After six years of gruelling study, countless hours of lost sleep, and more exams than I care to remember, I finally had my degree. I stood in my smart clothes and white coat, ready to start my first day as a qualified doctor. And I was petrified.
Yes I was. Scared that I wouldn’t do it right, that I would make a mistake, that all those years of study would be meaningless as I face a patient on my own – without the support I was used to – and it could well be a matter of life and death. Forget that I had spent the last six years learning all abut the human body, practising first on cadavers and then on real people. Forget that I had passed all my exams first time and would be considered by most to be a bright student. Forget that I had learned all the skills that I needed to practice medicine as a houseman. Forget all that.
I was competent, but what I lacked was confidence in my own ability. And my competence without the confidence was as good as a bird with wings but no flight expertise. Like that bird I had wings, but couldn’t fly. Somehow I had to find the confidence in order to use my competence well.
And I did.
That is why I am on a mission to help others become confident in their abilities.
Studies have shown again and again that confidence is one ingredient that people need to succeed. Yes, skills are important but without confidence in your ability to use those skills when it counts, you may as well not have those skills. In fact studies show that people without a great deal of talent, but who are confident in the little talent that they do have tend to succeed more than those that have
What exactly is confidence? The definition that I most find helpful is this one by Richard Petty, psychology professor at Ohio State University – confidence is the stuff that turns thoughts into actions. Some personalities are fortunate to be born with a lot more inherent confidence than others but that doesn’t mean if you were not born with it that you cannot learn to be confident. In fact some see confidence as a skill that can be acquired just like other skills that are more tangible.
And while you may be able to ‘fake it until you make it’, generally others can smell a fake ‘confident’ person from a mile long so there is really no point doing this.
What are the benefits of being confident? There are many, but a few would be that:
· You serve like a magnet, attracting people to yourself – that includes friends, clients, business associates and even employers and employees.
· People are more likely to want to work with you.
· You are more likely to be promoted and be moved up the career ladder
· In social settings you are more likely to have fun and enjoy yourself.
· You are more likely to succeed in business or indeed at life in general.
· You are less likely to be bullied because you find it easier to stand up for your self and be assertive.
There’s more, but these are just a few. And before you confuse confidence with brashness, loudness or extroverts alone. It is none of those things. Quiet and introverted people can be just as confident as vivacious extroverts. Confidence is more about an inner belief that shows itself in your actions than an outward display of bravado.
What kind of life awaits you on the other side of a more confident you? What are you missing out on by not increasing your confidence? Could you put yourself forward for that promotion, start that new business, do that presentation, or reduce the anxiety that social settings may cause you? Could you take up that new hobby, start that book club, yoga class or whatever else you feel called to do but aren’t doing yet?
The answer is a resounding yes!
So what’s it going to take to increase your confidence? Here are a few things that help increase confidence
· Recognise the thought patterns that sabotage you and change them
· Let go of self-limiting beliefs
· Be kinder to yourself
· Learn to see failure as an opportunity to learn rather than an indication that you are not good enough
· Take calculated risks
· Take time to prepare and plan
This is by no means an exhaustive list. If you want to delve more deeply into these things I have mentioned above then getting this online course Secrets to Increased Confidence – a simple, quick guide to becoming a confident woman will be one way to do it.
You’ll be glad you invested in your growth. It could easily be the best thing you have done for yourself in a long time!
Click on the link below to get started.