It’s extraordinary how many people whom I work with begin our first conversation with, “The thing is, I just don’t have any confidence. And given everything that’s going on in my life - especially my work – that’s not a good thing. How can I get it??”
Here’s a fact: You don’t have to “get it.” It’s already there; hidden maybe, but there. All you have to do is locate it. Own it. Demonstrate it. And celebrate it.
If you’ve read more than a few “motivators” you know what a high premium I put on your “getting it” about how good, how strong, how powerful and how necessary to the world you already are. The best way to do that is, oddly enough, to look backwards.
Seriously, you might recall how urgently I invite people (like you) to take a look back into their lives at their “defining moments.” The fact is, sometimes it takes a crisis for us to actually define ourselves…to ourselves. And that’s where defining moments come in. Here’s why: A defining moment is the time when, with everything (and maybe everyone) going against you, you found something in yourself you didn’t know you had – guts, compassion, resolve – and pulled it out of the fire. Maybe it’s that time when you said, ” Here’s how it’s going to go.” Or, “Yes, I am.” Or “No, I’m not.”
Okay, it’s probably not the time you cured world hunger (sadly), more likely it’s the time you fell down…and got back up again. But it’s always a time after which you never quite think of yourself in the same way again. We’ve all got them. Maybe they’re hidden in the far reaches of your memory, temporarily covered up by years of well, just getting stuff done. But they’re there. And you are nothing less than the sum total of all those moments from the past – (and all the ones yet to come..) Now’s the time to dig them out. Now’s the time to hold them up to the light, own them and celebrate them… and yourself. And maybe even share them with someone you’re close to. (And listen to theirs.) Then ask yourself the question, “Hey, If I could do that, what else could I do??” And the answer will come back clear as a bell: “Whatever I decide…” That’s confidence.
And most important, demonstrate your confidence. Here are some suggestions:
- Confident people listen more than they talk.
- Confident people, make it about you, not them.
- Confident people are optimistic. They walk into every room anticipating that good things will happen.
- Confident people thrive on change and uncertainty.
- Confident people are not afraid of failing…on their way to succeeding. They own and even rejoice in their mistakes – and the learning that comes from them.
- Confident people don’t have to be good at – or know – everything. They love collaboration and value people with skills and gifts different from their own.
- Confident people concentrate on what they can uniquely contribute to something bigger than themselves – and rejoice in that contribution