The Power of Confidence
Back in college I transferred between universities and changed majors during my junior year. I went from Psychology to Animal Science, which was exciting but a little scary. Although I loved science, I had my doubts as to whether I could handle some of the difficult classes ahead. One class that was particularly intimidating was organic chemistry. You know the one with all the Carbons, Hydrogen and Oxygen arranged in little stick figures. I was so nervous about this class that I chose to take it in the summer, so I would have no other classes to distract me. When I got into the class, for some reason the teacher thought I was super smart and would praise me continually on my aptitude and ability. He believed in me so strongly, I started to believe in myself. Much to my surprise I began to enjoy the class and get A’s throughout. I completed the class with a solid A and lifelong lesson in confidence. What I learned was how people can inspire and cultivate confidence in others. This is just one way confidence can be built.
So what is confidence? Confidence is defined as the belief in oneself, ones powers and abilities. Confidence comes from within, but it can be driven or affected by both internal and external influences. Just as my college chemistry teacher built my confidence, a negative person or experience can crush it in a moment. Every positive experience or success I have can and should serve to elevate and build my confidence. So how do we manage this delicate balance of staying confident and self-assured in our abilities and talent?
So, here’s the good news. You can enhance or elevate your belief in self by taking simple positive actions. Over the next few weeks I will be sharing my Ten Tips for enhancing your confidence. Today I will share tip #1.
1. Recognize, identify control you inner fears: Lack of confidence often stems from fear. Take a look at what makes you fearful or uncomfortable. Determine if it is rational and take action to face the fear.
For me, one of my biggest fears is “phone-a-phobia”. I am always nervous making sales calls; even warm ones to people I have connections with. So I ask myself, why is this and is this rational. Well the why is easy, I am nervous that I won’t express myself clearly and that I may be rejected (businesswise) . Is this a rational fear? Well, no, not really. I am generally very well spoken on the phone, so that fear is silly. And in regards to rejection, it’s just business, not personal, so If I keep that in mind it should take the weight of the rejection. Once I recognize the emptiness of the fear, I push onward and a funny thing happens. I make a few calls. They go smoothly. I get a piece of business and my confidence builds. Pushing through the fear allows my confidence to grow.
Identify one of your fears and go through the process assessing the fear and taking appropriate action. By taking this approach you can begin to reduce fear and build confidence.