Monday, May 24, 2010

C is for Confidence

It is hard to think of a person finding success in any area of their life if they are lacking in confidence. Those who are unsure, frightened, and easily influenced will not find the success they desire. You have to know what you want, and know that you can achieve it.

Successful people are confident that both the gifts they were born with and the skills & knowledge they have collected to this point have them well prepared to deal with today’s needs and tomorrow’s challenges. All of us are born with certain gifts. Throughout your own life maybe you have found that you have a “natural” ability with numbers; or a “natural” ability to read and remember large amounts of information; or a “natural” ability to dance or play a musical instrument. Having “natural” abilities doesn’t mean these things were easy to master. No one attains mastery of anything without practice. But you were drawn to these areas and you found that you learned more quickly than others. That is what I mean by having been born with certain gifts. We all have our own unique set of gifts. Successful people have discovered their gifts and are working in harmony with them.

Successful people are also confident in the vision of what their life should be. They spend time thinking about and planning the path that their lives will take. Sure, there will be bumps in the road, but with a vision and understanding of where you are going the bumps will not push you permanently off course. Successful people deal with the bumps and move on. True confidence in where you are going is the only way to ensure that you arrive at the intended destination. We are all travelers down the road of life. Having the vision in your mind of where you want to go and the confidence in your ability to get there is the difference between successful drivers and unhappy passengers.

There is one word of caution. Do not let confidence turn into cocky. It is one thing to be confident in your abilities but you need to make sure you maintain some humility as well. True confidence shows itself to others when you are willing to ask for advice or assistance, and when you freely point out and celebrate the skills and contributions of others. You do not need to toot your own horn – your confidence will show through in your actions, your attitudes, and the challenges you are willing to undertake.

Confidence grows each time you master a new skill or achieve a short term goal you set for yourself. Take some time to think about what you have already accomplished in your life. Think about the obstacles that have popped up and how you worked through or around them. You already have all the skills you need to be successful. Be confident in yourself and your abilities and you’ll find yourself moving farther and farther down the road of success in both your personal life and your professional life.

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