Self-confidence is an evolutionary journey. It is the accumulation of experiences, new learning and fearlessness. Sometimes you may possess it and not even realize. Being conscious of your own powers and abilities is what allows you to think, speak and act purposefully. You tap into an inner strength and embody courage to succeed. Self-confidence is linked with success as you have more energy and your inspiration comes from within. No one is immune to slip into bouts of doubt, insecurity and uncertainty, however, it is your choice if you allow it to dictate the conditions of your life. Insecurity plagues people consciously and unconsciously. While the fearful will agonize over decisions and make the safe choices, the confident leader will make the decision quickly and change their mind slowly. Every time you express your opinion to the world, each time your stand for something you want or every time you take a risk to expand your unfamiliar zone, you are building your own reservoir of confidence which only you can access at any time you choose. It’s yours, you own it. Self-confidence is a fundamental quality to leaders and it is where leadership grows. To build confidence, you must practice confidence.
Let’s embark on a quest for self-confidence and embody 10 principles to harness your self-confidence that lives within you:
Number 1 : Ultimate youYour essence as a leader is independent of the opinion of others, feels above and beneath no one and is fearless of all challenges. When you embrace your true self, you know within that you can handle whatever happens in life with compassion and certainty as your self-worth is not tied to what others think of you. You purposefully step into being fearless and courageous in all things.
Number 2 : True masters, always the studentAllow yourself to be an avid learner. Acknowledge that it is okay not to be perfect, expand your own limitations and unfamiliar zones to step into starting something new. Lifelong learning separates those who will continue to rise in the fields from those who are content to just float along. There is a concept in Zen Buddhism called “shoshin” or “beginner’s mind”, which means being open to learning more no matter what level of success you have achieved. When you approach your work with vigor, you work knowing there is always something new to learn.
Number 3 : Execution is the gameThe ‘what if’ loop permeates the minds of many. Worrying, overthinking and anxiety create a state of paralysis in which you fail to act. When you do act, you own the consequences. The accomplishments or downfalls are the greatest feedback, gifts and experiences. When you detach from the outcome, execution is the decision where your confidence will grow.
Number 4 : Getting in the trenchesBuilding a surplus of experiences only results from putting yourself out there and taking risks. A disciplined practice and a commitment to growth enhances your self-confidence because “repetition is the mother of all skill” no matter the endeavor.
Number 5 : Practice presenceWhen you tap into your true self, you experience self confidence as your ground state. Through the practice of being present in the moment, the voices of doubt, indecision and fear soften to distant whispers. From this state, you tap into your internal resources as a platform for achievement and fulfilment. Practicing mindfulness can have significant benefits for your physical and psychological well being. Notice your breath flowing and bring awareness to your other sensations – what you see, what you hear, what you smell, and taste. Visualize your confidence in your mind’s eye by seeing yourself speaking on a stage or doing the activity for which you require more confidence. Allow the feelings of comfortable presence to pervade your body and mind.
“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” – Mother Teresa
Number 6 : Say ‘no’Confident people know that saying ‘no’ is healthy. They own their ‘no’ with confidence as it is in alignment with who they are, their values and what they stand for. Saying ‘no’ to new commitments honors your existing priorities.
Number 7 : Knowledge breeds confidenceTapping into mentorship boosts confidence. Accessing the knowledge, experience and wisdom of a person who has walked the path less travelled allows you to focus your energy more effectively and efficiently. Successful CEO’s continue to study from the masters. Whether it’s attending conferences, watching TED talks or engaging a mentor. By studying the best in your field, you can up your game.
Number 8 : What would Kanye do?Confident people are not afraid to stretch their limits and set the bar high. Kanye West claiming to run for President in the 2024 elections should not be taken lightly as he strongly holds his belief in his own ability to succeed. Setting the bar too low or not acting will slowly but surely allow self-doubt to creep back in. Every time you find yourself holding yourself back, just ask yourself, ‘what would Kanye do?”.
Number 9 : Deliberate practiceWorld-class titans don’t ever rest. Deliberate practice trumps natural talent. If you are unsure about your ability to do something, start by trying on the skills in a safe setting. Preparation builds confidence over time. Getting out of your own way by asking for help is confidence in learning. When you tap into your own value and how you can add value to others, confidence is no longer about self-promotion. You invest your energy and your being in how you can add value to another human being. It’s no longer about you.
Number 10 : Get your power pose onWonder Woman power posing has been all the rage over the last 5 years. Amy Cuddy, Harvard Psychologist, did a TED Talk and discussed how your body language governs how you think and feel about youself. For instance, commanding a powerful stance can make you feel more powerful. When you keep your body relaxed and open, your confidence starts to rise. A further academic paper published in 2018 by Cuddy, provided ample evidence that adopting an expansive posture makes people feel more powerful. Before your next interview, strike a power pose. Confidence turns thought to action. Confidence is a building block in an impactful career and embracing it will take you places you never thought possible.
“Confidence turns thought to action. Confidence is a building block in an impactful career and embracing it will take you places you never thought possible".