“As is our confidence, so is our capacity.” — William Hazlitt
Confidence is one of those things that makes all the difference when it comes to realizing your potential.
So many people have great ideas and great ambitions, but lack the confidence to follow through when it counts.
They hold themselves back.
Their amazing and bold ideas turn into lackluster ideas, as fear starts talking (if they talk at all.)
A while back, a team in Microsoft Human Resources interviewed me on confidence, because enough people pointed back to me as somebody they saw as confident.
What HR wanted to know is, where does my confidence come from?
The funny thing was, I never thought about myself as confident.
I was just on a mission.
Where You Put Your Focus is Key to Your Confidence
For me, my confidence mostly came from a relentless focus on making impact.
I put my focus on doing great things, creating raving fan customers, and taking on big challenges.
Where you put your focus, instantly changes your confidence.
If you’re too worried about how you look or how you sound, then you aren’t putting enough focus on the amazing thing you are trying to do.
So it wasn’t confidence per se.
It was more like putting my focus on the right things.
But there was more to it.
3 Beliefs that Helped Me Find My Confidence
I was confident because of a few basic beliefs:
- I believed I’ll figure it out
- I believed that if I screw up, I’ll learn faster
- I believed that I don’t need to be the answer, but that I can always find the answer
These 3 beliefs helped me take action with confidence, because I was less worried about being wrong, and more worried about finding a good answer or solution.
My confidence came from the fact that I knew that I could take action. And I could keep taking action.
My confidence came from the idea that, unless I give up, I will keep moving forward towards my goal.
Detach Yourself from Your Ideas
Another thing that helped is that one of our leaders was relentless about “exposing our thinking.”
He wanted us to always detach ourselves from our ideas.
He wanted us to present ideas without being attached to them so they could be criticized and evaluated in more objective ways.
You are not your idea. It’s easy to get attached or married to “your baby”.
But it’s limiting and it keeps you in the dark.
If people know you are not open or curious, then they won’t share the knowledge, perspectives, and ideas you need to succeed.
Or, even if they do, you won’t see it, because you have your blinders on.
This sounds simple, but you’d be surprised how difficult it can be to detach yourself from ideas.
But the beauty is that when you are able to do this, your focus changes from defending your ideas, to really helping to create better ideas.
And this little shift takes you from fear or lack of confidence, to purposeful exploration, with full confidence.
Fill Your Head with Confident Thoughts
Anyway, I think we become the thoughts that we think, so I think it’s really important to fill our head with the right words on confidence.
To that end, here is roundup of some of the greatest confidence quotes of all time:
See if you can find at least three that you can use to help add more juice to your day.
If there is one that I find myself referring to all the time, to remind myself to get up to bat, it’s this one:
“A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.” – William Shedd
I learned it long ago, and it’s served me well, ever since.
While that one reminds me to do what I do best, it’s really this one that inspires me to expand what I’m capable of:
“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” — Anaïs Nin
I hope you find the right words that give your confidence just the boost it needs, when you need it most.