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The Key to Confidence


Photo by Helena Yankovska

“One unique attribute of confidence is that it both feeds and grows on itself”

I recently had a conversation with a prominent therapist and asked, “How do you teach your clients to gain more self-confidence?” The response was unexpected but also became the genesis for this post. “That is a great question” was how it began and the next ten minutes were spent discussing our own particular techniques, experiences, and results.

While working with my clients, confidence, and the understanding of how to achieve more, is one of the key elements on which I focus. Learning how other professionals deal with this subject generates new ideas so I am constantly on the lookout for what techniques and methods work for others.

Before I begin laying out some of my thoughts, take a few moments and consider ideas you would use to help someone gain self-confidence. Most of us don’t need to be a therapist, life coach, or have a motivational type career to warrant using this skill. Building confidence is something just about all of us could use. Parents imparting it to their children, successful managers implementing it in the work environment, and in our everyday lives, we can inspire people to become better by simply boosting their self-esteem.

The dictionary defines confidence in part as: full trust, belief in ones self, certitude, assurance; all of which are key components but how do we impart that on others? For that matter, how do we instill and develop it within ourselves especially when many of us have a tendency towards lower self-esteem in the first place?

One way in which confidence is cultivated is seeing improvement in a particular skill or action through practice or repetition. A basketball player can spend hours shooting free-throws concentrating on the movements which propel the ball from the fingertips right through the center of the hoop. Repeating this regularly will culminate in making more baskets and boosting confidence. Likewise a painter can meticulously work at making straighter lines which leads to cleaner and more accurate results.

The positive outcomes experienced boost self-image and create an atmosphere in our minds conducive to acquiring self-confidence. It was not luck but rather the culmination of tremendous effort done correctly. However, if either that basketball player or the painter were practicing incorrect or ineffective techniques, the results could produce the opposite effects.

In either case – whether confidence was lost or gained – the individual must believe and accept it for her or himself in order for it to transpire. All the practice and repetition in the world will not generate results. No amount of compliments or praise creates confidence and self-esteem until it is ultimately accepted by the individual attempting to foster it. In short, confidence is attained when we BELIEVE it is true about ourselves.

I hope to see some innovative ideas in the comments below and next week, share some of the great views. We can always use more confidence so let’s share some awesome experiences. Thank you and I look forward to reading them.

My thanks to Helena Yankovska for the great photograph. To find out more about her, click here.

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