In my work coaching sales professionals and entrepreneurs, one challenge frequently arises – they lack confidence. If you are in the same boat, low confidence will prevent you from taking the necessary risks to be successful. This may take the form of sales calls or asking the closing question. Naturally, if you increase your confidence, you will sell more effectively.
If you want to increase your confidence authentically, you must understand this key principle: Confidence comes from Competence. Mind you, there is a lot of advice floating around the internet such as power posing and self-affirmations. These may have some effect in the short-term. However, if you want to increase your confidence for the long-haul, you will need to become better at what you do. There are no short cuts!
Tip #1: Increase your confidence by taking an inventory of your accomplishments
It’s funny how we as humans tend to be poor at gauging how competent we really are. Known as the Dunning-Kruger Effect, this concept in psychology describes why you might be underestimating your abilities. Incompetent people are unaware of their knowledge gaps. However, competent people mistakenly believe their expertise is easy or common.
To combat this effect and increase your confidence, take an inventory of your accomplishments for the last 5 to 10 years. What are you most proud of? What lessons did you learn from your failures? Remember, failures are merely lessons and stepping stones to success! Once you have created this list, give yourself permission to feel proud of them. You are not the same person you were many years ago. Rather, you’re much wiser and more experienced!
It is worth noting here that many people misunderstand the definition of “humility.” In an attempt to avoid arrogance, many have gone to the other extreme by putting themselves down. Of course, this couldn’t be further from the truth. If this were true, how could anyone rise to success in any field? Think of humility as being accurate about your self-assessment. Next, ensure you don’t lord it over those “below” you, as we are all equals in the bigger picture!
Tip #2: Increase your confidence by constantly improving
Nothing will increase your confidence more than daily improvement. This is known as the Kaizen principle, which means constant and incremental improvement. In fact, creating simple daily habits can make an enormous difference in the life of your career. Imagine how reading one book per month would increase your knowledge over 30 years (that’s 360 books)! How might this open up new career options for you?
Increasing your confidence doesn’t have to be limited to job-related activities. Perhaps you want to increase your fitness. Or, it could be replacing mindless TV time with quality time with your partner. Remember that small improvements in your personal life will have a positive impact on your career as well! Consequently, each small victory you accomplish will increase your confidence.
Tip #3: Increase your confidence by “Acting as though”
Unfortunately, the phrase “fake it until you make it” has tainted this well researched and time-tested technique. After all, no one wants to think of themselves as being fake! The “Act as though” technique means imagining and setting yourself a goal. By now you would have realised that you’re not the same person you were years ago. Going forward, you are simply deciding who you want to be. Rather than waiting passively for it to happen, you are proactively changing yourself for the better.
Firstly, I’d like to encourage you to practice mindfulness on a daily basis. Secondly, when you are in a calm state, imagine your future successful self. How does he/she act, walk, and talk? Observe how you would act as though you were already this person. Finally, decide to act this way day-to-day. As a result, you will begin to attract the success that you envisioned. You will increase your confidence both emotionally and in reality!
Don’t let a lack of confidence hold you back from achieving all that you can! Decide today to take an inventory of your accomplishments. Next, create just one new habit that will improve yourself daily. Finally, practice visualising your success regularly. What will you accomplish when you increase your confidence?