Ways To Best Develop Your Self-Confidence
We all know people who are not really talented but who attain incredible success because of their overflowing self-confidence. On the other hand, there are those who are brilliant but whose careers appear to be going nowhere because they are too timid to assert themselves or communicate properly.
The need for self-confidence is evident, not only for employees where promotions are often heavily affected by personality, but also for entrepreneurs, although to a lesser degree. While some advocate measures to radically change their personality, my personal belief is that while this is extremely difficult to achieve, even partial improvement in confidence is worth the effort.
You do not have to be excellent at everything. As long as you are doing well in your core competency, you only need to make a passing mark in other aspects. There is a tendency to be overly afraid of failure. This is not to mean that you should not strive to improve your other skills—just that you keep things in the proper perspective.
An example of a specific skill that most feel they are inadequate in is public speaking. Do not be afraid if you have poor presentation skills unless you are a professional speaker. In most occasions, people listen to a speaker because of the person’s credentials. Bill Gates is by no means a captivating speaker, but he is regularly invited to address heads of states and CEOs around the world because of his accomplishments. You may not be a multi-billionaire, but rest assured that you would not have been invited to talk if they think you are not competent in your line of business.
There are hundreds of ways to boost your self-confidence but some methods are more effective than others. It is my opinion that the three techniques I will discuss are the most potent in building confidence. My suggestions are not meant to transform you into a star keynote speaker instantly, but the ideas below are probably the best place to start.
Learn how to decide scientifically. Many of us lack confidence in making a decision, not because we are incompetent on the matter being decided on, but due to lack of training on how to make a decision. The process of arriving at a decision varies depending on the magnitude, simplicity and urgency of the matter at hand. Those with poor self-confidence usually take too long because they tend to overanalyze even simple and low value problems. There are books and courses on proper decision-making. Even non-executives would benefit from honing their decision-making process since this skill is needed in all aspects of both our professional and private lives. The person who is able to decide in a quick and wise manner will gain enormous self-confidence.
Develop your personality. There are many definitions of personality development but for our purpose, this means the physical aspects and social interaction of a person that make him pleasing to other people. Strive to dress smartly, learn how to use make-up (for the ladies) and have the proper posture. Although also useful for everyday confidence building, this is particularly important when meeting new people. This is because first impressions are critical, and among the first things they will notice is your attire. I suggest dressing as formally as suitable because it is better to be a bit overdressed than to appear too informal. Both clients and co-workers will notice. Note, too, that it is better to buy fewer higher quality clothing rather than many cheap clothing.
Make a habit of thinking positively. This is a long-term proposition and not an easy task since you will be trying to change the habits of a lifetime. Nevertheless, it is worth the effort because this will help almost all other aspects of your life. The person who always tries to see the silver lining is more likely to be confident in the outcomes of his actions. One effective way usually done to get into this habit is to pick an ideal role model and then to ask yourself what your role model would have done in your particular situation. For those with the means, another method is to get an expert mentor. In the United States, it is common for top management to avail of the services of an executive coach for the purpose of developing their upcoming managers.
Self-confidence is second only to determination in the formula for success. While a few of us were lucky enough to be born with this attitude, for the majority it is something that needs to be nurtured. It is only with sufficient self-confidence that you can attain your full potential.
*Originally published by the Manila Bulletin. Written by Ruben Anlacan, Jr. (President, BusinessCoach, Inc.) All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or copied without express written permission of the copyright holders.