Confidence in few words is a reasonable belief with unreasonable faith with predictable hope that can withstand unpredictable situations. Well I tried my best to define it my way.
Being a teacher, employer, mentor, son, brother and a friend I have been asked confidence question confidentially a million times. Many define confidence as having high expectations for results to be as desired and some define it as the ability to over the negative thought process inside you. Now its up to you whether you come from positive side or negative side. To me confidence is all about your perception of uncertainty. Confidence is what make you certain about uncertain things.
So everyone is after this chemical-x and everyone wants to have it. But before you even think having more you need to know what makes you NOT have it and that way it will be easier to find this treasure. So go through following 10 signs and check yourself.
1. Self serving bias – The game of blame
The ones with confidence accept responsibility of failure. They know what of their mistakes have lead to disaster and they feel no shame in it.
However, the ones without are always complaining, asking, back biting, bad mouthing and sometimes overly aggressive when they are pointed out. They usually justify their mistakes or lacking by mentioning others’ mistakes and weaknesses. Even when they are at fault they hardly accept it completely and their reactions are always contra-corrective as they always find a reason to justify why their fault is not a fault and if pushed they end up concluding that it is not because of them.
2. Planning the plan all the time
Oh yes! You have a plan? What is it exactly? “To plan better”
Planning the plan better next time seldom helps you in any way. This is the biggest mistake youth do. They keep on planning and never put it to test or never apply it. Do you know any winners who said “I planned it”? No! You always hear “I did it” Plans absent actions are destined to fail.
I agree plans are good and better to have one but with no action following planning means nothing at all. Plans are only good if they act upon, exposed to reality and then molded, adjusted and implemented. So whatever plan you have start following it and change it on the go.
I know some nuts are hard to crack and would say, “I don’t follow a plan until I perfect it”. Yes I agree and that is a good thing as if your plan is right then chances are that you will get things done most of the time. But don’t be obsessed by “perfection”. You cannot perfect it in every aspect. Plans are about future realities and realities are ever evolving and changing. Therefore, if you are planning and changing the plan as the situation changes before implementation then you will be in this cycle forever. Your implementation time should as short as possible.
3. I can’t!
Just because you think you cannot you will not. Simple as that.
This is where you need to education your brain. Brain is controlling every organ and thus it needs to be in control too. Never have it talking back to you in NOTs and CANTs.
Being nervous is one thing but being freaked out is another. Its like that you want to go fishing but you are too afraid of things like sinking, storms, shark attacks and so many other things that haven’t happened yet.
I see that most of the time people are frightened because of not knowing. You need to be afraid of things that you know instead of things you don’t know. However, your knowing must be good enough. Ever heard luck favours the prepared? It is true.
Before you need anything you need a will power and to have a will power you need a reason. So if you think you are down on will power then it means that reason is not good enough for you. Your reasons must be bigger than your fears. If not then they must be worth taking in existence of fear. But this all sound too bookish right? And if you answered yes then you are not agreeing on the fact that you are not confident of the reason.
But don’t forget that self belief is never blind. If you believe that you can do something for no reason then make sure it is not over confidence. I will deal with it later.
In professional life when people are put in difficult situation and asked to make difficult decisions they often resort to saying “this is too big for me”. Just because task is too big they get overwhelmed and end up saying no to almost every activity connected with the challenge.
No task is small or short or easy. It is just that how you deal with it. Mostly its out of laziness and when they are physically or mentally challenged they solve the whole bit by saying no. If you are also one of them then first get off your bottom. Then no task is big if you can divide it in small tasks and then do it one by one. This is where your management skills play important role. Journey of million miles starts with a single step.
Good managers know what to do on their own and what to ask others to do. Divide the work and assign roles. And this is where we come to our next point i.e. not to do everything on your own.
4. Doing everything on your own
A confident person works with and through others. On the contrary, the ones lacking confidence are too afraid to be wrong and thus hardly like to work with others and try to be lone rangers. And this is the worst behaviour you can have. When they succeed they mock, they shout and be pompous about doing everything on their own and if they fail they justify the failure by saying “I was all alone”.
Yes confidence is an inner ability but to have it blossom you need to have it reflected in others too. Give confidence to others by sharing your power, knowledge, experience and work with them. Be passionate with patience. Start a practice of extending helping hand and that will surely be returned when you will be in trouble.
5. You got everything – Over confidence
Confidence is the resultant of trialed and tested experience over and over again. It is never out of inexperience. For confidence you need to have experience to back it up otherwise it is just another Hindenburg to happen – a little spark of reality will burn your whole floating ship of arrogance to ashes.
Don’t let your arrogance and pride hold you back from learning new and challenging old knowledge and beliefs. You got to be flexible. Confidence makes you competitive and overconfidence works completely opposite. If you are the one who is always right then chances are high that you are wrong most of the time. Here wrong is not actually being wrong. Sometimes you do the right thing the wrong way. For example you get the job done but you were so arrogant that you made everyone else hate you as you were all full of yourself. This behaviour puts a full stop on your growth.
Because of same confidence overflow you stop hearing the right things from right people and ultimately make room for wrong people around you. Criticism is good and you should hear what people say about you.
6. Not inviting criticism or accepting every criticism
This symptom is a resultant of many factors. Fear, complex, pride and every other wrong reason that shouldn’t be there.
Now this results in either being too close or too open to feedback. People with low confidence and with high pride will end up not hearing anyone and thus not paying attention to good advice. On the other hand the ones with low confidence coupled with low self esteem will end up accepting everyone’s feedback especially negative one and keep on deviating from right path to make everyone happy. Ever read the story of Man, a son and a donkey?
7. Spend too much time defending
If you are right and you have everything done the right way you don’t need anyone to convince. And even after you have done things the right way and they still need to be convinced then do it by doing and not talking. Talking hardly every fetch you success.
But again don’t let your ego to kick in. What is right should actually be right and not just what you think is right. If you are wrong accept it if not then let the time decide and in the meanwhile you pursue your goal with action.
People with low to no confidence are impatient about everything. Everything is overly because of early. Haste makes waste right?
A temporary setback will lead them to overthrow whole effort. Similarly succeeding on a chunk will make them so happy that they will spend precious time and resources and forget to cash in opportunities while they are celebrating.
When you are into something stay firm and determined and give that task its due time. If something has upset you then stand your ground for sometime and fight back and don’t forget the very reason why you started. If you have succeeded in getting one part done, celebrate but don’t lose the sight of destination as you are not there yet.
9. Too afraid of sounding stupid
new always challenge the old and new looks stupid until it is put to work and it comes up with something better than old. This is the only way to prove yourself that you were right.
To get to new destinations you better be ready for losing sight of everything you know and that means that you might run out of logic to convince others. But hold on do you really have to talk them to prove that you are right? No! remember actions speak louder than words.
Forget what others think about you and have your think concentrated on the task in hand and get it done. That is the only way you have to zip them up!
10. You are reading confidence building articles
If you are asking that is it a good idea?, am I confident?, or reading books and articles to gain confidence then yes you lack confidence. You can never have confidence by asking others to boost your confidence. It is kind of a flame that only you can fire up within yourself. Any kind of help you take from others is going to take away a part of you all the time.
Everyone of us is made up differently. They key to ignition for everyone of us is different and you better find this yourself and don’t lose it to others. Because if someone else already knows what makes you confident and what breaks it can easily play with you. So have it in your custody.