We watch the star athlete calmly make the final shot, score the winning goal, or lead his team for a touchdown in the final minute of the game. We marvel at their talent and their determination, but what we value and admire most is the supreme confidence they display ? they know they will succeed.
Confidence is an attribute that is alluring, attractive, valuable, desirable and contagious. Most everyone aspires to greater levels of it, even if they feel confident most of the time. It is a trait that will help us create greater results for ourselves and when leading others. Any trait with this much benefit is one worth developing. And yes, you can develop and strengthen your confidence.
Consider these five steps as the building blocks for greater confidence in any part of your life.
1. Remind yourself of past successes. Confidence builds on past success. Since you have had success before, you can (and will) have it again. We strengthen our confidence in any activity when we review or remind ourselves of past successes. If you are trying to build confidence in a new area, past success can still help us strengthen our confidence. For example, if you have had success in doing something new in the past, review those experiences when trying something else new ? even if it is in an entirely different part of your life.
2. Read and listen to positive materials. Fill your mind with positive and affirming words, ideas and stories. Read things that enhances your skills or knowledge in the area in which you want to build your confidence. Read materials that are generally uplifting and affirming, and read biographies of successful people. You will find that many of them had troubles in life, came from tough situations and still succeeded. If you have ever thought, "Well, if they can do, I could too." Then you realize that we can build our confidence by reading about others stories. Reading and listening to positive materials is about reinforcement, encouragement, and learning. All three of these components are needed for greater confidence.
3. See your future success. Olympic athletes, corporate executives, and successful people in all sorts of endeavors visualize future success. Confidence will grow when we see ourselves succeeding. Think about it, if you know you will succeed, your confidence will soar, right? Visualizing future success does that very thing for us. Our minds cannot tell the difference between something real and something vividly imagined. So vividly visualize your success. What will it look like, smell like, and taste like to have succeeded? Who will be with you, what will you be hearing and where will you be? How will you be feeling at that moment? Putting this much detail into your vivid picture improves the likelihood of success, and supports greater confidence!
4. Reframe failure. Thomas Edison spent a long time trying to create an incandescent light bulb ? to create light from electricity. He is attributed with saying, "I have not failed, I have discovered twelve hundred materials that don't work." 1,200! Perhaps you feel you can reframe your failures as learning experiences ? as a chance to find out what doesn't work. But would you be able to do so 1,200 times? Know that failures will occur - and your confidence won't be as shaken when they come. Use the failures as an opportunity to learn. Realize that every failure puts you that much closer to success. When we reframe our failure as a learning experience we reduce our fear and increase our confidence.
5. Take confident action. You wanted confidence to help you try and succeed in new ways, right? So get out there and get at it! You have to put your confidence to the test. You have to practice. And, while you are taking action, make it confident action! Remember that if you act confident, you will be more confident. Review the other steps you have been taking to build your confidence. If you are driving towards your new action step, remind yourself of past successes, again. Visualize the successful outcome, again. Build your confidence at every step of the way, but remember it all must lead to action.
These steps are a regimen for strengthening and building your confidence in any life situation. Use these steps and I am confident, you will be more confident.
Kevin is Chief Potential Officer of The Kevin Eikenberry Group (http://KevinEikenberry.com), a learning consulting company that helps Clients reach their potential through a variety of training, consulting and speaking services. Kevin publishes Unleash Your Potential, a free weekly ezine designed to provide ideas, tools, techniques and inspiration to enhance your professional skills. Go to http://www.kevineikenberry.com/uypw/current.asp to read the current issue and subscribe.