Zig Ziglar once said, “Confidence is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you.”
Besides the fact that I don’t want to see any whale harmed, it’s a quote that conjures up some great mental images. You can clearly visualize the fisherman in this tiny boat, the rough seas, vessel rocking back and forth, and still ready to fight the ferocious creature – all the while knowing they will prevail the victor.
That’s confidence. That’s attitude. That’s mojo.
Confidence and State of Mind
Confidence is state of mind. It’s the feeling of self-assurance that arises from the appreciation of your abilities and qualities. Confidence is knowing what you bring to the table. You believe in your knowledge, skills, and the experience you have.
It’s knowing that you can get the job done.
Talent or Confidence? What Drives Success?
According to Medical News Today, confidence, not talent, is a driver of success. Researchers at the University of California (UC) Berkeley's Haas School of Business found that those who were more confident experience more success than their peers, despite their talent.
Another study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology showed that those who appeared more confident achieved a higher status than their peers. At work, “higher-status individuals” tended to be more admired, listened to, and had more influence over group decisions.
Business News Daily also published studies on confidence that suggested confident employees have more fruitful careers than their peers who aren't as self-assured. Their research discovered a correlation between confidence and career success and also revealed that those who self-reported higher levels of confidence earlier in school earned better wages, and were promoted more quickly.
Can it be? Can confidence really be the key to greater success?
The Importance of Confidence
The good thing about confidence is that you don’t have to be born with it. You can build it through time. Confidence is not a static measure. Our confidence to perform tasks can increase and decrease. Some days we even feel more confident than others.
But being confident changes things. People take notice.
Confidence changes your relationships, how you communicate, your ability to meet your goals, and having a successful working environment. Confidence is one of our most important assets.
Six Ways Confidence Helps Us
- Confidence helps with competence - Let’s say you are having an interview. Your skills can be off the page but you have to be able to convince an employer that you can do the job. If your body language or communication style says otherwise, that’s going to hurt.
- Confidence helps with communication - If you lack confidence, it diminishes your ability to speak with conviction to your colleagues. It may even keep you from meeting new people and forming good relationships.
- Confidence helps with meeting goals - If you don’t believe you’re capable of reaching your goals, you probably won’t reach them.
- Confidence means you are comfortable just being you - You can tell a confident person by the way they walk into the room.
- Confidence frees us from fear - It helps us move out of our self-restricted boundary - called our comfort zone - and helps us to control any situation, circumstance, or outcome.
- Confidence helps our success - The studies above have shown a correlation between self-confidence and success. Increasing confidence can help to increase success.
How to Build Confidence
- Plan and Prepare – Prepare for difficult situations and take control of the unknown. Break it down into bite-size pieces so you can plan your course of actions.
- Increase Your Knowledge – The more you know, the more confident you become. Increased knowledge helps boost confidence levels as well as confidence with our abilities to perform roles and tasks. As we continue to complete our tasks, our confidence that we can complete the same and similar tasks again increases.
- Know You Will Do It – Powerful thoughts provide us with powerful intentions. Negative thoughts can be damaging to confidence and your ability to achieve goals.
- Strengthen Your Strengths and Improve Your Weaknesses – Keep doing what you do best and continue to develop those strengths. Understand where you fall behind and find ways to improve or manage your weaknesses manage your weaknesses.
- Take Note of the Times You Were Not Successful - Don't think of your mistakes as negatives but rather as learning opportunities. Some of the greatest life lessons are a result of missing the mark first go around.
- Recognize Your Accomplishments and Accept Compliments – It’s okay to toot your horn every now and then. Recognize your own achievements and don’t be embarrassed to accept compliments when given.
- Learn to Express Yourself – Stand up for what is important to you. Flex those vocal cords. Stand up for what you believe and stick to your principles. People admire those who are not afraid to speak what is on their mind. Assertiveness, confidence and self-confidence are linked. As people become naturally more assertive, confidence develops.
Confidence is Not Cockiness
Be confident but not cocky. Arrogance doesn’t win friends and can be detrimental to interpersonal relationships. A little humility goes a long way to temperate arrogance.
Remember, it’s not enough just to feel confident. You have to actually perform the task at hand. Put your money where your mouth is, so to speak. When you set the ground rules for an expectation of success, you can attempt new things, forge new relationships, contribute to your success, and revel in small wins as you move toward bigger goals – or the whale.
What are you going to conquer today?
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Johnston Osburn is a Career and Life Coach who helps people turn dreams into realities. After years as a Global Talent Acquisition Professional, she realized how frequently people limit themselves because they lack belief in their abilities. They are afraid to dream, let alone dream big. [...]