Feb 24, 2016
My wife asked me a couple of weeks ago. How can you be so confident all the time?
You want to know my answer? I told her, I got it from my momma.
For your sake, dear listener,let me expand that answer:
I grew up in a home where my dad usually worked 2 jobs to provide for us, or worked at odd hours of the day where I didn’t see him much. And as such, I was around my mom most of the time, at least in my formative years. I gained a major portion of my confidence from her, she would say things like, I know I’m beautiful and of course people love me, can’t you see how awesome I am.
Now this wasn’t said with a prideful tone. She would always have an underlying joker’s tone to it, always playful.
In today’s episode I want to deliver a message around self-confidence and how true confidence can’t be faked, it is a by-product of two more important skills:
unwavering self-awareness and a continuos fervor for learning
Q:What is it? The ability to be assess your own strengths and areas for development.
Q:How do you build self-awareness? Practice. Create a list of the skills you deem most important for your role, your life, whatever you care about. Then assess yourself on each of those skills. Which are you great at, which are you terrible at, which are you somewhere in the middle?
Q:Then, what do you do? Get others to assess you. You can’t ask people to go down the list like you did, you have to do it in the moment. Right after you do something that required a skill on your list, ask people how you did.
For example, 1. “What was the best/most effective thing I just did there?” 2. “What’s one thing I could do better next time?”
What you’ll find is a gap from where your self-perceptions are and where other people’s perceptions of you are like. Your goal is to decrease that gap over time.
Q:What’s next? You’ll have a sense of what you are good at and what you are bad at. Now your role is to be ok with it and grow by-way of learning.
Coninuous Fervor for learning
You must believe that all skills can be developed through hard work and commitment, that wherever you are now is just a starting point. Having this mindset will not only empower you: it will create a love for learning and a resilience to criticism.
This last part is important, because as you learn, you will make mistakes. You will be criticised there is no way around it. Get comfortable in being corrected and questioned.
If you do this, you will be less afraid of revealing to others that you’re bad at something and more willing to put in the effort to improve at it.
Q:If someone tells you, that you are bad at something how do you react? Good on you if you instantly become inquisitive and ask “what could I be doing differently?”, “Who’s someone that’s great at this thing?”, “How do you think people get good at this thing?”, etc. Do you become offended by the criticism, or do you thank the person?
Self-awareness and a fervour for learning are the skills to focus on, not confidence. With a continued effort in developing those two skills, you’ll exhibit all the characteristics of a confident person and you’ll develop real confidence as you patiently become an expert in the areas where you invest your effort.