In a recent interview, I was asked what I do to build my confidence. After all, leaders and successful people are confident, right? We trust confidence. When people exude a calm self-assuredness, we want to follow them. We want to hear what they have to say.
Yes, it is generally understood that if we feel confident, it changes our outer world. But it seems to change our inner world, too. Confident people tend to walk taller and speak with more clarity and certainty. They seem happier.
It’s very easy to relate a person’s confidence to their circumstances: their physical appearance, fabulous boyfriend, great teeth and beautiful singing voice. I’m sure if you took a moment, though, you could think of someone you know who exudes confidence and does not have the “perfect” life.
With that in mind, if we look a little deeper, it actually seems that confident people attract more good circumstances — more “success” — into their lives, rather than circumstances being the cause of confidence.
Great news, right? This means that we can stop waiting for life to perfectly align so that we can finally have a hope of feeling good about ourselves. It just doesn’t work that way. Instead, confidence creates our circumstances.
But before we talk about how to get confident, let’s get clear on one thing:
Confidence doesn’t exist — at least not in the way we conventionally define it.
I am yet to meet a “confident person” who feels great about themselves all the time. “Confident people” generally have the same self-doubt and insecurity as the rest of us.
The only difference I can see between “confident” and “unconfident” people, is that confident people continually decide to keep going, regardless of circumstances.
What if confidence is not about feeling on-top-of-the-world, but is instead about being bold in spite of not always feeling on-top-of-the-world? What if what we think of as confidence is actually boldness? I believe it is.
Often, we work on our limiting beliefs — the beliefs that seem to keep us stuck and stagnant; the beliefs that tell us to feel badly about ourselves. And often, it works! But sometimes when I hear someone say, “I’m working on my limiting beliefs” or “I’m working to build my confidence”, what it actually means is that they’re waiting to take action until they feel confident.
The key to feeling confident in business and life is to look at your underlying beliefs and take bold action. Do the things your confident self would do. Would she wear a red dress? Would she speak in public? Do it! It will be scary — perhaps terrifying — but on the other side of the action is your confidence. On the other side of confidence is your great life.
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