Confidence, Self-Esteem, and the KLT Factor: Know, Like, Trust

woman with hand on her neckHave you heard of something called the KLT factor? It’s a hot topic among marketing types.

KLT stands for know, like, and trust. The power of the KLT factor comes from the fact potential customers like you and me generally want to do business with people and companies we know, like, and trust.

Why? Because knowing, liking, and trusting someone gives you confidence in that person. And that’s where the KLT factor blends into self-esteem.

I’m sitting with a person who wants to have more confidence in herself. As we talk, it becomes clear what the problem is: She wants to develop confidence, but she doesn’t yet have the foundation for it.

She doesn’t have the KLT factor.

No one can have confidence in a self they don’t know, like, or trust. What are they supposed to be confident about?

Remember, confidence flows from within. It can’t be manufactured out of wishes and air. It can’t be manufactured at all. It can only be cultivated.

In order to enjoy the same confidence that companies with the KLT factor have, we must know ourselves, like that person, and trust ourselves like no one else.

Have you been rejecting yourself without realizing it? Maybe you’ve pushed yourself away so many times that you’re a stranger to yourself.

So what are some ways to know yourself better? Pay attention to these things:

  • What you like
  • How you feel
  • What you believe
  • What you think

Notice when your opinion is different from others’, and when it’s similar. Notice when you do things you don’t want to do … or don’t do things you’d like to.

To know yourself, you have to pay attention to yourself.

This isn’t the same as being selfish. Selfishness is unthinking, whereas self-knowledge comes from purposeful self-awareness.

Once you know yourself better, you’ll discover qualities you like, and others, well, not so much. No big deal; don’t you know people who have some qualities you don’t care for, but you like them anyway?

Every one of us is a mixed bag. Friends and loved ones have good qualities that win the day, even if they’re not perfect people, and we like them just fine.

The qualities you like about yourself are probably inherent; they came into the world with you, riding on your genes. Kindness, courage, and intelligence fall into this category.

The things most of us don’t like about ourselves, on the other hand, are usually adaptations. They’re behaviors and thought patterns—such as being critical of ourselves and others—we developed long ago in response to our environment.

Since much of what you don’t like about yourself is learned, and much of what you do like is natural, what does that say about you?

Paying closer attention to who you really are, you’ll notice you’re basically good. You try to do the right thing. You feel awful when you foul up.

Healthy self-knowledge and liking yourself will help you show up in new ways. You might start keeping promises or working toward goals. You might make the choice to put yourself first more often, especially if you feel you’ve been too passive at times.

As you make these changes, you’ll begin to trust yourself more. The more you come through for yourself, the more your trust will grow.

Once you know, like, and trust yourself, that KLT factor will give you natural confidence.

You won’t have to worry about trying to cobble together confidence out of wishes and air. You will have built the perfect foundation for a successful, confident you.

© Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. Permission to publish granted by Tina Gilbertson, MA, LPC, Self-Esteem Topic Expert Contributor

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

  • Leave a Comment
  • Maura

    April 1st, 2014 at 3:54 PM

    Honestly the more that you know yourself I think the more you will come to like and trust yourself

  • brooke h

    April 2nd, 2014 at 7:22 AM

    Thank you so much for pointing out that this is not the same thing as being selfish. I think that there are a lot of people who think that those of us who are self aware are naturally selfish and assume that because we know ourselves pretty well that naturally we are thinking about ourselves all the time and this isn’t true at all. But there is a natural self confidence that comes along with being a little more self aware then there was when I didn’t know anything about myself at all and I have to say that I like myself much more now because of that than I ever did when I was struggling to figure out who I really was.

  • Gina

    April 2nd, 2014 at 11:07 AM

    When you grew up in a home continually being told that you were not good enough and wouldn’t amount to much of anything, well, you can see how it would be pretty difficult to like and trust yourself, much less have the basis for any hope for having and kind of self confidence. I hope to one day move past this, but it is taking a whole lot of effort to push away all of that negativity from the past and almost start over brand new with what I actually think about myself. Do you know how hard that is for most of us, to do away with what we have believed about ourselves for years and try to take back some of who we really are and want to be? It is a challenge to say the least.

  • Tina Gilbertson

    April 2nd, 2014 at 12:25 PM

    I agree with both of you; to know yourself is to like yourself. And for me, that’s true with other people, too.

    The better I know someone, the more I understand them, the less there is to dislike and the more there is to identify with and appreciate.

    Thank you for taking the time to leave your comments.

  • Tina Gilbertson

    April 2nd, 2014 at 5:25 PM

    Gina, it’s definitely a challenge, just as you say. The trick is *not* to try to push away your old beliefs, but rather to embrace the feelings of shame and “badness” they bring up.
    Owning these bad feelings – naming them and feeling them – puts you in touch with your authentic self, and that connection forms the basis of a new, better relationship with yourself.
    It’s counter-intuitive but if you try it you’ll discover it’s true. Good luck!

  • Carolee

    April 3rd, 2014 at 3:32 AM

    What is it about some people that makes you automatically know, like and trust then=m and then for tohers it seems like there will never be any breaking through their barriers?
    Are there just those people who are more personable and naturally more likeable and these will be the people that we will gravitate toward in life?

  • sean y

    April 4th, 2014 at 3:46 AM

    It’s one thing to know and like someone but trust s something that has to be earned and I find that poeple want that way too fast sometimes. No, a lot of the time they want you to automatically trust them and for me trust is something that takes a little while. I haven’t been hurt, burned in the past, but this is a big deal to me and it almost feels like when someone is pushing that too fast, they have something to hide. They want to get you sucked in before you can find out something about them that might turn you away.

  • Frankie

    April 5th, 2014 at 12:33 PM

    After thinking about all of this for a while I guess that the underlying message that I took away from this is that it is next to impossible to love another until you can find it within to love yourself.

Leave a Comment

By commenting you acknowledge acceptance of's Terms and Conditions of Use.

* Indicates required field.

GoodTherapy uses cookies to personalize content and ads to provide better services for our users and to analyze our traffic. By continuing to use this site you consent to our cookies.