Marie Curie, the first and only women to receive two Nobel prizes said once “Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that thing must be obtained.”
Confidence is a key ingredient to success in any and all areas of your life. Without confidence, you’ll sit on the fence, be a spectator and probably spend your life wondering ‘What if?’. Confidence is imperative for growth, progress, communication, opportunities, collaboration and so much more. Whilst the dictionary says it means firm trust, self-reliance, assured expectation and boldness, there is so much more to confidence.
Confidence comes from action. It is often seen as the result of taking the steps, doing the work, the research and then we become confident, yet…. We need the confidence in order to take the first step. A child learning to walk or ride is innately curious and trusting. We too with belief, trust and value, can be innately confident as adults. For many of us though life pressures, back in school, peers, the current social norms, our environment and the parental effect we’ve had. So much influences our confidence on a daily basis.
At the core of it, we must believe in ourselves (no matter what), we must trust ourselves and we must value what we’re offering, contributing, giving. These 3 factors the belief, trust and value are at the root of confidence. With the action, the achievements, milestones, the measures and evidence of success come. Along the way the constant feedback of what worked, what didn’t, what we could improve, do differently, better or more of.
How we do confidence is different and unique for every individual. However after working with individuals and businesses for the last 8 years, here are just a couple of obvious patterns in behaviour that showcase confidence or lack of it on occasion.
- Ask for help or suffer/struggle along in silence
- Negotiate in situations or accept what’s offered
- Push back and challenge decisions with questions or go along with everything suggested
- Embrace difficult conversations or avoid conflict and stay quiet
- Say no and …. / however…. or say yes to everything
- Set clear boundaries around what’s ok / not ok or allow people to walk all over you/get pushed around
- Listen well or talk over the top of people or fill the space
- First or early to put hand up to speak during meetings or stay silent or last to contribute / under duress
- Trust intuition, instinct, gut feeling or second guess or ask others for options a lot
- Make quick decisions and be slow to change your mind or slow to make decisions and quick to change your mind
- Being self- aware and able to stop listening to the ‘mind clutter’ or find yourself listening to the cracked record replaying over and over in your head
- Realise everyone is doing best they can with the resources they have or quick to judge, assume and have expectations about self (perfectionism) and others
Confidence is silent. Insecurities are loud.
In order to believe, trust and value, it’s really important to understand what motivates and drives you (or others) both consciously and unconsciously. That means building self awareness.
To do that, you must realise that we all have 6 core needs that we meet on a daily basis. We will actually only do behaviours that meet these needs. More particularly, we’ll specifically only do behaviours that meet the first 4 needs and the last two are kind of a bonus. It explains why so many can struggle with confidence and self-doubt for a lifetime. It also explains why some more so than others.
The 6 core needs are based on the work of Tony Robbins studying millions of people from all walks of life around the globe.
Certainty – is all about wanting and needing to feel safe, in control, certain of ourselves or of our environment. We want to have comfort, security in our working or home environment. A knowing, that it’s not too out of control or we’re too stretched with the type of work we are doing or the challenges facing us. With two much certainty though, things can get mundane, monotonous, boring….?
Variety – is about adventure, challenge, risk and uncertainty. They say ‘Variety is the spice of Life’. However for some too much variety or challenge means overwhelm, feeling stretched, bogged down. Some deal with it better and love a wild ride and others are freaking out, because it is simply too much. We need to embrace the uncertainty, take risks, have some adventure in life in order to feel fulfilled.
Significance – is about being valued and important. This is such a vital need and connected to the ego, when we’re not feeling valued and appreciated, we may meet this need by seeking out praise, blowing our own trumpet, playing the bully or putting ourselves down (in order to feel better or have someone correct us and say the opposite). Combined with meeting the need for certainty, this one is micromanagement at it’s worst. Another example is the chest beating, bragging, self-infatuation, look at me, listen to me type of conversation, when you can’t get a word in. Or at work when someone else takes the credit for creation of something or success, instead of due credit. When a business is ignoring the value of individuals, it is a core need being overlooked and can often be the primary driver for staff members to leave.
Connection – is about love and connection. Each and every human being needs connection. That’s why the boss that ignores people and doesn’t say thank you for the simple little things, or a team member who ignores the rest of the team and never says good morning is often thought of as rude. With communication being crucial for team success it’s important for people to recognise and realise the importance of connection for each and every person.
Also think about these needs in terms of your customer or client base. Are you meeting the core needs of your customers?
The other two key needs are growth and contribution. All about learning and growing, contributing and giving. These are more spiritual needs in that sense. A bonus if you like.
If you can focus on the first 4 needs and understand which ones drive you most, or least, then you’ll actually be able to use the ones that seem less important to you, as the stretch that you need now to really step into your power shoes and dial up more confidence. Also thing about how you meet those needs externally. ie. are you expecting your boss to praise you. Or do you give yourself your own pat on the back? Are you always in search of the compliment from a partner? Instead of looking in the mirror and giving yourself a wink.
It’s an internal thing! It is about filling your own needs. Stop expecting others or the world to do it for you. This is your fuel tank. Fill it up.
Be more certain than doubtful.
Embrace the uncertainty.
Remember to say ‘I’m possible’ (instead of thinking it’s impossible – thanks Audrey Hepburn)
Connect – Come from heart space.
For more information on growing and building your leadership skills, join Genevieve Matthews for a Discovery Call and find out about The Excelerator Program – A Business Leadership Intensive. For business leaders ready to grow and excel. Discover what makes people tick, thrive and grow for outstanding personal and professional success.