One of my siblings was convicted and sent to prison. Even though I got to talk to my brother on the telephone, with a glass wall separating us in the prison visitation room, I experienced a tremendous sense of helplessness.
Of course, there are millions of people who live behind prison walls around the world. And I’m sure their sense of helplessness is much stronger than the emotions I felt as a mere visitor to the prison.
Sadder yet is the fact that there are billions of people who live inside their own self-constructed prisons. They incarcerate themselves with low self-esteem, building walls of negativity, pessimism, resentments, complaints, and excuses.
Now I know that might sound like a bit of an exaggeration, but don’t miss the fundamental truth I’m giving you. If you don’t have EMOTIONALLY INTELLIGENT CONFIDENCE, you’re trapped in a prison. And that prison is holding you back from achieving some of your career goals and personal dreams.
The good news is you can break out of that prison and build all the EMOTIONALLY INTELLIGENT CONFIDENCE you want and need. Here are a few tips on how to do that.
► 1. Remember your level of success is governed by your level of confidence.
As Mahatma Gandhi, the world-wide respected leader of India, observed, “Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end up by really becoming incapable of doing it.”
In The Seeds of Greatness, psychologist Dr. Denis Waitley affirms Gandhi’s observation. He writes, “If you believe you can, you probably can. If you believe you WON’T, you most assuredly WON’T.”
Put another way, you simply miss out on a lot of good stuff in life when you have anything less than EMOTIONALLY INTELLIGENT CONFIDENCE. As consultant Dan Klatt notes, “When people don’t feel they deserve wealth or abundance in any area, they don’t take the opportunities they’re given.”
So true. That’s why I told my recent audience of Prudential insurance agents, “You simply cannot afford the luxury of a negative attitude.”
I see it all the time when I’m coaching people. The most confident salespeople are almost always the top salespeople in their companies. They believe in themselves and the products they’re selling, and as a result, they make the sales they want to make.
The less confident salespeople sell a lot less, but they blame their lack of success on a poor economy, an unsatisfactory product, or difficult customers. They don’t seem to realize that they themselves are the problem.
So ask yourself if you’re living in a self-constructed prison of lower-than-helpful confidence. Do you have all the EMOTIONALLY INTELLIGENT CONFIDENCE you need to have the life you want and achieve the goals you desire?
I find that almost everyone, including myself on occasion, needs to be taught or reminded about what it takes to build and keep a rock-solid confidence.
► 2. Talk yourself into more confidence and competence.
If you’re super good at something, I mean really really good, you would think that that would automatically give you strong feelings of confidence. Sometimes that is the case, but not always.
Just look behind the scenes of so many of the shining, smiling, dressed-to-the-nines celebrities we see on our screens. They’re obviously very competent in their crafts, but many of them have publicly spoken about their lack of EMOTIONALLY INTELLIGENT CONFIDENCE, including Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Emma Watson, Kristen Stewart, Jennifer Lopez, Lada Gaga, Shawn Mendes, and Prince Harry.
There is a way out of that, however. Talk yourself into more confidence, which in turn, builds more competence. That’s why I would instruct my college students to tell themselves 20 times a day, “I like myself. I like myself. I like myself.” And “I can do it. I can do it. I can do it.”
It sounds silly, I know, but over the course of time you send messages from your conscious to your subconscious mind. Your subconscious mind will eventually accept those messages and you will act accordingly.
Best-selling author Dr. Walter Doyle Staples outlined the process of how EMOTIONALLY INTELLIGENT CONFIDENCE leads to greater competence as well. He writes,
When you change your thinking,
You change your beliefs;
When you change your beliefs,
You change your expectations;
When you change your expectations,
You change your attitude;
When you change your attitude,
You change your behavior;
When you change your behavior,
You change your performance;
When you change your performance,
You change your life!
Dr. Staples is right. And research backs him up. When you raise your confidence, you raise your performance. Even your leadership effectiveness is raised.
► 3. Let your confidence not only lead you but others as well.
That’s right. The more confident you are, the better leader you will become.
I recently returned from a European speaking tour in London, Edinburgh, Brussels, and Amsterdam where I spoke on UP Your Attitude. As I told the hundreds of leaders in my audiences, they couldn’t expect other people to believe in them if they didn’t believe in themselves.
Of course, Horace, the poet from ancient times said as much. He said, “He who has confidence in himself will lead the rest.”
What about you? Do you as a leader project the kind of confidence that inspires the trust and followership of others? If yes, congrats. If not, please do something about building more self-confidence, now!
Confidence is like a governor on a motorized vehicle. It will only allow you to go so fast. And no matter how much faster you might like to go, it’s not going to happen … until you adjust the governor, allowing you to go faster and higher than ever before.