Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about confidence. Maybe ‘cause my own personal confidence took a major hit over the last couple of months, AND because I know that confidence is the linchpin, the one central factor in your business, especially when it comes to pricing and sales, on which all else depends.
What you believe about yourself is true.
Make it GOOD.
I broke my confidence a bit recently, along with two bones in my body. After not breaking any bones in my entire 54 years, I managed to break first a rib, then my ankle, a month apart, sidelining me from my plan to compete in a half-marathon with my daughter-in-law in July. These injuries infected me with self-doubt, had me all, what the actual F, whyyyyy these serious problems now? I started to question my basic ability to put one foot in front of the other.
At the same time, I’ve been working on a pricing program, doing my usual work with clients, and also guest teaching about pricing, and it ALL keeps coming back to confidence.
So, because I am a nerd of the first order, I decided to use my sidelined, not-running time to make an actual concerted study of confidence, especially how to make more of it.
Step 1: I went a-Googling “10 Ways to Build Confidence,” and then built a spreadsheet in Excel comparing the various lists, looking for commonality and considering whether I agreed.
Step 2: I bought and started reading two books, The Confidence Effect: Every Woman’s Guide to the Attitude that Attracts Success by Gaily Killelea & The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance – What Women Should Know by Katty Kay & Claire Shipman.
Step 3: I listened hard to every woman I talked to, for clues to what was making them feel more confident. Given the work I do, I suppose it’s not surprising: confidence comes from facing hard stuff.
Step 4: I spent a lot of time thinking and writing, reading and writing, pulling tarot cards and writing.
What’d I figure out?
Confidence is directly related to your willingness to be uncomfortable.
As I was building my own list of Confidence Builders, one thing kept coming up in different ways -- > increasing your comfort with Not Knowing.
Confidence is that solid core sense that, no matter what comes at you,
you can figure it out.
Confidence means you can raise your hand, go for the promotion, pitch the client EVEN WHEN you don’t have all the answers (because honestly, who the hell does, and anyway, you know A LOT and you know how to learn what you’ll need when you need it because you rule like that).
Confidence is not having to have all the answers. Because what really matters is that thing inside you, that weighty gut-level wisdom based on experience that whispers, “you can totally do this.”
Confidence is about knowing your value in your bones and not having to prove it.
Confidence is what lets you stand out on the very edge of what’s comfortable, what allows you to tolerate the grit that gets you the pearl.
Confidence delivers you to courage.
On the flip side, the need to know everything? That need that keeps us from action as we gather more and more info, that keeps us from busting out, because we tell ourselves that someone always knows more than we do? That ain’t nothing but a lack of confidence in our ability to figure it out, a fundamental vote of not-confidence in our own so-capable selves. Sure, that may mean we’re operating in our Zone of Competence, maybe even Excellence. Which isn’t terrible. It’s not awful. But it also ain’t Genius.
To operate in your Zone of Genius? Confidence.
And what the world needs, what we all need, is more people operating in their Zone of Genius. Including me. Including you. Including all of us.
Know what you’re made of. Believe it. Bring it.
PS Here’s my list. I’d love to know yours, so hit me back and let me know.
- Approach everything you do as practice. Keep coming back.
- Celebrate every bit of progress, every success and victory no matter how small.
- Put yourself in positions where you DON’T KNOW or you’re a bit scared. Learn something new, try something new. Have a beginner’s mind.
- Have an exercise/physical practice, so you learn with your body, too.
- Use your words [well]. Mind the things you say about yourself. Gratefully & gracefully accept, don’t deflect, compliments. Speak positively about your abilities, your accomplishments.
- Know what you want and ask for it.
- Do good/serve others.