Do either of these situations sound familiar?
You’re sitting in a meeting at work. You’ve got something to add to the conversation, yet there’s just so much chatter going back and forth that you’re afraid to interject.
Or perhaps, you’ve just walked into a party. You do a quick scan of the room for someone, anyone, you know. No one. You make a beeline for the bathroom and stay there until friends arrive.
You wish you were one of those people who can speak up and take charge of any situation you put them in, yet you’re shy, nervous, and not sure anyone really wants to hear what you have to say.
Maybe you can relate. Or maybe, you put on a brave face, forcing yourself to step up in these situations and do what needs to be done. Yet deep inside you don’t feel worthy. You are stunned that you’ve made it as far as you have, and while you’re moving up the ladder, or moving through your life, you don’t feel like you’re accomplishing what you truly want.
Don’t beat yourself up. You’re not alone. The majority of individuals you come in contact with each day are battling some sort of self-confidence issues. For some, it manifests as being shy and quiet, while others dominate conversations (and people) in order to make themselves feel worthy.
A lack of self-confidence often springs from childhood. You may have been brought up in a home where you were showered with criticism rather than praise. Or you might have been bullied in school and not had the tools to stand up for yourself.
Thankfully, with some work, you can become the confident leader you’ve always wanted to be.
Why Is Confidence So Important?
Self-confidence affects every aspect of our lives. It makes us happier, less stressed, more resilient, and even more pleasant to work with and be around.
When you see someone who is confident in themselves, you recognize it right away. They hold their head high, their shoulders back, and often have a smile on their face. They make the people around them feel comfortable and safe. A person with confidence has good boundaries, makes sound decisions, and communicates openly and honestly with others.
Let’s take a closer look at how confidence can impact every aspect of our lives.
Why Confidence Is Important in Personality Development
Children that are brought up in loving, positive homes are taught to believe in themselves and their abilities. Unfortunately, when there is negativity in the home, or the parents are not confident in themselves, this can spill over onto the kids.
These children may be afraid to assert themselves as they grow up. They may be afraid to go after personal or professional goals.
When you have confidence, you face challenges with courage and the knowledge that you have what it takes to succeed. You’ll achieve more and be more comfortable in your own skin.
Why Confidence Is Important in Communication
Have you ever been around someone who is afraid to say what they actually mean? They end up using 500 words when 5 would have sufficed. They beat around the bush for so long that no one knows what they want to convey.
When you communicate with confidence, you speak (or write) clearly, concisely, and directly. You leave nothing to the imagination, and your audience understands what you need them to do. This saves a great deal of frustration and time.
Why Confidence Is Important in Leadership
Would you be comfortable following someone who doesn’t believe in themselves or their abilities?
No. So why expect others to follow you when you don’t appear to be confident? Being self-confident allows you to excel as a leader for two reasons:
First, you’ll inspire confidence in others. Your team will want to follow your direction because they will trust that you know what you’re doing and where you are going. You will have communicated the organization’s (or family’s) mission and will be leading them towards a common goal.
Second, you will make decisions. There is nothing worse than a wishy-washy leader who refuses to commit to anything or to stand for anything. A confident leader understands that sometimes they will make the wrong decisions… and that’s okay. The important thing is that they make decisions.
Why Confidence Is Important in Business
Whether you own a company, manage a corporation, or work on the front lines, confidence plays a part in every aspect of business. Just like your employees won’t be confident in you if you aren’t confident in yourself, your potential customers won’t either.
Imagine that you’re a surgeon sitting down with a patient who’s about to have heart surgery. They ask if you are confident that you can save their life, and you say, “Well. I think so. I did okay in school, and I’ve only killed a few patients since I started operating.”
Hopefully, you are high-tailing it out of their office.
You must be confident in what you provide and your ability to solve the problem your customers, clients, patients, etc. come to you for.
Why Confidence Is Important in Success
When it comes down to it, success in business and in personal endeavors is all about mindset. If you are confident that you’ll succeed, you will. You will accept failure as part of the process and not give up until you have achieved your dreams.
The Benefits of Confidence
When you build up your confidence, you’ll see many benefits in your life. These include:
- Better moods
- Better health
- Better relationships
- Less anxiety and depression
- Job promotions and raises
- Easier decisions
- Feeling more comfortable in your skin and worthy
- Having a stronger influence over others
- And much more…
How to Build Confidence
Don’t worry if you weren’t born with self-confidence. There are steps that you can take to improve it. Boost your confidence by:
Identifying your strengths and your weaknesses. Realize that you can’t be great at everything, and that’s okay. You can take classes or request mentorship to improve on your weaknesses, or you can outsource them to someone on your team.
Helping others. Nothing makes you feel better about yourself than improving someone else’s situation. Whether you take on a mentee at work, volunteer to serve the homeless, or walk dogs at an animal shelter, helping others will make you feel amazing.
Reciting affirmations. Maybe you didn’t have someone telling you how wonderful you were as a child, yet that doesn’t mean you can’t tell yourself now. Identify the areas in which you are least confident, and create “I Am” statements to replace the negative messaging.
Strengthening your boundaries. Allowing yourself to be stepped on, insulted, and taken advantage of erodes confidence. Get clear on how you want to be treated and don’t settle for anything less.
Learning. Spend time listening to motivational books, attend seminars, and participate in workshops designed to strengthen your confidence and improve your life.
Having better self-confidence will help you excel in your personal and your professional life. This is a life-long practice and will pay off in your happiness and success.