Henry Ford famously said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you are right.”
Ford was talking about confidence. As his quote suggests, confidence is crucial for any type of success, especially in business. If confidence is so important, why do so many people struggle with it?
If you are going to build confidence, it starts with understanding exactly what confidence is and what it isn’t. It’s best described as the belief in one’s self and one’s ability to succeed. It comes from a Latin word meaning, “to have full trust.”
Confidence is not cockiness or arrogance. It is not masking a hole inside by portraying something else on the outside. As I covered in a recent episode of the Follow My Lead Podcast, confidence is a genuine belief in yourself that comes from within, and it’s more crucial than ever.
If you want to build your confidence each day, start by using these five strategies.
Visualize yourself at the top.
The mind is a powerful thing. Everything that has been achieved started as an idea in someone’s mind.
How you think will determine your future
The Journal of Consulting Psychology outlined an experimental study of visualization techniques and the results were pretty amazing. They studied two groups of job seekers. Both groups were exposed to the same career counseling and interview coaching, but the second group also learned visualization techniques.
Within two months of training, there was a 45 percent increase in the second group getting employment versus the first group. Leaving no doubt about the power of visualization.
If you want to grow your confidence, you have to visualize yourself at the top. Close your eyes and see it like it’s happening to you well before it actually does.
Leverage specific kinds of affirmations.
Confidence starts with the words you tell yourself every day. Affirmations are a great place to start. An affirmation is a formal declaration of emotional support or encouragement.
While this is so important, any old affirmation isn’t good enough. Instead of telling yourself, “I am good enough” or “I am worthy enough,” add to the statement WHY you are good enough or WHY you are worthy. It would sound like this, “I am good enough because I have already hit rock bottom.” or “I am worthy of being a great leader because I care more about others’ success than my own.”
Strengthen your words.
While adding words of affirmation is a great place to start, you also must eliminate the words that protect you from failure (they’re setting you for it). Most people are afraid of failure. To cope, they try to soften the blow of failing by setting themselves up for the fall.
They’ll say things like, “I am going to try…” or “I might be able to…”. Instead, replace those words with, courageous words like, “I am going to…” or “I will…” or “I can…”
Always look for a positive.
If you look hard enough at anything you do, you can find something you could have done better. If that wasn’t enough, you could always find someone else who has achieved more, has more or won more. The opportunity to be negative and look for flaws is plentiful.
There is nothing wrong with striving for more. But if you are working on building your confidence, you must always look for as many positives in each situation as possible. This reinforces to your mind that you are doing things well and moving in the correct direction even if the macro result isn’t what you want.
Filter The Words of Others.
As Lou Holtz said, “You’re never as good as everyone tells you when you win, and you’re never as bad as they say when you lose.” If you are reliant on gaining confidence from the words others say to you, you are in a dangerous spot.
Since you can’t control what others say, it’s important to take others’ words with a grain of salt. Remember, confidence comes from within so allowing others words to dictate how you feel isn’t real confidence.
Confidence is crucial for both short-term and long-term success. Stop hoping or pretending you have it and put these fives moves into play starting today.
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About the Author John Eades is the CEO of LearnLoft, a leadership development company which exists to turn managers into leaders and create healthier places to work. John was named one of LinkedIn’s 2017 Top Voices in Management & Workplace and was awarded the 2017 Readership Award by Training Industry.com. John is also the host of the “Follow My Lead” Podcast, a show that transfers stories and best practices from today’s leaders to the leaders of tomorrow. You follow him on instagram @johngeades.