Self confidence defines how we see ourselves, what we think about ourselves and how much value we attach ourselves. The level of our perception of how successful we can be at work has to do with self confidence.


Gaining self confidence starts at an early age. Low self confidence may be defined as a negative attitude, bad judgment and problem solving skills, dependency, anxiety and depression in adapting to new situations. High self confidence, on the other hand, is defined as positive attitude, good judgment and problem solving skills, healthy relationships, and easy adaptation to new situations.


Self confidence is not lying or exaggeration. Lack of self confidence develops various strategies to hide itself. These may be exaggeration or over stated politeness. Actually, is it really necessary to have self confidence in all areas? Everyone seeks acceptance and respect. If respect is suppressed, self confidence diminishes. Self confidence doesn’t happen by itself. It forms through the experiences of childhood and adolescence. It has nothing to do with intellect, but the educational system is very important. Not being able to display accomplishments creates a lack of confidence. In such situations, the individual tries to emphasize one feature – such as keeping his/her intellect or appearance in the foreground.


If we know the reason – such as the attitude of the parents (excessive approval or excessive scolding), the education system, etc. – for our lack of self confidence, we can deal with it more easily. Publications present wrong self confidence elements, such as films, heroes, etc. When the factor that diminishes self confidence is identified, it must be faced, like fear of talking in public, being unsuccessful in school, loss of confidence and processes such as generalizations.


Intellect, appearance, bodily features and knowledge are factors that affect self confidence. However, self confidence can turn into egotism and narcissism. To give an example, let’s say that a person, as a factor affecting self confidence, stutters. What can he do? He can work on it, correct it and attempt to become a speaker. Or, he cannot correct it, and tries to be successful in another field. Or, he cannot correct it, and rules his surrounds as a piteous wretch. Risky situations lead to negative beliefs. Under such circumstances, there are two choices: To form realistic expectations, or self assessment.




Whether being beautiful or handsome, that is, physically attractive, has an impact on human relationships and on success is a subject that has been investigated extensively. In one study, students were shown pictures of men and women. The pictures were selected from physically attractive people, average people and not so attractive people. The students were asked to evaluate the personalities of these people. It was seen that the students attributed more positive social and personal traits to the physically attractive people. As can be seen from this study, people have the tendency to see physically attractive persons as having characteristics that have nothing to do with physical appearance, such as being more social, active, warm, clever, intelligent and skillful. This is a set judgment.


The same thing is also valid for children. Adults find physically attractive children more likeable, more social, skillful and easier to care for. The mistakes that these children make are more often overseen. It enables them to be more popular in primary school. At the same time, the expectations of parents and teachers are higher from these children. Adults attribute the negative behavior of physically not so attractive children to their personality.


As for careers, the facial attractiveness of MBI graduates was evaluated, without checking their career results. It was observed that physically attractive men started their careers with higher salaries, but this was not a factor with women. In the follow up, physical attractiveness influenced salary and advancement in women over time. That is, attractiveness positively influenced starting work in men, and advancement in women. However, the answer to the question, ‘Do physical characteristics enable one to be better in a career or as a person,’ is, no. This means that physical attractiveness does not positively influence intellect, self confidence, leadership and mental health. These are all social attributes. It must also not be forgotten that the concept of physical attractiveness changes among societies and races. Of all these attributes, the correct one is that physically attractive people have higher social sufficiency. These people can have more self esteem, and be more social. This gives them a higher chance of success, especially in selling positions. This is called ‘self-realizing prophecy’ in psychology. That is, the pattern supplied by the society increase social confidence, and the characteristics attributed to a person become reality.   


The answer to the question, ‘Does less than average physical attractiveness make a person more determined, or does the attractive one work less,’ depends on upbringing and the behavior of the environment. If the child is provided with added benefits due to its physical attractiveness, if its physical characteristics are always brought forth, it will be more concerned with the characteristic that brings it recognition and benefits, and will invest in it. If, even when it is physically attractive, this is not emphasized and not found sufficient for extra benefits, the child will develop its other attributes as well. Its physical attributes will remain a plus. The child who does not have the advantage of its physical appearance will try to use all of the abilities and capabilities it may have. However, if any one of its characteristics is emphasized and its abilities not supported, the result will be the same. This condition is directly related to upbringing and the attitude of the social environment.

Professor Bengi Semeci, M.D.