Self Confidence is a key part of success
in business. It is the difference between
having faith in yourself and feeling
scared out of your wits. It is about
having trust in what you know and your
abilities to handle the unexpected events
that life puts in your path. It is also a
belief that you are the one in control of
your life and your goals. It is that
unexplainable and untouchable attribute
that allows you get in touch with that
inner self that allows you to express
yourself fully.
The good news is that it is a trait that is
strengthened so do not give up if you do
not feel you have it at this time. In
addition, self confidence varies
depending on whether you are doing
something for the first time or it is
something you know well. It can vary
due to environment as well. For
example, some people are very
confident in one on one presentation
while others are confident in front of
large groups of people. It won’t increase
overnight but you can work to build it up
to the level of your aspiration.
The first step in building self confidence
is giving you permission to not give up
no matter what the outcome. The key is,
to do your best in any given situation
regardless of your knowledge or the end
result. When this happens, then each
small step of progress increases
The second key ingredient is to set
achievable goals. If you are doing
something for the first time, give
yourself goals to learn each small step.
Do not expect perfection in your first
attempt. Progress and not perfection is
the attitude that builds confidence. If
you must be perfect in your own mind,
then even the smallest error becomes
disastrous to confidence.
The smallest things can improve
confidence. Add a smile when you make
a phone call and it will show in your
voice, increasing a positive response.
Straightening posture when meeting
someone or giving a warm and confident
handshake even if you are trembling
inside returns a positive response. When
another person responds in a positive
manner, you comfort level increases.
The third ingredient to building up your
confidence is based on your physical well
being. When we eat right, sleep well and
get exercise we then feel better. That
sense of physical well being comes out
in our work, our voices and even our
presentations and productivity. These
are all factors to building up a sense of
worth. Making eye contact, a simple
physical event, will actually convey
confidence. So no matter how you feel
inside, get those eyes up to those who
you are speaking too!
The fourth ingredient is to watch your
own self talk. Many individuals erode
their own self confidence by the negative
self talk and the downplaying of
recognition or compliments. Monitor how
you talk to yourself. If you find yourself
discounting your work, your abilities or
any other aspect of yourself, tell yourself
“Stop.” This word is so ingrained into our
psyche that it will momentarily freeze
thought. Then replace the thought with
something that is positive and opposite
of the interrupted thought.
The fifth ingredient to building
confidence is to make an achievement
list. Make yourself a list of everything
you have accomplished no matter how
small. We do not give ourselves enough
credit for all the things we do right. We
could in any given day, do ten things
right and still focus on the one thing we
have done wrong. Do not let yourself get
caught in this trap. It is a self-confidence
killer. When you find yourself fixating on
an error, review you accomplishments.
Then fix the error and move one. Life is
too short to spend it beating yourself up
for the thing you didn’t do right. Pick
yourself up… and get going!
Lastly, if you find a subject you need to
know but have no confidence in then
take a class, read a book or just find a
forum and listen to those chatting about
it. Knowledge is power! There is no
doubt that just knowing what others are
speaking of will increase your confidence
and social presence. When you don’t
feel left out, you again, increase your
confidence levels. In addition, when you
pursue knowledge on a subject to which
you have a need or a passion, you gain
the experience of uniqueness which will
also increase worth.
Making the decision to work on building
self confidence could actually affect the
success you find and achieve in life. It is
an important decision. It is important to
be you. Whenever we are put in
positions to pretend to be what we are
not, we risk our confidence levels. While
there is some truth to the ‘fake it till you
make it’ mentality, Life is a much
happier journey when you can be who
you are and when you can be proud of
the skills you have. It is about
recognizing your strengths and being
able to truly understand that we all
have areas of weakness.
If you are an employer or a team leader,
remember to recognize the smallest
gains from those you supervise. A first
sale, a new technique, a first
presentation, these critical moments can
make or break those you work with.
Recognize the strengths of an individual
before you point out areas they may
want to focus on next. When your team
feels confidence, then everyone wins.
That is the cool thing about self-
confidence. The more it is felt the more
there is… it just keeps growing till you
have a powerful team that is
unstoppable. As a leader, you have
nothing to lose in these little
recognizable moments and everything to
gain. Success and Self-Confidence are
intricately twisted about one another,
never lose sight of it.
Cheryl Matthynssens

For knowledge and Justice
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