By Kathleen E.R. Murphy
Possessing confidence can be one of the most satisfying feelings, especially when your confidence is derived from something you are proud of or enjoy doing. Demonstrating confidence to others comes in a variety of delivery methods such as how you present yourself physically, how you speak, walk and treat others. People who are confident tend to have a certain allure about them which you know they have, but which is sometimes difficult to describe. You just know they have it. The funny thing about confidence is that it is a fluid type of feeling, as it can come and go. However, when you are able to sustain your confidence, you are in a position of owning it, and it becomes more difficult to lose.
Too often I have seen people with confidence let others chip away at their confidence, and this is generally when the person is in the process of building up their confidence. If I were to think of an analogy for confidence, I would compare it to a foundation. Like a foundation, confidence can be built up and be a really strong foundation, or it can be a weakly built one and easily eroded. So, how do you know whether you have built a strong confidence foundation, or one made of a weak substance such as dust? This depends, as when we are in the process of building up our foundation of confidence, sometimes it is built using strong substances like boulders, and sometimes it is not. Why does this happen? It happens as we are testing our ability to own something, and when we are in the process of experimenting with our confidence building strategies.
Speaking of strategies, do you have strategies to own building up your confidence? You may not have taken time to ponder this, but it is essential to have some go to strategies to work towards building up and maintaining your confidence. Here are (10) ideas to consider to help you build up your confidence foundation.
- Write down 1-3 three things you are proud of having accomplished. These do not have to be monumental accomplishments, and they can be divided into both professional as well as personal accomplishments.
- On a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the highest, how would your rate your accomplishments?
- Is it possible to continue to build upon the accomplishments you have achieved? If so, think about how you can do this, and by committing to putting it in writing, it is more likely to happen.
- Now, write down 3-5 things you want to accomplish professionally or personally in the next year, or sooner.
- Plot out in a few sentences how you are going to be able to accomplish the things you want to do in a few sentences. This does not have to be an exercise in crafting a novel, and only you need to see this information.
- Ask 5-10 of your colleagues or friends to write down 5 or more words which describe who you are. Tell them you will reciprocate doing this for them.
- Once you have your list of words from your friends, use this information to gain potentially new insight into how others view you. Part of this exercise is to demonstrate to you that other people may see you in a much stronger position professionally than you do, given their choice of words to describe you.
- Commit to doing 1-2 random acts of kindness for other people every day. These small gestures will indirectly help to build up your confidence as you will feel more satisfied by doing something nice for others, and the feeling will be cumulative and help to further strengthen the confidence foundation you are building.
- Make sure every day you have an opportunity to work on doing the things that make you feel confident. Each time you do this, it is equivalent to further building up the strength of your confidence foundation, which you absolutely want to fully own.
- I know you have heard the expression “fake it until you make it”. There is something interesting about this expression, and part of it has to do with acting confident, even when you may not feel this way in whatever situation you need to be more confident in (e.g., giving a presentation, going after your dream job, planning an event, doing research work). If you have not already tried applying this concept, give it a try. It becomes easy to master with practice, and before you know it, you will not feel like you are faking it anymore.
Not all of the suggestions above might be applicable to you, but there should be a few of them which can help to put you on a trajectory towards owning it, and I can’t wait for you to get there, but make sure you take time to enjoy the journey along the way.
Kathleen E. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Strategist and CMO of Market Me Too. Market Me Too has expertise in bridging marketing and sales teams and providing organizations techniques to accelerate their market growth, regardless of the industry they are in, or the business stage they are presently at. Contact Kathleen at firstname.lastname@example.org.