One Thought Changes Everything
If there is one quality that consistently makes a difference in performance, it is your level of self-confidence. Leadership literature is filled with this truth cover to cover. You may have examples in your own life where confidence was the difference maker. As every golfer knows well, if you approach that three-foot putt with confidence, it falls right into the cup. Walk up with anxiety you may miss…
You usually do.
If self-confidence is such a difference-maker, then how do we get more of it? Obviously there must be actions we can take to grow our confidence for whatever our goals are (and there is). That’s a great question, but not the first question. Sorry if that’s what brought you here. Another time.
I want to talk about a more challenging question. Why is it possible that two people can have the same set of experiences in life, but have completely different levels of confidence? Think about it. To grow in confidence, we assume that you must DO something, right? Experiences and success in the past often lead to confidence for the future (true). So how is it possible that two people can have the same experiences, and same successes, but have different levels of confidence? I see this at work all the time.
There is more to the story. Self-confidence is not simply caused by your experiences and past. It is a product of what you THINK about those things. It’s a product of what you think about yourself. Confidence, at its very nature, is always and only a thought.
Chew on that statement and decide for yourself if you believe it or not. If you do, then it is incredibly powerful. You can make one change that will level up your self-confidence in every single area of your life. The paradigm of self-confidence that most of us are taught is that experience, repetition, and past success are the ingredients required to feel confident in your ability to do something well in the future. This is a limiting belief! It means you can’t be confident at anything you have not done before.
Change this belief.
You can choose to be confident in your own ability to LEARN how to do something well, and your own PERSISTENCE to continue improving at that thing until you do it well, no matter what obstacles may come your way.
That is an empowering belief. Instead of waiting for permission to be confident from the world’s acknowledgement of your past success, you choose to be confident NOW in who you are and your commitment to succeed. Why might you believe this? I mean this sounds nice, but if you don’t believe it then this truth will not matter. How can I “prove it” to you?
For me, proof is in our fellow man. Look around you. Unless there is some kind of true physical disability you contend with, you have the same potential as any other person. If one person has done it, then you can do it. If you want to quit your job and start a business, look around. Have other people done it? You bet. You can do it. If you want to be promoted in your company, look around. Have other people done it? Of course. You can do it. Want to be a great parent and manage a great career? You get the picture.
Now the excuses start flying in. “I didn’t have the childhood they had.” “I don’t have the education they have.” “I don’t live in the neighborhood they do.” “I’m not as smart as they are.” “I don’t have enough money to do that.”
That’s your brain trying to maintain status quo. Self-confidence, in our new paradigm, eliminates your excuses. You CAN be as smart as they are if you are WILLING to work hard and learn. You CAN go from nothing to something like so many others have done if you are willing to find mentors and do the hard work to follow their footsteps.
Want to really change the world? Then believe this: it doesn’t matter if NOBODY has done what you want to do, you will figure out how to do it. Believe in your ability and persistence to figure it out. Ignore your past results. The past does not define your future.
Self-confidence is yours today if you will just change your thinking. It’s not about what you’ve done. It’s about knowing what you can do, if you’re just willing to do it.