A survey of 1,600 young people aged 11-24, the objective of which was to determine their levels of confidence, has released their findings:
60% of girls said they felt confident, compared to 67% of boys.
37% of 14-17-year-olds admitted to being more confident when they were online than when interacting face to face.
66% of girls' said that their level of confidence is influenced by how attractive they felt they were, compared to 46% of boys.
All those taking part in the study believed that confidence is an essential part of acquiring success.
Confidence and its relationship to success has recently been highlighted in several articles e.g. The telegraph: ‘Key to career success is confidence not talent’.
Interestingly, there is another school of thought that is also trying to identify the key to success; one which believes that its looks/attractiveness not brains that leads to success e.g.
Daily Telegraph: ‘Why teenagers would rather look good than be smart’.
Mail Online: ‘Forget University. It’s a pretty face that helps guarantee a successful career’.
This viewpoint (attractiveness) is supported by many studies which have found that being attractive can lead to greater confidence, career success, higher salaries and a longer life.
The implication is that confidence is required for success and that being attractive automatically leads to high levels of confidence; so appearance trumps confidence. This argument is weak because it implies that attractive people are inherently confident, which is evidently not true. Many beautiful/attractive people lack confidence and struggle with insecurities, just like less attractive individuals.
The three main viewpoints on the key to success boils down to:
Attractiveness = Success
Confidence = success
Brains / hard work = success
As usual reality is far more complicated, involves many more elements e.g. the degree to which someone has a nurturing and supportive family and will inevitably vary from person to person.