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Confidence – nice thing to have, yes?

Knowledge of and belief in your skills and abilities, a calm relationship with your own strengths and areas of improvement, an ability to communicate what those are so others know what you’ve got covered.

No biggie you’d think.  But yet when this comes up in my coaching space, there’s times you’d think I’d started shouting the other C word – horror, recoil, fear, and rejection (“that’s not for me!)”.

Somewhere along the line, it seems that confidence is getting entwined with negative connotations.

But guess what?

  • Confidence IS NOT arrogance

  • Confidence IS NOT entitlement

  • Confidence IS NOT complacency

Confidence isn’t arrogance or entitlement

I suspect when we think of “confident” people, we’re often thinking of those who are arrogant, boastful and entitled.  Who think they’re great at anything and everything (I’m biting my tongue here about current politics!).

But that isn’t confidence.  Confidence is based on certainty and therefore facts and truth, not just belief:

“the quality of being certain of your abilities or of having trust in people, plans, or the future.”

Cambridge Dictionary, Online

Or as children, like little sponges, we absorbed the messages not to be boastful, or “too big for our boots”, or draw attention to ourselves (wow, that’s a common one and can really leave a mark – perhaps not so prevalent now but definitely one for us children of the 70s and 80s I think!).

And so we think that any acknowledgement of our skills and successes is boastful or arrogant.  Or makes us look like we think we’re better than others.

But that means we’re switching off a balanced assessment, both for ourselves and others.  Because confidence is actually a rational, logical understanding of what we can do, and how we can do it well.  It comes from a place of calmness, grounding and sensitivity (not narcissistic presumption).  And it includes awareness of the things we can’t do, or where we need more honing and improvement.

It’s how we play to our strengths (a lovely place to be) and where the people who want those strengths can find them (and then in turn, feel confident in their decision).

Confidence isn’t complacency

Trust me on this one…

Being assured in your abilities isn’t going to suddenly mean that all your standards crumble, that you no longer care, and you start delivering a shoddy job.

Obvious, you’d think, but when we dig deep, this is often part of the reason for shunning confidence.

The people who think they only do a good job because of how hard they are on themselves…

whereas actually the truth (I’m often telling people) is:

“You do a good job despite how hard you are on yourself.  Imagine what could be possible if you were on your own side!”

It’s ok to tell others what you’re good at!

Right, you’re feeling confident.  You know what you’re good at, how you do it best and who you’re good at doing it for.

But for some, it’s the letting people know that is excruciating.  That’s where it presses all those buttons again – boastful, arrogant, even fraudulent.

But if you’re in that area of facts and authenticity, then there’s no need for that.  You’re sharing your skills to those that want them.  And if you do it in your own “voice”, it’s possible to make it feel good.

Think of someone who is quietly confident – calm and assured in their abilities and able to exude that in their words, actions, even body language.  That will be the person who makes you feel safe, who makes you feel confident.  Who gives you the knowledge that it’s all ok, they’ve got this and they’re up to the job. And who delivers on that promise.

How good does that sound?  And that’s all that you’re doing when you spread the word.

How can I build my confidence?

There’s a few tips scattered in here, and more coming next week.  You’ll be able to see them in my blog, or sign up to my newsletter to get them delivered to your email door.

Or get in touch.

Helping employees and entrepreneurs ditch imposter syndrome, embrace all that they are and take their place is what I do.  No more selling themselves short, playing it safe, and then longing from what they see others achieving.

And – embracing the confidence here – I do it well.

Interested?  Let’s talk.