In our culture, we our taught to be modest about our talents and abilities to the point where we often deny them to ourselves. Often, however, opportunities come our way that require unwavering confidence in ourselves. Maybe it’s a dream job with a company you respect, a chance to start your own business, or even a potential relationship. In each of these scenarios, self-belief is vital to success. Think of it this way: taking someone “into confidence” means placing your faith in them. Self-confidence is the same; it’s the act of investing trust in yourself and your ability to succeed.
So, even if you aren’t sure of yourself, place a bet on your abilities—give yourself a chance. Lack of self-confidence is plain self-doubt. And self-doubt is a self-fulfilling prophecy. It keeps us from reaching for opportunities, from aspiring towards a better future, and from pursuing our dreams. In the famous words of Vince Lombardi, confidence is contagious. So is lack of confidence.
When you act confidently, you’ll inspire the confidence in others. They’ll “catch” your confidence, believe in your abilities, and help you pave the way to your own success. In her fantastic book (and equally wonderful blog by the same name), Good Girls Finish Last, Zee Worstell writes that women “finish last” in terms of professional success because they internalize cultural messages of extreme modesty. She encourages us to think of ourselves the way we want others to view us, to project a confident attitude—and reap the rewards that self-confidence brings. People will only take an individual seriously if he or she is serious about their abilities and potential. Conversely, if you constantly underestimate and under-rate yourself, no one will have cause to give you the opportunities you deserve.
Confidence is a choice – it is something we do; a skill we can cultivate. Charisma and confidence are linked—people are attracted to confidence. And as we project an image of ourselves as confident, self-assured individuals, we will be treated as such. And eventually, even if it takes a little work, we’ll become legitimately confident and self-assured in our own minds. When we don’t choose confidence, we suffer the consequences—we deny our unique gifts and talents.
Act confident now. Proudly and unrepentantly affirm your abilities to yourself and others, and see where it leads you. Choose confidence.
Success Clues – living your true calling. At work, at play, everyday.