Why would anyone listen to me?
I probably wonder this on a daily basis… it’s an insecurity many of us face. But I’ve learned self-confidence over the years, by using a short mental checklist.
I’ve also noticed that developing self-confidence can often be a catch-22. Our self-confidence is boosted when someone believes in us enough to ask our opinion on something, but they may not ask us if we don’t already display self-confidence about what we do and who we are.
So how do we become confident?
Photo credit: Capture Queen
1. Be Sure of Your Calling
I must tell people this at least once a week… if you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will. So believe in what you were called to do… whether that is to be a mother or a father, or a CEO, accountant, or missionary. Be confident of your calling, and that confidence will show through your words and your actions.
2. Know Who You Are
You can only be confident when you really know yourself. Know that you have something to give, something to teach, and a story to tell. Sometimes our humility can get the best of us, and we think that our story, our testimony, or our experiences aren’t “good enough”… so we lose the opportunity to connect with, share with, and teach others.
Instead, we need to realize our value, our identity, and our worth.
But, this also means that we must know where our weaknesses lie: If humor isn’t your strong suit, stay away. If you aren’t a good impromptu speaker, print out good notes. If you tend to ramble, give yourself time goals.
Venture too far outside your strengths and your confidence will suffer as you run up against your own limitations and weaknesses.
3. Know What You Believe
Do you really know what you believe? Or are you simply parroting what others have told you to believe? Make your beliefs your own, by reading, by study, by questioning, by listening to leaders and trusted mentors. Then make up your own mind.
Only then, when your faith or your belief system is tested and questioned, will you have the confidence to stand your ground.
4. Know What You Know
You’ve heard the saying, “knowing just enough to be dangerous”… don’t be satisfied with surface-level knowledge, dig deeper and make sure what you are writing, speaking, or teaching is something you truly know about. There’s a lot of fakers out there…
Self-confidence will result when you truly know your subject matter in depth. Then you can teach and speak with confidence and be ready to answer questions or disagreements.
5. Know What You Don’t Know
“I do not know but I will find out.”
This phrase was ingrained into me early in my career as a military officer. When a higher-ranking officer asks you a question during the morning intel brief that you don’t know the answer to, that’s the answer you give.
Because people know when you are blowing smoke. And we can’t be afraid to admit we don’t have all of the answers. So when the question comes that you don’t know, admit it. But also commit to finding out, to learning it yourself and passing the knowledge on to others.
Can you think of other ways that we can train ourselves to be confident? If so, join the discussion and leave a comment below.