Confidence is key
Think back to the last time you made a big decision, the last tricky conversation you had, or a recent important presentation, how did you feel?
Assured and in control? Or faltering and winging it a bit?
To lead, confidence is key.
That’s probably not new news. But it might be something you’ve taken for granted, but not necessarily worked at.
Confidence isn’t an innate trait. Those people you see deliver ‘effortlessly brilliant’ Ted talks aren’t born with it coursing through their veins. Leaders of global enterprises don’t get gifted it when they get to board level. They’ve worked for it – and continue to do so.
Confidence is a foundation for good leadership – especially in uncertain or challenging times. It gives you the power to make decisions and helps your team rally behind you and trust the direction you’re taking them in.
So when leading, confidence is vital. But how do we get more of it? Not the one-off burst of confidence that sees you through a presentation or speech, but the real, authentic stuff that helps you be more assured and in control ever day?
In a recent episode of On Purpose, Jay Shetty shared some great insight into seven things that confident people do differently.
1) Saying yes and then figuring it out
As Shetty says: “Doing this places positive pressure on yourself to have to figure it out.” When you say no you lose the opportunity to learn, to grow, and develop new skills.
Richard Branson in Finding My Virginity said: “if someone offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it … say yes and learn how to do it later”
Confidence is in learning how to do it.
2) Saying NO when it’s against your values
Equally, saying no to things that are against your values is key. Staying true to the values you prioritise both in and outside of work “protects every future Yes”.
Confidence is about doing what you really care about.
3) Work in alignment with your dream
“Chasing the dream that society gives you will leave you with anxiety”. If you’re focused on achieving someone else’s dream, you’ll never feel smart enough – or confident enough.
Confidence comes from achieving what you want to achieve.
4) Focus on IMPROVEMENT not perfection
Take Ronaldo and the stories about him being at training 3 hours before anyone else, despite being one of the best players in the world.
If you chase perfection, you will either reach it and become complacent or you never reach and you become overwhelmed. Focus on improvement you will always have a measure.
Anywhere in your life where you don’t feel the best – think where you can improve.
5) TALK LESS around unintelligent conversations
Stay away from gossip, criticism, negativity, and toxic conversations.
And don’t try and correct or always be the biggest person – as Abraham Lincoln said: “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt.”
Sometimes showing confidence is to stay silent – knowing when people want to hear something or who they want to hear it from is a great skill to have.
6) Ask POWERFUL questions
Asking questions is what helps us grow the most. But not just any question, think beyond what is being spoken about to what will spark new discussion, new thinking.
When you ask the right questions, you show curiosity and the confidence to challenge and push things on.
7) Discuss IDEAS and work on your VULNERABILITY
Eleanor Roosevelt said: “Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.”
Confidence doesn’t come from blind faith and conviction – it comes from discussing your ideas with others. Embracing your vulnerability and the possibility of being challenged shows real strength.
Getting confidence and keeping confidence, is a lifelong thing. It’s a habit and a muscle that needs to be worked, to be developed and to be put into practice.
Confident leaders stay confident by finding daily ways to improve themselves. Try putting a couple of Jay Shetty’s habits into action today and see if you can boost your leadership confidence.