The Test of Confidence

Greetings Friends,

Self-confidence is one of the greatest skills any progressive and productive minded being must have. Self-confidence is truly priceless because it cuts across all levels of life. During interviews, one of the qualities interviewers look for in a candidate is your level of confidence. At work environments, supervisors, Directors look for confidence, capability, and competence in a candidate before any task is delegated to them. Students, athletics, public speakers, sportsmen, actors, leaders, etc. all need confidence to succeed.

The test of confidence is truly a hard one when we try to be practical with our beliefs. This is because there are so many distractions begging for our attention. Confidence is one of the greatest skills a leader must possess because it helps to conquer a lot of fears in addition to conquering new grounds. It’s sad to note that a lot of people have failed in life despite having the background knowledge and information they need to succeed simply because they lack confidence in expressing their thoughts and following their dreams and passion.

Confidence people don’t follow the bandwagon. They walk alone when the world is moving in a different direction. Confident people know themselves, they know what’s unique about them. They know their strengths and weakness and above all, they know themselves. In the journey of life, you must surely go through test for your confidence to be established. So, always appreciate and value your journey.  During the course of this article, we shall be discussing how we can develop self-confidence.

A person with high self-confidence seems to live life with passion and enthusiasm.  People tend to trust and follow confident people. Confident people are not deterred by adversaries. Just to understand how confidence plays a role plays in real life, imagine having a lion leading a flock of sheep for a war versus having a sheep leading a troop of lions. Who will be respected most?

At any point in life, we’ll be required to prove ourselves. This proof might result in us being tested in what we believe in. This can be a test of faith, business, relationship, careers, and life generally. It is this test that will define and probably shape you. Let’s take a classic case of an entrepreneur who feels working 9-5 job is not for him or her. He/she decides to quit his/her job to follow his/her dreams of becoming an entrepreneur. If you’ll agree with me, it takes courage and confidence to quit your job in order to be an entrepreneur. There have been cases of people who left good jobs to follow their dreams. Some of these people relocated to thousands of miles outside their comfort zone just to follow their passion. These are some of the examples of the test of confidence.

We live in a world where a lot of people play to the gallery by trying to impress people. These set of individuals fail to realize the fact that, the best way of living a fulfilling life is by being themselves. Impressing people is like living a fake life and expecting people to take you serious. In the worlds Oscar Wilde “Be yourself, everyone is taken”. Anyone who wants to be part of your success story will support your works. You won’t need to beg for their confirmation. Just so you know, people who truly care don’t matter and those who matter don’t care.

Confident people don’t care what others think about them. They don’t try to impress people with their clothes, money, knowledge, network, and strength because they truly know themselves. Confident people are talented and gifted set of people who know their craft very well. I have seen cases in life where Human Resource managers hire people with less qualified certificates for a position over someone with certificates just because of the skills, personality, attitude and their confidence to learn and grow which the person brings to the table as opposed to a candidate with great “qualifications” with little or confidence or undertaking a new task.

The first test of lack of confidence you can see in an individual is insecurity. Insecure people always have fear and doubt in their minds. Most times our insecurity makes us seek validation from other people, but the truly confident people know that a free being is one who does not care about what other people think about him. In the words of Bill Cosby, “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone’.

Let me share a true story. During my graduate program in New York Law School, I had fears of the unknown. I thought I wouldn’t be able to graduate from taxation, but when I looked back and see the people looking up to me, I told myself, I will not only graduate, but I will finish strong, which by God’s grace I did. The moral here is that I believed in myself despite obvious challenges. Furthermore, when I was writing my first book, I had fears about how the production will be, grammatical errors and how the world will receive the work, all these fears didn’t deter me from moving ahead despite many voices telling me 1001 different messages on how to proceed and not proceed with the production.  At the end of the day, I followed my inner instincts and dared to succeed. And the work came out almost perfectly fine if not perfectly fine.

If you know who you are, you won’t need to explain yourself to people. Isn’t it true that the whole world sets apart for the man who knows where he’s headed?

If people have high self-efficacy in an area, then they think, feel, and behave in a way that contributes to and reinforces their success, and improves their personal satisfaction. They’re more likely to view obstacles as challenges to overcome, so they aren’t afraid to face new things. They recover quickly from setbacks because they view failure more as a result of external circumstances than internal weaknesses. In general, believing in your abilities affects your motivation, your choices, your toughness, and your determination.

The question now is how do you building self-confidence?  I will list a few ways you can build self confidence.

Mastery experiences – things you have succeeded at in the past.

Vicarious experiences – seeing people who are similar to you succeed.

Social persuasion – hearing from others that you’re capable of.

Emotional status – staying positive, and managing stress.

Three of these sources (the first, second, and fourth) are within your control, so we’ll look at them more closely. However, while we can’t force people to say good things about us (the third source), we can increase the likelihood of receiving positive feedback by being more confident in general.

A few days ago, the internet was awash with the history of  Cori Gauff, the 15-year-old American who set a record by becoming the youngest player to qualify for the main draw of Wimbledon. She was able to beat one of her idols Venus Williams in the first round at Wimbledon. Cori wouldn’t have been able to do this she lacked confidence.

 In order to gain confidence, try practicing these few nuggets: Never try to be someone else;  Always stick to your ideas when necessary; Have a sense of direction in life; Don’t be  easily influenced by what others say; Be comfortable with yourself; Don’t seek approval from others; Groom yourselfDress nicelyThink positiveKill negative thoughts Get prepared; Know your principles and live them; Speak slowly; Increase competenceSet a small goal and achieve it; Focus on solutions; Volunteer and learn; Exercise Empower yourself with knowledge; Work on small things and finally but not the least get to you know yourself because when you do, you will win all battles.

 In conclusion. How confident are you? Are you ready to take a leap of faith to prove your confidence? Remember the words of Henry Ford “Whether you think you can, or you think you can‘t – you‘re right,”.

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with New York City Department of Correction as the legal Coordinator. He’s the author of the acclaimed book Design Your Destiny – Actualizing Your Birthright To Success.

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