Recently I was given some feedback that I appeared too confident, and at the time while I did not purposely display such a demeanor the opposite would have been a little more appropriate, or at least, more expected. This is a good thing to be aware of.
I appreciate getting this feedback because it was valuable to understand the feelings of those I was meeting with. So in considering what was said, I gave some thought to confidence and can share this advice;
One of the fundamental tasks of any leader from the president to parent is to give people a sense of confidence: in themselves, in the group or team they are a part of, and in the mission itself. A leader must have faith in the people he or she leads, and inspire that faith in them. That faith must begin within themselves.
As Rosabeth Moss Kanter of the Harvard Business School writes in her book Confidence, ” Leadership is not about the leader, it is about how he or she builds the confidence of everyone else.” Confidence, by the way, is Latin for “having faith together.”
There is a self-fulfilling prophecy that applies here. Those who say, “We cannot do it” are probably right, just as those who say “We can.” If you lack confidence you will lose. If you have it, solid, justified confidence based on preparation and past performance, you will win. Not always, but often enough to win over setbacks and failures.
So if you lack confidence, re-evaluate your performance and consider times when you achieved success. Make yourself a student of leadership and build that confidence. Believe in yourself and look for opportunities to practice. You can gain confidence once you set out for it without allowing negative thoughts to get in the way.