How Confidence Will Be Your Game Changer in 2016
It’s been said over and over: most people don’t pursue their dreams because of fear of failure.
That statement resonates with me in a big way. I’d always dreamed of leaving the corporate world to start my own thing. But there were these mind blocks that only let the dream get so far: But a fixed income is nice. I have security with a big company. What if I don’t know how to do it on my own? What if I’m not good enough? What if I fail?
After talking to many friends and colleagues who have stepped out and taken risk in business or started something new, I’ve realized that these aren’t worries and questions to be ashamed of. They’re normal and have crossed the brain of almost anyone dreaming of the next step.
To pursue a dream, though, means you have to push back against fear of failure. You have to believe in yourself and stand convinced you can do it. I’m learning that it simply comes down to confidence.
Over and over in the past six months or so, I’ve come across numerous articles about the intersection of confidence and success. It’s said that high achievers and strong leaders have a heightened sense of confidence, and some studies even show that “overconfidence” is common among those who work for themselves or start their own enterprises.
It makes sense, right? That the people who stare fear down and accept the risk of a new business must have high confidence.
It’s gotten me thinking about the power of confidence and how it truly is a game changer–a life changer, even. The confidence-related qualities attributed to entrepreneurs or leaders can apply to all of us, regardless of business, position, gender, or industry.
Here are seven reasons that confidence is a game changer.
Failure loses its power. Studies show that confident people–people with proven high self-belief–view failure differently than others. They view failure as temporary and can shrug it off as a learning tool, rather than a catastrophic event. The result? They’re more likely to pursue those “just out of reach” opportunities and demonstrate higher levels of perseverance.
Goals are set higher. With higher self-confidence come higher goals. Men and women who demonstrate belief in themselves–regardless of what others think or what statistics say–will not only dream bigger, but they’re more likely to actively pursue those dreams. I love thinking about this professionally, but also in the context of family and home too.
Confidence is contagious. Whether you’re selling yourself, a product, or a service, confident people receive a higher percentage of “yeses.” Confidence is appealing, and it can be contagious. If I exude self-confidence, you’re more likely to place confidence in me too, therefore buying my product, trusting me in business, etc. And the tenet applies far beyond the workplace. In friendship and marriage, appropriate confidence in one person inspires it in another.
Opportunities multiply. It’s been said that confident people see opportunity where others don’t. When you don’t fear failure and you think success is a sure thing, risk and “going big” open the door exponentially to new and feasible pursuits. Opportunity lies in places that others might call crazy.
Innovation is propelled. The definition of innovate is to make changes in something established by introducing new methods, ideas, or products. This type of behavior–challenging the status quo with an eye on bigger and better–involves great risk, and when risk is linked to fear, innovative ideas never get put into practice. Confidence propels innovation because self-belief eliminates fear of failure. Fear kills innovation. Self-confidence fuels it.Fear kills innovation. Self-confidence fuels it. Click To Tweet
Leadership improves. A confident person isn’t always a great leader, but a great leader is always confident. Those with high self-belief are more likely to inspire it in others, to model passion, and to foster authority. (Humility is hugely essential here, as well.) John Maxwell says, “When the leader lacks confidence, the followers lack commitment.”
Confidence is key to success. So how do we foster it in ourselves and our employees?
Here are 6 ways to promote self-belief:
1- Fake it ‘til you make it.
“Confidence is a habit that can be developed by acting as if you already had the confidence you desire to have.” -Brian Tracy
2- In your self-talk, remind yourself that it’s OK to be wrong.
“Confidence comes not from always being right but from not fearing to be wrong.” -Peter T. Mcintyre
3- If you think you can’t, try anyway.
“If you hear a voice within you say ‘You cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” -Vincent Van Gogh
4- Be prepared.
“One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.” -Arthur Ashe
5- Assume physical postures of confidence.
“Your body language shapes who you are.” -Amy Cuddy
6- Surround yourself with encouragers.
“The key is to keep company with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.” -Epictetus
My takeaway: 2016 is my year of confidence. It doesn’t mean I’m bullheaded, arrogant, or thoughtless (although surely I’ve demonstrated those qualities more often than I’d like to admit), but it means trusting that the skills and abilities I’ve been given have been given with purpose–and using them courageously, without fear of failure.
“With confidence, you have won before you started.” -Marcus Garvey