Confidence … is directness and courage in meeting the facts of life. John Dewey
Reality is often a very uncomfortable fact for us to confront. Partly because the reality often relates to things that we do not like, want or appreciate but mainly because it saps us of our confidence. E.g the sudden passing away of a parent/ spouse or sibling makes us suddenly feel very vulnerable. Reality even if is positive and favorable occasionally does make us uncomfortable simply because we lack the confidence to believe that we deserve the same and it also pressurizes us since the benchmark to judge us have been set a lot higher suddenly. E.g. Topping an exam when all along you never were in the top five. This situation forces us into believing in ourselves and mentally orient ourselves to be more self confident and pragmatic thereby instilling in us a healthy dose of confidence.
The trick to being confident is in enhancing one’s self esteem. This would involve being mentally tough to withstand criticism and failures, being positive about everything that happens good or bad, visualizing success in all endeavors and appreciating ones strength and potential. Unless one can believe in one’s own abilities it is difficult for anyone to appear confident. A healthy self esteem automatically triggers self belief and positive thinking. Even the most trying circumstances and challenging tasks will not faze or perturb you, instead it will provoke you into conquering it with panache and élan. Many a candidate has sailed through an interview because of the confidence that he/ she could display in an interview despite their own lack of experience or expertise. On the other hand there are many competent people who seem unable to get the interviewers nod simply because they could not project themselves confidently.
Being forthright without being brazen is a skill that one needs to hone in order to project a confident personality. There are many people who try to cover up their shallowness under the garb of a brazen and boorish behavior which they believe is projecting their confidence. Names dropping, arrogance, a tacky sense of dressing and a loud demeanor are clear indications of an outlandish personality masquerading as a confident person. There are other signs of such behavior that one can observe in people attempting to project confidence. Being overly critical, extremely sarcastic and use of intemperate language are pointers to a mouse pretending to be a cat. True confidence never needs to be displayed aloud but should silent capture the moment, the environment and the onlooker.
Confidence must be supported by competence and results. There are times when a confident effort ends up disastrously with boos and catcalls. Other times people will be indifferent. At these times reassess your effort and remember that confidence alone does not take you too far. One needs to work on ensuring that the confidence is genuine, the situation right and the performance outstanding.
Remember: “Confidence comes not from always being right but from not fearing to be wrong.” Peter T. Mcintyre
- Click on the following link and LISTEN to Randy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams. Remember that the Prof.Randy Pausch is already diagnosed with a grave life threatening illness and is actually dying but see his CONFIDENCE when he confronts death in this last lecture http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ji5_MqicxSo
- List out 10 of your worst fears. Now prepare a plan to confront at least 3 of them. Eg. You are afraid of snakes. How about going to local zoo and just looking at the cobras and pythons in the zoo. Slowly gain confidence and approach the zoo in charge to let you get closer to a non poison snake. Meanwhile you must make an attempt to see National Geographic or Animal Planet series on snakes. The ultimate test is if you can actually hold a snake and let it glide round from your neck into your arms.
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