In the animal kingdom, appearing bigger than you are is vital. It is a survival technique, both for the individual animal and the species. It is why cats go onto tiptoes when they meet a dog; it is why peacocks fan their feathers when they see a peahen; it is why sea elephants raise themselves as high as possible when about to engage in combat.
Humans do not have that ability. We cannot make ourselves bigger. But we can appear bigger. We can artificially inflate our confidence when going into an interview, or in front of a bully, making us look bigger than we are.
Confidence is vital to humans – just as much as to other animals – because it enables us to control fear. It enables us to prove to ourselves that we are more than we think, to reach our potential, to be the best we can be.
Confidence allows us to be who we want to be.
How do you react when confronted with fear, a rival, a potential mate? Do you shy away, feeling small and paralysed? Or stand up high on two legs, fan your feathers and make yourself look as confident and big as you can be, worthy of the attention?