Advantages of having Low Confidence – Based on Research

4 minutes

We have all been bought into believing that low confidence is bad and deters one from achieving his/ her full potential. Sure, but it is also true that in various situations low confidence is actually a desirable trait to possess. Wondering why? Let us take you through the situations where its a boon!

But before we understand the situations in which low confidence is useful, it is important to understand the dynamics of anxiety as well. After all, both low confidence and anxiety are tightly interlinked.

The evolutionary role of anxiety, as an emotional reaction, was to increase our vigil and help us prepare for a perceived danger. It prepared our body to combat or evade a perceived danger or risky situations, by either taking an action (Run!) or inaction (Don’ Go There! or Be Careful!)

When our confidence is low, we find ourselves in situations in which we anticipate failures. We become anxious, and interpret it as a sign to evade it. And unsurprisingly, anxious people are less likely to die in a fatal accident, and it has well been proved by science!

Heightened anxiety also explains why women outlive men despite having same kind of illness as they have a predisposition to be more anxious. Owing to their anxiety, they are more likely to pay attention to signs and symptoms and even do more planned doctor visits.

So when low confidence triggers anxiety, it serves as a protection mechanism for you – it acts as a reminder to pay increased attention to your low confidence, and work towards it.

Let’s understand how and where low confidence is beneficial:

  • It Protects You!

Imagine you have a big presentation on a topic on which you are not well versed with. You will obviously be a little nervous. You can well foresee that if you don’t prepare enough, you will most likely fail and end up embarrassing yourself. In such a case it pushes you to prepare to be more competent

In sports or even in real life high confidence leads you to underestimate your rivals, enhancing the chance of failure. While low confidence may prevent you from being beaten up.

As the famous quote by Sun Tzu of the writer The Art of War:

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

It’s also been seen that owing to low confidence, you are less likely to cheat on your romantic partner as the fear of being caught always looms large. Studies have found that there is a strong correlation between power and romantic infidelity. Those who have power, for instance, celebrities, politicians, etc. often underestimate the risk and consequences of cheating and give into infidelity. They become supremely overconfident that they cannot be caught. 

It is thus clear that low confidence can help avoid relationship breakups, financial bankruptcy (you are less likely to make bold and riskier investments and bets), career failure, and even premature death! 

  • It improves you!

Low confidence and anxiety have been linked to high IQ. A research has found that students with low confidence and mild anxiety have scored particularly better in verbal exams. Studies have also found that such people have more white matter in their brain, which can speed up mental processes.

Various studies have also pointed out that by manipulating participant’s confidence levels by giving random feedback on their performance can improve their performance. Lowering people’s confidence have seen to motivate them to work harder on their competencies while increasing it has the opposite effect. Therefore, a lower confidence is a stronger motivational force as opposed to higher confidence.

  • It makes you kinder!

While it can be emotionally very draining to be low on confidence and having anxiety, such people are more attuned towards other people’s state of mind. Studies have also pointed out that they may also have higher levels of empathy than those without this condition.

More empathy makes you less judgmental, more understanding and thereby more kinder.

So there it is – the upsides of low confidence and anxiety. But like everyone says, it may not be that desirable. And if you have it, remember: all is not lost and you are capable if really amazing and incredible things.

Team YourDOST

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