Confidence. Does success create it? Or does confidence create success? There’s no doubt that confidence is about our belief in ourselves, abilities, judgments, and decision-making. When we lack self-confidence, we face struggles that hold us back and keep us from achieving success. However, when success is elusive, or takes longer to achieve, we must build our innate confidence another way—in order to ensure our success. This article highlights five of the ways in which we can activate and leverage confidence to reach success, rather than waiting for success to create confidence for us.
Have Courage: Remember the Cowardly Lion? The quote goes like this: "All you need is confidence in yourself. There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger. The true courage is in facing danger when you are afraid, and that kind of courage you have in plenty." One benefit of confidence is that it can make you more courageous. But being courageous also builds our confidence. When you hold a belief in yourself, your knowledge, your skills, and abilities, you are more likely to take chances and risks. Rarely has there been a goal worth achieving that didn’t demand some level of risk in order to gain the reward we are after. This courage permits you to pursue opportunities and step out on faith in ways that lead to greater confidence in your ability to handle life’s challenges and stay the course. That’s the confidence that keeps you moving in the right direction, and ultimately generate the success you have set your sights on.
Be Resilient: Resilience, or the ability to bounce back from challenges and hardships that you face, is another way to build confidence. It’s challenging to move forward from mistakes or mishaps when you have low confidence, however, there are ways. Cultivating your emotional intelligence, practicing self-awareness, self-care, connecting with peers who can support you, exploring your personal values, purpose and priorities are all ways to restore your motivation, and build confidence even as you are dealing with difficult circumstances. Each of those alone will build your confidence, and when they are combined, the impact is multiplied.
Make Better Decisions: I have written an entire book about effective decisions, Inside Out Smart. Typically, we make better decisions when we are rested, relaxed and yes, confident. However, once again, it is possible to build confidence by practicing some of the techniques I outline in the book. These include:
Developing your intuitive abilities by practicing techniques which build the synapses in your brain linking your conscious and unconscious mind.
Being curious about what is possible before rushing to judgement on a course of action
Heightening your awareness of the hidden eight decision-killing biases we all struggle with from time to time.
Expecting to meet obstacles and challenges, and instead of labeling it a failure, explore what you learned in the process.
Activate Healthy Relationships: Relationships can benefit greatly from high levels of confidence, since confident individuals are less likely to expect a relationship to solve their inner problems for them. When you have a healthy level of confidence you are able to engage and connect with people from a healthier place. This means that there is more authenticity and vulnerability that is able to be present within a relationship, and that translates into deeper levels of connection. Yet, once again, a healthy relationship can help boost confidence. When we recognize that healthy relationships are unconditional (most of the time, of course, since we are all human) and accept us as we are, include frequent, honest communication, and provide space both for shared experiences and individual ones, then confidence can blossom. Keep in mind, these healthy relationships can be cultivated through work, social connections, friends, family and romantic partnerships. Wherever you can find the healthy relationships, cultivate them for a big dose of confidence.
Get to Know Yourself: Most of us believe we know ourselves. However, few of us do with the level of depth and discernment that builds confidence. Knowing ourselves is not about self-therapy. It isn’t about understanding why that last relationship didn’t work out, or whether we prefer Thai, Mexican or Italian food takeout. No. Knowing yourself is about recognizing what is truly a priority for you, what makes you feel joy, and what steals your enthusiasm. It is understanding your strengths, your inner desires, your values and purpose (as mentioned earlier in building resilience).
When we know ourselves, we can recognize our weaknesses and fears without shame or guilt. We accept ourselves, and can see clearly what must change for us to show up differently and create a different set of experiences. This sort of self-knowledge is rarely taught or cultivated in our culture, and without it, we become externally motivated instead of internally motivated. Because external circumstances are ultimately outside of our direct control (although we do have some influence over them), our confidence suffers, even if we do experience external success.
Ultimately, confidence is a precious asset worth cultivating continuously. It isn’t an end in and of itself, because even the most confident and outwardly successful person can at times still battle doubts about their abilities and intellect. However, via ongoing, intentional measures, you can make improvements to your levels of confidence. This keeps you on course for the success you are envisioning for yourself. Courage, resilience, better decision-making, healthier relationships, and higher levels of self-knowledge are just a few of the ways you can see improvements in your confidence, making the pursuit of success easier as a result.
If you are ready to build your confidence for greater success, let's talk! I'd love to have a FREE discovery session with you. Let's see if we can make the change you need. Message me, or book the session directly right here.