When I think about being confident despite anything, I think about my sons who run competitively. Before any run, they size up who is the fastest in the race. They start ranking themselves before they even take off their warm ups. By the time they actually start running, they have given themselves permission to fail. The interesting thing is they are known for being amongst the fastest on the west coast. They have won state and division races. This is still not enough for them to feel confident.
Professionally many of us fall in this same category. For example, we see a position available for advancement and think of everyone else who would be better suited for the position despite our education and experience. This thought process is essentially the reason for most failures. As professionals in this culture we pacify the reason for a loss before we give ourselves the opportunity to succeed. This shows in the way we communicate with superiors and potential employers.
In order to truly succeed, we have to be willing to see ourselves in first place. We have to be confident in our abilities and be willing to display our talents effectively. If we consistently put ourselves in last place, we will always fail. This is not the true intent of fulfilling life goals. To truly fulfill goals in life we must be confident and willing to communicate this confidence. This is the only true way to success.
In order to break this cycle, understand your strengths and separate them from your weaknesses. Be careful not give yourself strengths that do not exist or overthink your weaknesses. For example, I am great at making decisions in my household and my family is receptive to my ideas. This does not mean I am immediately a CEO. I am intuitive and a natural leader. That is my strength.
Next, review your life resume and commend yourself on your accomplishments. We have become conditioned to think that being proud of ourselves is a negative thing. It is actually a great thing. You should be the first person on the list of people who support you. This allows you to represent as a confident successful person before you even walk in the room.
Finally, avoid negative responses from people who do not have your best interests. In fact, be an advocate for positive responses and feedback. Give positive feedback where it is due, and receive positive feedback as it is given. This is another area in our lives where we are conditioned to accept negative and deflect positive. The best example of this is when someone says you look nice today, and you immediately qualify the reason why. We have to be willing to take the positive feedback and accept it.
Be confident despite what abilities anyone else has. Be confident in the abilities you possess. Create an environment where positivity and success are pillars in your life. Don’t be defined by how anyone else views you. You are your biggest supporter, and you should rank yourself number 1 every time.
Juanita Espino B.S. Comm., M.A.Ed.
Communications Consultant and Professional Advisor