The Confidence Code
We all think we know confidence when we see it. It’s what the person who speaks first and longest at the office meeting has. It’s what your friend who always seems so sure of their opinions has. It’s there in the who-cares-that-my-last-10-ideas-were-shot-down,-I’ll-just-propose-another attitude of that slightly irritating new hire.
When we started this project we assumed this was confidence. It was an attitude, a mindset, if you like, of bravura. And there was something about it that felt pretty foreign to us. It seemed like you had to be a jerk to be confident – or at least confident in that way.
But the more we talked to the psychologists and neurologists who make the study of confidence their life’s work, the more we came to the realization that we were wrong. Our early assessment of what this elusive quality is, was off target.
Confidence isn’t about throwing your weight around or talking over people or always being the first to jump in. Confidence isn’t an attitude at all. You know that old expression about something being all in your head? Well, when it comes to confidence the opposite is true. Confidence is about the actions you take not the postures you strike.
Having confidence is taking action. We all want to do or try certain things but fear they are just beyond our reach and yet we worry about failing. Those nerves are normal – everyone has them. The difference between a confident person and an unconfident person is simply that the confident person acts on their ambitions and desires and who does let that fear of failure stop them.
And the notion of confidence as action is a virtuous circle. The more we act, the more our confidence grows. We try something, and the next time round we feel a little bit easier about trying it again. Even if we fail we have learned something valuable, namely that taking the risk of trying didn’t kill us. That’s useful, confidence building knowledge.
We spent a long time trying to define confidence because we felt that it would be easier to grow it if we really knew what is was. In the end we came to this conclusion: confidence is life’s enabler – it is the quality that turns thoughts into action.
Blogs By Katty Kay
More Personal Growth Blogs
- What the Current Presidential Election Reveals about the United States, with Richard Wolffe
By Richard Wolffe
A skilled storyteller with decades of experience in Washington D.C.’s inner circles, Richard Wolffe imparts informative insights on politics and economics, including both domestic and foreign affair... more...
- Fraud Prevention and Personal Security, with Robert Siciliano
By Robert Siciliano
Best-selling author Robert Siciliano is a United States Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla Staff Officer of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security – whose motto is "Semper Paratus" (Always Ready). For... more...
- Women Becoming Successful Public Speakers, with Barbara Corcoran
By Barbara Corcoran
Barbara Corcoran’s credentials include straight D’s in high school and college and twenty jobs by the time she turned twenty-three. It was her next job that would make her one of the most successf... more...
- Diet-Free Healthy Eating, with Zonya Foco
By Zonya Foco
As an author, TV host, and national speaker, Zonya Foco is leading America in the fight against obesity, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease through smart nutrition and fitness. Her diet-free methodol... more...
- Expand Your Creativity and Consciousness, with Erik Wahl
By Erik Wahl
Erik Wahl is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, best selling author, and graffiti artist. He has also been described as the Picasso of Productivity, the Warhol of Wall Street, and the Renoir of ROI. Dra... more...
- How to Foster Resiliency, with Eileen McDargh
By Eileen McDargh
For over 35 years, Eileen McDargh has been resuscitating organizations with her second-to-none talent for engaging groups, reframing their thinking, and inspiring them to take action. The "resiliency... more...
- Decision-Making with Annie Duke
By Annie Duke
Championship poker player, Annie Duke draws from her twenty-year poker career and cognitive psychology studies to teach people how to make smart decisions in high stakes situations. From her PhD studi... more...