Friday, September 23rd, 2016
Confidence is an expectation of a positive outcome. It is not a personality trait; it is an assessment of a situation that sparks motivation. If you have confidence, you’re motivated to put in the effort, to invest the time and resources, and to persist in reaching the goal. It’s not confidence itself that produces success; it’s the investment and the effort.
Without enough confidence, it’s too easy to give up prematurely or not get started at all. Hopelessness and despair prevent positive action. If you think you can… you will. If you think you can’t… you don’t and you won’t. Believe in YOU.
Confidence rests on taking responsibility for one’s own behavior. Even in difficult circumstances, we have choices about how to respond to adversity. Whining about past harms reduces confidence about future possibilities. When the blame game is carried out within companies, everyone loses confidence, including external stakeholders. Confidence is the art of moving on.
Don’t defend yourself if you’re not being attacked. Apologize for your mistakes, but don’t apologize for who or what you are. Instead, take pride in where you’ve come from and lead with your strengths.
Confidence involves a dose of reality. It is not blind optimism, thinking that everything will be fine no matter what. After all, even winning sports teams are often behind at some point in the game. Confidence grows when you look at what can go wrong, think through alternatives, and feel you are prepared for whatever might happen.
Confidence is a sweet spot between despair and arrogance. Don’t let confidence slip over into the arrogant end. Arrogance and complacency lead to neglect of the basics, deaf ears to critics, and blindness to the forces of change —a trap for companies as well as individuals. A little humility goes a long way to moderate arrogance and keep just the right amount of confidence.
Summing-up: It’s not enough just to feel confident. You have to do the work. But with an expectation of success, you can try new things, form new partnerships, contribute to shared success, and revel in small wins that move you toward bigger goals.