The value of self-confidence

Harry Welby-Cooke.
Harry Welby-Cooke.

IT SEEMS obvious that self-confidence can have a positive impact on a business owners’ professional and personal successes, but understanding how to develop and improve self confidence when it’s lacking is not always an easy task.

Some of the key touch points for understanding and cultivating self-confidence are:

Self awareness. Our sense of identity is formed during our childhoods and is developed through many subtleties and intricacies outside of our control. But being able to identify, at least to some degree, why we see ourselves the way we do, and understanding the root of our responses to different situations can be empowering.

Self-awareness is one of the most valuable tools for correcting wrong beliefs about ourselves, cultivating confidence, and achieving goals.

Beliefs. Beliefs are a pervasive combination of our identity, our environment, and the cultural and social paradigms that surround us. It is imperative to understand what you believe, so that you can actively live out those beliefs, or change them.

This ties into identity and self awareness because if you genuinely believe in who you are and what you do, goals are far more attainable.

Social circles. Our social structures and experience of living in community can make us susceptible to the whims of others.

But valuing the opinions of others too much, or modifying our behaviour to meet their expectations, can undermine our personal strengths and talents. It is important to assess how we behave in response to our social circles, and to practice standing firm in our identities when engaging with other people’s expectations.

Trust. Some people don’t trust themselves or their capabilities, which is often a by-product of not trusting others. It’s how they were raised, and it’s often how they’ve been conditioned to relate in society. Make it a point to trust your qualities and capabilities, and overcome the paradigm of mistrust.

Awareness. Do what it takes to be more aware of your environment and others in it by paying closer attention to subtleties in communications and what is happening around you. Focus on the fact that you don’t know as much as you can know, and be open to the possibilities.

Not enough people are truly aware of the factors in their environments that have a significant impact on their self confidence. As with many character struggles, one of the first steps to overcoming a weakness is to identify it. Once we become aware of the things that have or are influencing our self confidence and the way we see ourselves, we can address them and progress positively towards achieving our goals.

* Harry Welby-Cooke is the is the co-master franchisor for ActionCOACH in Southern Africa.

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