Have you ever encountered someone who seems so confident? I’m talking about the kind of confidence that others sense as soon as that person walks into a room. It’s not arrogance, just a simple or quiet confidence you can feel. We see this in business and personal experiences. Sometimes you’re left to wonder, “Why don’t I feel that way?”
The truth is confidence can never be conquered because it’s a continual process and like most things, it’s a work in progress. That progress and growth is really up to you.
Confidence is a belief in oneself, the conviction that one has the ability to meet life’s challenges and to succeed—and the willingness to act accordingly, according to Psychology Today. I’ve had the experiences in life when I felt very confident and carried myself in that way. I’ve also experienced times when I lacked confidence and it too came through in how I showed up. What we feel and how we think shows to the outside world more than we know.
So how do we build confidence that people can feel when they’re around us? There’s not a simple solution, but as I always write about, it’s those small baby steps and minor actions you can take daily that help build confidence. It’s not something to conquer so much as it’s something to continue to strengthen over time. Here’s how:
Whatever you’re doing and whatever you’re working on, you need to prepare and prepare like your life depends on it. Preparation builds confidence. In high school or college, you prepared for those exams and the more your studied, the more confidence you felt taking that exam. In business, it’s the same when it comes to preparation. I’ve watched presenters who clearly prepared nail the presentation. I’ve also watched those who didn’t prepare and it was painfully obvious. Preparation is key for your confidence growth whether it’s personal or business. Give the deserved time and focus to prepare for whatever you’re doing and you’ll see how your confidence grows as a result.
Time to get out of your comfort zone. It’s easy to stay home and do nothing. Some people develop a habit of sitting on the sidelines. You’ll miss so much growth opportunity if you don’t join in with others. Show up. It doesn’t matter if it’s a phone call, Zoom call or in person. Take the risk. Take the leap of faith, but don’t miss the opportunity to show up and show them what you’ve got. See how that worked out for me by visiting my inclusive playground story.
Be Willing to Learn
Building confidence can’t happen if you’re not willing to learn. We have to be humble and be comfortable with the fact that we can’t know everything. Learning is the best part of this process. The more you learn, the more you grow. It’s a little scary to admit you don’t know something, especially in business. I’ve found that in my career, the most respected people are those who opening acknowledge when they need help or to learn from others. That’s what helps you grow as well as your team.
Feedback can be a wonderful confidence builder. It’s important to be aware of who provides that feedback though. It should be quality feedback. Surround yourself with positive people who truly have your best interest at heart. Those are the people who will be serve you with quality feedback and constructive areas to improve. They will help you build the confidence you deserve. It’s time to say good-bye to those people in your life who are negative and don’t support you. It’s not worth having them diminish what you’re working so hard to build. You deserve better.
Embrace the New
Change and new opportunities can be scary. They can also be the best gifts to learn, grow and develop. New opportunities are a goldmine to help build your confidence. Embrace the unknown. With a positive attitude and willingness to roll with the uncertainty, the sky is truly the limit. The most amazing thing is you’ll see people cross your path at the right time when you view things with a positive and willingness to see all of the possibilities.
I love the saying, “Look back long enough to see how far you’ve come.” It captures it all really. You’re moving forward and building the confidence you need to get to that next level. Take a look back each day and journal a few grateful thoughts. Then, take a look back a year later and see the amazing growth you’ve made. Daily reflection and gratitude will help you overcome those short-term challenges that will inevitably occur. Practicing those two things will also build the confidence you need to keep going.
Over time, your willingness to meet each new day ready to try will increase your confidence and ultimately your success. The world is ready for your uniquely, amazing gifts you have to offer. Get out there and shine!