NEW YORK — The average American feels insecure five times a day, according to new research. A survey of 2,000 people looked at their confidence levels and found that for many, confidence can be tough to come by.
Results showed that people find their nerves shaken the most when confronted with difficult situations like speaking in front of a large group (40%), not being properly prepared (34%) or starting a new job (28%).
Respondents would also be on edge when in awkward situations like trying a new dating app for the first time (27%) or if they were the last ones to walk into a meeting (22%).
Tips for gaining confidence
Conducted by OnePoll for CURAD, the survey also found that people aren’t letting life’s hurdles get them down and offered their tips and tricks for gaining more confidence. Topping their list are adopting a positive mindset (48%), gaining support from family and friends (48%), being prepared for anything (45%), working out (43%) and helping others (41%).
Interestingly, 55 percent of those who have faked confidence before said it actually helped boost their real confidence. In fact, a third of respondents (32%) “often” or “always” feel like they have to “fake it ‘till they make it” to feel more confident.
Results also found that for three-quarters (76%) of those surveyed, confidence has a domino effect.
Respondents feel secure in other areas of their lives once they have control in one area — especially when it comes to exercise (34%), parenting (33%), and playing sports (31%). Seven in 10 (71%) also said exercising impacts how confident they feel. Those who exercise frequently use tools that help strengthen their confidence and help enhance their overall performance such as knee/ankle braces (11%), supports (10%) or kinesiology tapes (9%).
“It’s not surprising to learn that being active and maintaining a consistent exercising routine can contribute to your physical and emotional well-being,” says five-time Ironman World champion Craig Alexander, in a statement. “Apart from the obvious physical benefits, there’s a sense of pride and achievement after exercising, especially if it is a workout that pushes your boundaries. When you look back to where you started and see all of the progress you’ve made, you can’t help to feel more confident.”
The journey to confidence can feel lonely, which may be why nearly half of Americans also look to their loved ones for support (48%) and feel assured when others compliment them (31%).
However, respondents know they shouldn’t rely on others to build their confidence. Many admitted that when they were younger, they valued others’ opinions of them more than their own (37%), but 46 percent said their own opinion of themselves matters more now.
Survey respondents also shared that proper preparation is a mainstay in building confidence. Forty-five percent say that being prepared helps them feel more confident and another 48 percent feel more in control when they have it all figured out.
“When you are feeling down mentally or physically, it can be hard to find the motivation to get yourself moving in a positive direction,” says Alexander. “Coming up with a plan of action and the tools needed to get you there is a great first step. What obstacles are slowing you down or are setting you back? When you understand this, it’s a lot easier to get back on the right track.”
This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 general population Americans was commissioned by Curad between Feb. 1 and Feb. 2, 2023. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).