Who are these confident people? And what are they doing to earn it?
Everyone wants more confidence in their lives. Some feel that they had it and lost it. Some think that only certain people are bestowed with confidence in what they do. Some people have it and want more of it to further dominate. Which is it? And what is the difference?
Confidence is really our belief in our ability to figure things out and to make things happen for us. That’s it. How high is our self belief? How much do we believe in ourselves to make things happen? When a new task is thrown at us, how do we react? Do we take it on with aplomb or do we shutter in the thought of not having done something like this before, unsure of our abilities?
This is why confidence is tied to competence. The more competent we feel in a given activity, the more confident we feel in engaging in it. The less competent we feel in a given activity, the less confident we feel in engaging in it. It is a direct relationship. This is why when we’re good, we’re confident. And it continuously reinforces us to engage in that same behavior or activities. This puts us squarely in our comfort zone. Nothing feels better (or more comfortable) than being good at something, especially in front of others.
Confidence also comes from trying new things and being OK with sucking at them for awhile. That’s right — confident people are OK with sucking at new things for awhile. They’re new at them; how can they possibly be good at them? So many of us avoid doing new things because we’re afraid of looking bad in front of others. This starts sometime in childhood and most of us never shake it. Confident people shake this uneasiness with new actions. They feel the fear and they do it anyway. They push through to the other side. They believe that things will turn out OK if they simply go through with the act. With enough repetition, this new thing will become just as natural as any other physical or mental activity. It will become a part of them, something else that they are now competent in and can add to their skill set. Besides, it feels good to try new things and to take on new actions that push you. Confident people don’t want a life spent entirely within their comfort zone. They’re consistently pushing the boundaries out of what’s possible for them.
Confident people do not let setbacks get them down for long. They bounce back readily and go at it again. They persist. They default to taking action vs. contemplating what they should do next. They think of the next action to take and they take it. They know that just about any action is better than doing nothing. They live the action value daily. They realize that the more routine the behavior, like going to the gym, like eating clean, like set bed and wake times will make them thrive. These positive behaviors simply become default habits, boosting them to new levels of accomplishment and clarity.
Confident people ask for help. Our culture is an individualist, bootstraps culture. We celebrate the individual, the entrepreneur, the Michael Jordans of their professions. Within this context, we undermine others and their abilities to help us achieve. So, we are reticent to ask for help from them. We unfortunately look at asking for help as a sign of weakness when it is anything but.
Confident people realize that they cannot do it all on their own. They enroll and enlist others in their quests and missions to accomplish big things. It doesn’t matter whether it is starting a business, hitting the gym, running the 100 miler, or getting something fixed, they ask for help. Of course, there are times when they can do it on their own. But if the Mission is big, if the quest is long, they know it is far better to ask for help early and often. Guess what happens when people come on board to help work toward the mission? They get more confident in what they’re doing! They get more competent in what they’re doing. And the self-reinforcing loop continues.
Find a Mission you believe in that gives you purpose, and watch your confidence soar.
Confident people get paid and aren’t afraid to ask for the money. A lot of folks are scared to ask for the money. They feel they aren’t worth it. They feel weird around money. Their emotions are all over the place when it comes to money. Confident people realize that money is simply a value transfer from one party to another. Confident people know what they are worth in the marketplace and always aim for the high-end of it. They’re not here to mess around — they’re here to get paid, and well paid at that. They understand their value and how it is positioned in the marketplace. They aren’t afraid to give, give, give of themselves and then take their fair share of compensation for a job well done. It’s fair. It is equitable. It is how things are done for those who know.
Confident people lead others, often into the unknown. Most folks are terrified of the unknown. Most people would rather stay home and hide under the covers than face the unknown. Nearly all people would rather stay within their comfort zones — even unpleasant ones — than leap into the darkness. Yet confident leaders are always leading others into unknown territory. They may not have a clear roadmap of where they’re going. Often, they don’t, but they go anyway. They seek out the unknown, usually with less confidence, and that’s OK. If they’re tasked with facing uncertainty and leading the team into it, they do it, even if the confidence is somewhat faked.
Confident people do not shy away from conflict. In fact, they expect it and embrace it. They know that people will disagree, particularly on touchy subjects. Confident people act as mediators in these situations, ensuring that people don’t get at each other’s throats and maintain the peaceful resolve. Confident people realize that everyone has an opinion, and that there are those out there that are not shy about giving it. They know because they are not shy about giving their own. Sometimes new solutions and innovations can come from messy conflict. Therefore, it is OK to embrace it even if it is uncomfortable.
Confident people practice their craft daily. Nothing breeds more confidence like being good at something and practicing it regularly. Once you’re good and you’re practicing consistently, you’re confidence level in that skill skyrockets. You look forward to doing it. Take public speaking. Most people are terrified of public speaking and would rather stay at home on the couch any day than give a talk. Yet, after a few reps, a few good talks, more practice, a few more good talks, more practice, the person eventually looks forward to giving good speeches. They may even grow so much as to get paid to give them. There are many stories of professionals going from scared to death at the thought of public speaking to poised, confident and well-paid speaker. They are great stories, ones we can all reference and point to as the journey from barely novice to professional.
Confident people are givers. They believe in abundance. They believe there is plenty for all. And they believe the more they give, the more they receive in return. They only take their share after first giving 3x or 4x. They believe in giving value first, always. The best aim at giving value on the spot, with no expectation of reciprocation. They simply give. This action causes an immediate positive bond to be created between the giver and the receiver, even if they just met. If you can solve someone’s problem for them on the spot, having just met them, they will love you for it. Confidence through giving thus forms the initial relationship. A relationship born on the foundation of giving is always a great start, especially within the sales context.
Confident people are teachers. They know one of the best ways to convince someone of their soundness of logic is through teaching. Teaching new ways, new thinking, even shaping peoples’ thinking, is foundational to building their own confidence. Confident people sell through teaching and sharing what they know. They get that not everyone will get them or understand them, and they’re OK with that. But they choose to concentrate on the ones who get them and teach to them. Confident people are not afraid of sharing what they know, even their best secrets. They believe that through sharing, they get so much more in return than what they give. It is why they’re never afraid to give, give, give. They’re always ready to give more.
Confident people are creators. They create daily because they feel a day without creation is a day missing something. They also realize that a dedicated practice of daily creation simply means better output on those that matter the most. They focus on being prolific. They focus on quality. They focus on creating the most for their market. Confident people know that what they create creates their legacy, and they are dedicated to that every day.