More confidence is something that so many people seek. If you’re inspired to gain confidence, it should never suggest that you are not already confident, but when we step out of our comfort zone we might need to find some more.
One of the most important factors to make a difference will be how you prepare. So many professionals feel rushed with schedule pressures and effective time management. Procrastination can often lead to individuals denying the necessity for preparation and taking the approach that they will deal with things as they come.
You might be familiar with the phrase, “Failure to plan is planning to fail.” Unfortunately I don’t know who to credit for these wise words but they are very applicable for those seeking to gain confidence.
Here is why. Perhaps nothing will more adversely affect your future confidence than your past performance. When you make a blunder, get tripped up, or have some type of performance failure you can grow from it, or you can set self-limiting beliefs which might make you feel less confident.
Gain Confidence by Preparing
Much of our confidence has roots in feedback or expectations that have been set by others. Our confidence might also be closely connected to self-efficacy and self-esteem. The best way to build more is to be prepared for any actions you are about to take or encounter. Here are a few tips to help you prepare.
- Visualize. Whatever you are about to do, whether it is giving a sales pitch, starting a new job, or giving a presentation to a large group imagine yourself in action. Really visualize what you might say or do. What the room or surrounding environment might be like, and most importantly visualize the positivity you will illustrate as you deliver. Visualize the event or situation in its entirety with you nailing it as you finish strong.
- Rehearse or practice. Practice in your mind (as part of visualization) or consider physically going through the motions depending on your circumstance or situation. Give yourself a test, do what you have to do to get it right, every time. Working out any kinks or bugs and connecting what you’re practicing to positive end results is important.
- Double-check. In the fable of Santa Claus he makes a list and he checks it twice. Consider everything you will need to have or do. In a professional role you might think about things like business cards, marketing materials, a tablet and a pen. In some cases you might think about the type of shoes you’ll wear, the possibility for bad weather, or changing temperatures. You might think about how you will visualize any distractions and you might also consider your nourishment, meals, and the timing connected with eating and resting.
Yes, it might be true that you can over prepare. Preparing too much can set you up to underestimate the intensity required for your success. For example, if we rehearse too much it might make our interactions appear unnatural or not authentic. It is also possible that your level of confidence is so high that it creates self-deception about the reality of the circumstances or situation you face.
The most confident people are probably the most prepared, the depth of their preparation will be conditioned by both the specific situation and their level of experience.
What about you, are you prepared? What is your level of confidence?
See also: 5 Actions to Build More Confidence
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and coach that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is the author of the newly released book, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.