‘Be confident!’ It makes perfect sense when you see it written down but managing to harness the power of the terrifically useful but often elusive concept of confidence is…easier said than done.

One thing’s for sure though, it’s useful as heck.

I want you to think for a second. Who is the most confident person you know? It could be a co-worker, maybe a family member or friend. They live amongst us! Now, imagine and visualize what it is about them that makes them confident.

They’ve got that cool, calm and collected vibe. They take chances. They’re positive about the future. They don’t collapse into a neurotic mess when they have to introduce themselves at a networking event.

Simply put, confidence gives you the ability to ‘handle’ a situation you’re faced with. Obviously, it’s a lot more nuanced than that and gives you all sorts of cover in weird and testing scenarios, but it’s one of our greatest personal resources.

We’re not talking about arrogance here. No one likes arrogant jerks, we’re talking about a healthy, reasonable and sensible level of confidence.

Why’s it effective and how do you get some?

confidenceGet Off Your Butt

If you think the work or task you’re carrying out is being performed to a good standard, which confident people mostly do, then you’re more likely to…do more of it. Productivity is confidence’s BFF.

When you add up the amount of time you actually waste doubting that you can do something or if you’re gonna get ‘found out’ it’d probably be 291,829 years…OR LONGER.

High productivity helps you get more sh*t done and build experience. One of the keys to confidence is building experience, so if you’re not productive, it’ll take you more time to get to the oasis of confidence.

Simply put, confidence gives you the ability to ‘handle’ a situation you’re faced with. Click To Tweet

You’ll be building and acquiring more skills when you’re productive and create the image of being super hard-working, it’s a win-win really. Growing your confidence is key to doing more and believing you can do it.

Speaking Up and Out

One of the most commonly held phobias is public speaking. Arguably, a lot of people aren’t experiencing a phobia (exceptions apply), but they’re actually not confident enough to speak in public.

It’s a frightening concept. Everyone in the room, looking at you and expecting to hear snippets of pearly wisdom. Phew, I’m sweating already.

Now, this is an extreme example. You don’t have to be a Ted talker to know that you’re confident.

Being able to clearly, crisply and concisely communicate with people in your personal and professional life is a fantastic skill. If not, the best. ‘Talking the talk’ can open a heck of a lot of doors in the game of life. Interviews, presentations, dates – all enhanced with good communication skills, hey you could even get that second date!

Articulating your thoughts, listening to others and being skilled in the art of conversation (it’s amazing how many people think they’re conversationalists but they just speak over people!) help you to exert influence and empathy, which is useful for any walk of life.

Perception + Perseverance = Confidence

When you appear confident, other people tend to look at your favorably and treat you with more respect. I’m not saying that’s right, because shy, introverted people are often the cleverest people in the room, but to get your messages across and have your voice heard and considered, you have to work on your presentation.

If you can hold your head high and clearly communicate, people are more likely to listen more intently to what you have to say and offer you a certain level of respect.

If you can hold your head high and clearly communicate, people are more likely to listen more intently Click To Tweet

Looking confident when you perform work tasks makes other people think you know what you’re doing. Something I’ve noticed is that really capable, intelligent people can be very self-deprecating and make jokes about their own limitations. Nothing wrong with that, it can be funny, but there are a time and a place. And sometimes, people start to believe the deprecation and think perhaps someone isn’t that good at stuff. When really, you just have a different sense of humor!

People are more likely to pick you for projects or tasks that need strong decision-makers and assertive personalities if you perform confidently.

Stand Still or Take a Risk, Your Choice

One of the biggest regrets held by human beings can be a failure to explore and grasp opportunities and throw yourself forward for things. Scary things, but things that will help you grow as a person or professional.

What happens, in the end, is that every opportunity or chance is taken up by someone who was more confident than you. Not more able, more intelligent or more deserving. More confident.

That can be hard to take when you think about it.

Waiting for opportunities to drop in your lap is simply fruitless. It doesn’t happen. Life isn’t a film. You have to forge ahead and use confidence in your ability and personality if you want to progress in life.

Confidence sets people apart and a lack of self-belief holds people back.

Final Thoughts

Confidence doesn’t come overnight and it mostly builds over time and with experience. That’s why chatting to new people, exploring different tasks and projects and taking chances is important.

Look at something in your life that’s holding you back or makes you feel nervous. It could be something really small, try and take some steps towards tackling it.

Practice being confident too – it’s the way you talk, walk, hold your head up, and act. Really, confidence is about perception and if you can show people you’ve got value to add, they’ll believe it!