Top 10: building confidence…

Thu, Apr 17, 2014

Top 10 tips

1. Don’t wait for confidence to come to you – you have to build it by doing it.

2. Confidence is less to do with skills, and much more to do with setting. If I ask you ‘are you confident or not?’ your probable answer will be – “it all depends”. Exactly. You will be confident in some scenarios or contexts, and less so in others. So setting is more important than skills – in the ‘confident’ settings, you clearly demonstrate the necessary skills: when the setting is intimidating, threatening, new or challenging, that setting (and what it does with your internal state) disables the skills you already have. So it is pointless attempting to further develop those skills…

3. ….so the real skill you need is ‘managing difficult settings’

4. Susan Jeffers’ key point is that confidence is less to do with ‘capability’, and more to do with ‘copeability’. Less to do with ‘will I get it right?’ (capability) and more to do with ‘if it goes wrong, will I cope?’. She (and I) think that confidence comes from, and is strengthened by, coping when things go wrong….

5. If this is true, then confidence to some/a large extent depends on having a go, surviving, and learning from the experience…

6. …therefore another key skill to aid confidence is reflection: the ability to take learning from any experience

7. So confidence is more to do with mental state and application, and less to do with raw talent and skills

8. Willpower determines skillpower: where there’s a will….it’s more about will, than skill. If you want to enough, you’ll either develop the skills, or (amazingly) discover they were there all along….

9. Confidence can be as much to do with language as it can with anything else. Words can be scary – even before you have entered the situation or setting. For example, the word “interview” provokes an unhelpful (emotional/mental) response in many. What happens if you replace that word with ‘meeting’ or even ‘conversation’? So consider reframing words that do not help….they are only words, after all….

10. If the setting, in anticipation, seems disabling, break it down; what is it about the situation that is problematic. We use the PPC approach:

a. What is the problem, specifically? – spell it out/break it down into its component parts

b. What can you do to prevent each component problem occurring?

c. What’s the best you can you do, if, despite b above, your worst fears are realised?

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