Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Real and Durable Confidence

Where does real and durable self-confidence come from?  Lasting confidence doesn't come from your track record.  It doesn't come from outside factors.  Real and durable confidence comes from the inside out.  In Overachievement: The New Science of Working Less to Accomplish More, John Eliot, Ph.D. writes about real confidence.

First Comes Confidence Then Comes Success
Eliot writes:

You make a big sale, close a deal, or hit one out of the park, and you feel great.  But that delight is not to be confused with real and durable confidence.  But that delight is not to be confused with real and durable confidence.  First comes confidence, then success.  Otherwise, there would be no billionaires or candidates for the White House.  In fact, people who base their confidence on past or even current successes often lose their sense of dedication and commitment.  It all seems so easy, so why keep working hard?  Worse still, by basing confidence on your track record, you open yourself up to a nasty fall.  When you run into a series of setbacks or outright failures, you are less likely to be able to pick yourself up and fight back. 

Don't Depend on the Approval of Others
Eliot writes:

Bouncing back is even harder if your confidence comes from outside factors: depending on the approval of your spouse or college classmates, on the bottom line of your business, on your coach or the critics, on the opinions of analysts reviewing your stock at Merrill Lynch or in The Wall Street Journal.  This is what psychologists call "dependent confidence."  We see this a lot among athletes who are extremely confident under a coach who thinks they're a real 'go-to" player.  But when they graduate from high school or college or move to the next level and run into a coach who may not be as impressed, their confidence -- and their ability to perform at high levels -- evaporates.

Confident Thinking
Eliot writes:

Soon after Arnold Schwarzenegger arrived in the United States in 1968, he made a prediction.  He would become a movie star, make millions, marry a glamorous woman, and wield political power.  The young Schwarzenegger's past stacked up quite heavily against such dreams:  He was an Austrian body builder short on money ... and on English.  But he didn't rely on feedback from others to decide how he would approach his future.  Whatever you think of Arnold's acting or his politics, it is hard to deny his brilliance as a confident thinker.

Key Take Aways
Here's my key take aways:

  • Confidence comes before success.
  • Don't base your confidence on external factors.
  • Confidence is a mindset.

My Related Posts