In order to earn trust as a business professional, confidence is key. Research shows that confidence has a stronger link to success than competence. Self-confidence is a belief that you can accomplish what you set out to do in your current role with your skills, experience and creative problem solving. Confidence can differentiate between those business professionals who imagine and those who act.
In order to improve something, it is important to evaluate the current situation and identify problem areas. Let’s have a look at things you might be doing that can reduce your confidence:
- To be sensitive and prefer to be liked rather than respected.
- To be afraid to say no and sacrifice your own needs.
- To over-reflect about a criticism or negative comment rather than seeing it as a self-statement of the other person.
- To take the blame for things gone bad and not giving yourself credit for your successes.
- To over-personalize a setback.
These are just a few examples; this can help you identify yours.
It is important to be aware if you are currently doing something that can reduce your confidence. Once you are aware of it, you can change it!
Confidence is not about whether you can do it, but whether you evaluate yourself and believe that you can do it. To increase confidence, you should get outside your comfort zones, experience setbacks, and try again. When you decide to face a fear or the uncertainty of doing something new, you take control and create a new story. Your anxiety is a signal of growth, pushing yourself to a place you have not been before. When you associate fear or uncertainty with courage and actions, you create an experience of confidence.
Steps to improve your confidence:
- Identify your problem areas
Make a list of things you are currently doing that reduces your confidence
Take control and make a list of the new controlled actions chosen to replace each of your problem areas.
Your controlled action should be clear about how you will act differently.
A calm brain is the ultimate confidence tool.
When the opportunity arrives: Pause, focus, reflect and plan your action from your control list
4. Take action
Create an experience of confidence by taking action – act as you planned from your control list.
Your anxiety is a signal of growth – accept this and believe in yourself.
Associate your fear/uncertainty with courage and actions.
Practice makes perfect, repeat your attempts until it feels natural to you. If something is not working, adjust or change. Make the decision to leave your comfort zone, plan for when you will do it. In order to move forward, fail fast in small ways and assess it afterwards in order to adjust if needed. Focus on the times you were successful and do more of what you did in that situation. Start telling yourself and your family that you are confident. Positive self-talk is crucial; no-one believes in you unless you do. Celebrate your victories and start believing you are confident.