Confidence and Success with CBT/REBT – Blog #1

What’s at the heart of confidence and success?

It’s the beginning of the new year and the time when many people make their new year’s resolutions. Committing and focusing on the goals is key, yet many people feel unconfident and are not successful at keeping them. We are starting a series of blogs on Confidence and Success highlighting the steps needed to achieve goals, the obstacles and their resolutions using Rational Emotive behaviour Therapy (REBT). We hope you find them helpful.

At the heart of the problem with confidence and success is anxiety. The anxieties can be about discomfort, failure, disapproval, uncertainty, perfectionism and so forth. Confidence and success are sabotaged by holding unhealthy beliefs which impact on how you feel and how you behave which ultimately affects the achievement of your goals.


You have confidence when you can fully focus on your goals without being anxious. This means you do not dwell on potential negative consequences but remain focused on the task in hand. You are not anxious about failure, the disapproval of others nor disturbed when failure occurs. It doesn’t mean that you would be jumping up with joy, but it does mean you won’t be stuck emotionally. You would pick yourself up and focus on improving.

The mindset that creates confidence increases the probability of enjoyment and success. Belief in your own abilities to perform a task is influenced by successful experience and this reinforces a more general sense of self confidence. When you are confident, you hold beliefs about yourself that are supportive and helpful to living your life with a positive outlook, that whatever you think, believe, or do will more than likely produce the results that you want.

When we feel confident our thoughts are more preoccupied with the “How to” achieve what we are doing, focused on the present moment, fully occupied in the activity, in a constructive way. If we are feeling a lack of self- confidence we might hear ourselves say , “If only I could feel more confident”, “I have no self-esteem” or “I feel worthless”, “ I am so unhappy with my life, I am such a failure”, “ I have never succeeded at anything” , “I don’t think I can do it” .

We become confident because we hold healthy beliefs and experiences that we have learned from. A good example of this is when we learn to drive a car. Initially, we have little confidence in our ability, and rightly so, but as we learn and practise the new skills we become more confident in our ability to perform them. Initially, we feel uncomfortable when we start learning how to drive but with determination, a focus on the goal and repeated practise, we develop a growing sense of confidence in our ability to drive.


Success is experienced when we achieve the goals, we set for ourselves.

Success is a personal experience and it depends on what we each want. For some success may be

  • £xxx in the bank account
  • an Olympic gold medal,
  • a garden
  • living life fully enjoying each day with a sense of contentment and wellbeing
  • buying a house/car
  • being in good relationship

The important point is for you to identify what you want, set your goal and begin to act. It is the conscious awareness that you are doing what you want to do with your life in a self-determined way that denotes success. It is about creating your own goal and working towards achieving them.

Confidence is based in our beliefs. Our beliefs can be healthy or unhealthy. It is our unhealthy beliefs and attitudes that inform how we feel, what we feel like doing and what we do. It is these unhealthy beliefs that create the perceived obstacles or hurdles between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. They determine whether you move in a constructive way towards your goal or whether they sabotage you in its pursuit.

Long lasting change starts on the inside. It starts with the right mindset.

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