This weeks contemplation…

How to Build Self ConfidenceConficence

By Duane Krip

  • So, what is confidence?
  • Where does it come from?
  • Why do some people have more of it than others?
  • How can you improve your level of confidence?
  • How does a low level of confidence affect you and what changes in your career when you gain confidence?

You may look at confidence as existing on a spectrum, ranging from a sense of victimization to a sense that you can handle whatever life throws at you. Some people are almost totally lacking in confidence and some feel confident that they can handle almost anything; most people are in-between. So the issue for most people is where they currently are on the spectrum and how they can raise their level of confidence.

Confidence is ultimately a function of the self-esteem beliefs you hold. To illustrate, someone who believes I’m not good enough, I’m not capable, I’m powerless, I’m not worthy or deserving, etc. will likely have a low level of self-confidence. Whereas on the other end of the spectrum, someone with the beliefs I am good enough, I am capable, I impact my reality, I’m worthy and deserving, etc. will likely have a high level of self-confidence.

To put it in simple terms, your confidence in yourself as a person is the result of having positive beliefs about yourself.

Positive or negative beliefs are most often rooted in childhood. As an example, say if you usually succeeded at tasks as a kid, but your parents constantly told you that “you should have done better!” you may conclude, “Nothing I do is good enough!” or “I’m not good enough” or “I’m inadequate!” and other similar beliefs, which will lower your self-confidence.

On the other hand, if you didn’t succeed at tasks a lot of the time as a kid and your parents said things like: “That’s okay; no one gets it right the first time” or “If you keep practicing you will get better and better.” You likely concluded: “If I keep trying I can do anything”. That belief would raise your level of self-confidence.

So, if you create a bunch of positive self-esteem beliefs early in life, failures later on will most often be experienced as learning experiences or temporary set backs that have nothing to do with who you are as a person. Conversely, negative self esteem beliefs will often cause you to take on everything as being personal.

This is the critical learning point:
When you understand that negative self-esteem beliefs lower your level of self-confidence and getting rid of them raises it, you will realize that the commonly-held notion that self-confidence comes from succeeding or failing at specific projects in life is a serious misunderstanding.

Consequences of low self-confidence
A low level of self-confidence can result in a multitude of career problems, such as worrying about the opinions of others (i.e. you lack confidence in your own opinion), you have a critical “little voice” in your head that constantly criticizes almost anything you do (i.e. because you believe nothing you do is really good enough) and stress (i.e. because you are constantly worried that what you are doing is just not good enough and you will fail.)

Low self-confidence also can result in self-defeating behavior by:
-Keeping you from ever getting started.
-Causing you to quit at the first sign of a problem.
-Leading you to sabotage yourself when you get close to success because you feel you don’t really deserve to get what you want.
And the saddest one of all….
-If somehow you manage to get some of what you want, a low level of self-confidence will keep you from truly enjoying your success.

An example of this last point is illustrated in numerous studies. One such study was of large company CEOs where most of them admitted they were terrified that they would be “found out” and they would lose everything they achieved!

This fear is so common that it has been given a name. In 1978 Dr. Pauline Clance coined the term “The Imposter Syndrome” Dr. Clance developed a test to see if a person suffers from “IPS”. You can download it here http://paulineroseclance.com/pdf/IPTestandscoring.pdf

Building confidence improves your career and life!
Some of the benefits of increased self-confidence include:
-You’ll take more chances.
-You’ll stop procrastinating.
-You’ll do whatever you need to do to move your vision forward.
-You’ll finally start projects or initiatives you’ve always wanted to do and never got around to doing.

-Failure and mistakes will no longer be dreaded.
-You will do what your gut instinct tells you to do without worrying about what others will think.
-It will make networking activities easier. Talking to people and making new connections will become easier and effortless.

How to build your level of confidence
The way to improve your internal level of confidence that you can apply to career and life in general is to eliminate your limiting beliefs. Every negative self-esteem-type belief you have lowers your internal level of self-confidence; every one you eliminate raises your internal level of self-confidence.

Do you have any questions about confidence? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Leave a comment below.

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