance ready. You deliver a good interview but sadly, you do not get the job, and it really knocks your confidence. You start to doubt yourself, question what you did wrong, you start to worry that you’ll never get a job and start googling ‘How can I boost my confidence.’

As a child we are encouraged to be confident and not shy. We are told that being confident is the magic answer to success in life. But resilience is an important factor and without it, it’s difficult to pick yourself back up from life’s setbacks.

What is resilience?

Resilience is the ability to bounce back from challenges and adversity we face. It’s not about being happy all the time and not feeling affected by tough times. It’s having the belief that you will get through those difficult times.

So why is it so important? We are often told, ‘you are stronger than you think.’ If you have confidence, you may believe you are strong but if that’s not enough to succeed, that could really shake you. Through having resilience, you will feel strong enough to keep trying, keep persevering despite setbacks.

How does this link to confidence?

Confidence can be described as believing in one’s abilities and beliefs. When you build strong self-belief and confidence, you start defining your values and beliefs and living those in everything you do. That deep self-belief becomes resilience. That resilience will not stop fear, disappointment or hurt when things don’t work out. That is part of the beautiful emotional spectrum of human nature. What confidence and resilience do together is to keep you feeling hopeful.

So what can you do to boost your confidence and resilience?

Although a person’s personality, environment and life experiences can affect self-confidence and resilience, these characteristics can be learned and developed. Here are some things you could try:

  1. Positive self-talk — talk to yourself with kindness and encouragement

2. Progress not perfection — it’s about making positive steps and improvements. Nobody is perfect!

3. Look after your physical and mental health — you will be able to cope better if you are looking after your wellbeing

4. Keep problems in perspective — it’s ok to be upset but if you find yourself catastrophising, challenge your thoughts and ask if it is life threatening

5. Connect with others — find your support network, surround yourself with people who build you up and encourage your progress and will help to pick you up when you fall

6. Focus on your strengths — we all have them! Even something that might seem like a weakness is part of your personality so find the positives and make them shine

7. Maintain hope — even if you didn’t get the job, there will be other opportunities, keep on, keeping on

8. Be resilient in your beliefs — believe in yourself. If something didn’t work, try not to mentally beat yourself up, you are enough.

I am sure you are feeling all sorts of emotions now, with everything going on. Try and keep in mind that one of the things that can naturally help you build resilience is adjusting and coping in the face of adversity. Keeping yourself going and motivated in spite of say a global pandemic, well think of how resilient this will make us. You might not feel it all the time, but one day in the future you will realise the strength and bravery you showed to get through this.

“Do not judge me by my success, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” ~ Nelson Mandela



Skills and Development Hallam SU

This is the Training and Development team at Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union. Your bloggers are Dani and Ana. The future of learning is digital. #LifeSkills