青年園地︰How To Grow Your Confidence

Andy Lee

 

 

There are many different types of confidence, but for now I want to focus on self-confidence. This is about confidence in your own skills, judgement, and ability in any given situation.

 

 

 

 

In all my research, coaching experience and in my own life, I’ve found that our self-confidence is directly linked to our quality of life. For sure it’s not the only thing that counts, but confidence in ourselves impacts the chances we take and how much we step into our potential.

 

 

At the extreme end of confidence lack, it paralyses us into inaction. It affects our self-esteem and self-worth. We struggle with feelings of self-doubt and we run away from opportunities when we’re driven by a fear of failure.

 

 

Self-confidence is like a garden or brushing your teeth. It requires tending to and maintaining all the time, all your life. It’s not something you attain and that’s it, job done. It’s something that needs cultivating and growing and stretching.

 

 

At more than one point in your life, you will have questioned yourself and your ability. I want to share some facts about what confidence is and isn’t, and with that extra clarity, make the journey an easier one for you.

 

 

Truth: Confidence is not a personality trait

 

If you’re familiar with the Myers-Briggs Personality Profile, you’ll know about being classed as an extrovert or introvert. It’s a common belief that confidence is linked to being more extroverted. Extroverts are generally more comfortable in social settings and interacting with larger groups, whereas introverts are more shy and less confident.

 

 

Confidence is NOT a personality trait. You can be an extrovert and still lacking in self-confidence. You can also be an introvert and super confident.

 

 

Confidence is not a personality trait because it’s a skill to acquire and develop. You can learn how to be more confident regardless of your personality. So please, if you’ve been letting yourself off the hook by telling yourself it’s because you’re this or that type of personality, it’s time to stop.

 

 

Truth: Confidence is situational

 

We over-generalise and over-simplify when we say “you’re a confident person”. A comedian that’s performed all over country will be comfortable in front of expectant audiences. A musician that has performed at over 1,000 venues will be confident in showcasing his/her talent. An entrepreneur with a track record of building multiple successful businesses will be confident going into his/her next venture.

 

 

None of that means they’re going to be confident approaching someone they find attractive. Or that they have complete clarity in their purpose. They might not be confident in their appearance, or their finances, or at networking events.

 

 

Just because you’re confident in one area doesn’t make you ‘confident’ with a capital C. I’m confident having a crucial conversation with my wife. I may be much less confident having to approach a senior director about their inappropriate comments in meetings.

 

 

So, take stock and credit yourself in areas where you notice that you’re in your strength zone. Appreciate and acknowledge the effort and work you put in to get yourself there. Recognise that if you’re able to do it in one area, you’re more than capable of achieving the similar results in another area, if you’re willing to commit yourself.

 

 

So separate and break down your confidence into different areas of your life. And even split it down even further in those areas. Now be more mindful and specific whenever you’re talking about your confidence. You may not be confident (yet) in presenting in front of people in suits, but you are great at negotiating a contract in a one on one situation.

 

 

Confidence is fluid and lacking in confidence in a particular area is perfectly normal if we don’t have much experience in doing that thing. Please don’t let that stop you from pursuing what you know deep down will be good for you in the long run.

 

 

Take comfort in knowing that your confidence is like a muscle that grows stronger the more you exercise it. Know that there have been many that have gone before you so you can learn from their experiences. This will help to accelerate your own growth and get you to your destination quicker. Afterall, confidence is a skill.