My Point Of View on Confidence is based on my many conversations and experiences during my personal leadership evolution. I hope that they will prove useful for you as you evolve and build Your Confidence Foundation.
Others will certainly believe in You, Motivate You, and Inspire You. However, you can’t wait for or depend on external confidence injections. TRUE Confidence comes from within. YOU have to believe in YOU. This belief in YOU is fortified with the right combination of Self-Esteem, Personal Accountability, and Courage.
Self-Esteem- Our self-esteem is often degraded by the “little voice” in our heads, the “voice” of self doubt. That “voice” that has been with us for as long as we can remember, it has been with us in the good times and the tough times. Too often, the deep concerns from our lifetimes are relayed to us by that “voice”. It says things like “I’m not good enough”, “I don’t belong here with these people from a different background”,”don’t they see that I have doubts”, “I got promoted to a new role but can I really handle it”, “why do they believe in me?”,”why are they looking at me as I try to make a point”, “I blew it last time, don’t mess up again”, etc. We need to stop the “voice” of self-doubt. The messages need to be POSITIVE. We should tell ourselves “these people want to hear what I have to say”, “I belong here as I’ve earned my way”, “I need to leverage my strengths and work on my opportunities”, “I can’t wait to learn from others as well as share my insights”, “I feel honored to have people believe in me and I will make them proud!”, etc. This changing of the “channel” is critical to success. A positive mental attitude will allow you to celebrate your strengths as well as approach your capability needs with purpose. You don’t want to let yourself down.
Accountability- Personal Accountability is the glue that holds your foundation together. I often have asked people “if you have a friend who let you down, made you feel bad, missed appointments, and did not uphold commitments – how long would they be your friend?” The answer is always “for not long”. Why do we do these very same things to ourselves? We let ourselves down for a variety of reasons. However, over-commitment and the subsequent frustration are often primary drivers. These roadblocks can be dealt with thru reasonable goal setting along with personal clarity. Think about the many roles that you play in your life – a mother/father, son/daughter. Servant, brother/sister, professional, employee, executive, community leader, friend, citizen, human being, etc. Think about the many areas in which you engage – emotional, intellectual, physical, financial, spiritual, societal, professional, etc. These areas need goals to be fulfilled. I recommend that you decide where you will play your focus over the next year as it relates to your multi-year plans.
Consider your many roles as you make your decisions. For example, on the emotional level, you may decide that you need to place more of a focus on being a better parent to truly fulfill your family’s potential. Then set goals around how you will engage with your children, time you will spend as a family unit, how often you will call your parents, etc. The long term impact will be that you will role model for your children how a parent should express their love. You also might want to combine focus areas. For example, if your long-term goal is to be a Senior Executive and you feel that your financial base is light. Going after an MBA satisfies your Intellectual need while enabling your Professional goal.
Courage- I have often said that “Our resolve is greater than our circumstances”. We don’t always see this when are in the storm or faced with a challenge. To draw upon this courage, you should leverage your confidence foundation by calling upon the entities that give you strength. Who are you fighting for? Who is depending on me? Who has inspired you? A tact that could work is to think about the important people in your life – past and present. Lao Tzu’s quote says it all -”Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” Despite the challenges you face, there are people who have believed in you and whom you won’t let down. When fear creeps in, turn it on its ear and leverage it to drive you to maximize your success. Move Forward With Courage.