February 23, 2024

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Confidence Is The Key To Success Featured

When you are confident and courageous in your life; you are more likely to reach the peak of success. People who stay confident regardless of the circumstances have better chances to fly high in life. People who doubt their worth cannot achieve their objectives in life; therefore, you should be confident and audacious enough to achieve success in life.

Confidence is such a hard thing to maintain, because it can be crushed at any moment. Confidence is so important though, because it gives us the strength we need to accomplish almost anything. How many times have you been held back because of a lack of confidence? I know for me it’s probably in the hundreds.

Consider how lack of confidence could even be affecting your earnings.

Studies found that men, who are usually more confident, initiate salary negotiations 4 times as often as women. When women do negotiate, they ask for 30% less than men do.

Many people struggle with lack of self-confidence and it holds us back. We need to work hard on improving our self-confidence and self-esteem if we want to be the type of leaders that employees look up to.

Researchers are starting to see confidence as a key element of internal well-being and happiness.

Without confidence, we’re unable to achieve flow, the magical feeling when you’re “in the zone.” If you don’t believe in your skills, you’ll never be able to achieve that state of ultimate productivity.

In this TED talk, Athletic Director and head coach of the varsity soccer team at Ryerson University, Dr. Ivan Joseph talks about how self confidence is the number one skill he looks for in athletes. He talks about how important it is in sports and our daily lives.

We often share tips on how to be a better leader, but many of these things are near impossible if you have low self-esteem and low confidence.

It is possible to build more confidence and have a higher self-esteem, but it takes a lot of work. The secret: building better habits.  


Building confidence as a habit

The secret to building anything into your life is to make it a habit.

The same is true for confidence and self-esteem. It’s incredibly difficult though, because we’re naturally inclined to fall back to old comforting habits and the idea of building confidence is new and stressful for most people.

Being unconfident is a habit in itself.

One of the main reasons unconfident people stay unconfident is that they’re comfortable being unconfident. They continually live their lives that way.

So the only way to become more confident is to build it as a habit and become comfortable being confident.

The research has shown that the best way to build a new habit is to start so small it seems ridiculously easy.

Two famous examples of this are flossing one tooth per day and doing just one push-up per day. They both seem so easy, so we can get started quickly, but we naturally want to finish what we start so we often end up doing more.

This is what’s known as the Zeigarnik effect.

Here are a few very simple things you could do to start building more confidence as a mini-habit:

  • Say one good thing about yourself first thing in the morning
  • Say good morning to one person when you get to work
  • Dress well one day a week
  • Add one idea/comment at the next team meeting
  • Do an easy task first thing in the morning
  • When you wake up, smile and tell yourself it’s going to be a great day

One problem, is that we’re notoriously bad at judging our own confidence. We often think we’re much better than we are.


The science of confidence

The research on confidence is truly interesting and shows why it’s such a hard thing to get right. 

Fear of failure

It’s normal to be scared of failing, no one likes to fail, but fear of failure is when the idea of failing is so strong that it overpowers the idea of success.

Fear of failure is a tough one to fix, because it’s on an unconscious level and they often can’t handle the idea of the shame that comes with failing.

The best way to overcome this is to start small. Find something so small and insignificant you’d be okay with failing it, and learn to accept that failure.

Imposter syndrome

Imposter Syndrome is feeling like an impostor when you’re not. Like you’re a fraud and the whole world is going to find you out.

Famous people like Oprah, Sheryl Sandberg, Tina Fey and Maya Angelou all admit to feeling like they’re not good enough.

The best way to overcome this is by not being afraid to pat yourself on the back. You don’t want to be arrogant, but it’s important to understand that you had a lot to do with where you are right now. You should be proud of yourself for your accomplishments.

The Optimism Bias

We’re actually naturally inclined to be optimistic.

The Optimism Bias is our tendency to overestimate our likelihood of experiencing good events in our lives and underestimate our likelihood of experiencing bad events.

While I encourage everyone to build up confidence and have a high self-esteem, some reality needs to be taken into account as well. We need a healthy dose of both optimism and precaution to set ourselves up for success.

The Dunning-Kruger Effect

The Dunning-Kruger Effect is a cognitive bias where less competent people rate their competence higher than it actually is, while more competent people rate theirs lower.

Like I mentioned earlier, we’re horrible at judging our own skills at something.

This is a tough one to fix, but if you’re more competent, focus on understanding the value you bring to a team or organization.

While you might naturally think you’re worse than you are, you’re bringing a ton of value, and you should be proud of that!

Ways to improve your confidence

The secret to making this work is persistence. It’s so easy to just give up after one or two tries if you see no results, but results take time.

Here are a few things you can do to help improve your confidence.

Take care of your personal image

Dress well, shower, shave, etc. Take some time in the morning to make sure you’re looking your best.

It might seem superficial, but it’s crazy how much of an effect it can have on your confidence when you think you look good.

Think positively

There’s two parts to this. First, think positive thoughts. Second, remove any negative thoughts.

In the morning, say out loud “you’re a great person, you look incredible, and you’re gonna have a great day today!”

When a negative thought comes in your head, argue with yourself. Keep reminding yourself how good you are.

Work on your body language

You want to express confident body language.

Stand tall, speak clearly, talk with your hands, don’t fidget, look people in the eyes, practice active listening, etc.


Similar to the idea of looking good, you want to feel good about yourself, and exercise is great way to achieve that.

Besides all of the other amazing health benefits that exercise has, giving you more confidence is one of them.

Help others

Helping others makes you feel more confident in your abilities.

Always offer your help to other coworkers that need it, and seek help from them. You’ll be helping them gain more confidence as well.

And don’t worry about feeling like you don’t have enough time, when we help others, we actually feel LESS time constrained.


Here are 10 Reasons That Self-Confidence Leads to Success:

  1. The Drive to Start Things – Confident people start things. They are not shy about striking out on a new idea even when those around them are still pondering it.
  2. The Ability to Stand Up for Oneself – Confidence allows you to stand up for yourself in a fair and consistent manner. Otherwise, you may find yourself unheard or unfairly treated.
  3. The Ability to Say No – Confident people have the ability to say “No” where appropriate. They do not take on unnecessary or inappropriate work or obligations.
  4. The Ability to Say Yes – And at the same time, confident individuals say “Yes” to opportunity. They do not miss new options because they are shy. I have seen individuals’ pass up opportunities (even promotions) because they didn’t think they were “worthy.”
  5. Confidence Overcomes Fear – Lack of confidence can lead to paralysis from fear. Fear of failure. Fear of what others think. Fear of the unknown. To succeed, you need the confidence to face and overcome your fears.
  6. Believe In Themselves – Self-confidence means believing in yourself. Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t — you’re right.” He was right.
  7. Set the Bar High Enough – Confident individuals set the bar high and aim high. Lack of confidence leads to weak goals, setting the bar too low, and mediocre results.
  8. Stretch Your Limits – Confidence lets you know your limits and test them. By stretching your limits you increase them. You are stronger than you think.
  9. Confidence Asks Questions – Confidence allows you to ask questions, even when others are silent. Confidence even lets you “ask for the job.”
  10. Believe In Winning – Confident people believe in success. And more importantly, they believe in their ability to succeed.


Why Bill Gates says you need confidence at a young age to achieve success

Self-confidence is a vital trait because it gives you the courage to overcome obstacles. This quality is also necessary for helping you find your passion, according to billionaire Bill Gates.

In fact, his passion for computers and confidence in his abilities while young eventually led him to create Microsoft. 

In a Q&A with ABC.net, Gates touches on the importance of having self-confidence. As a child, Gates said his passion revolved around computers and software. However, he wouldn’t have realized this had he not been confident in himself.

“From a young age, ideally you will have adults in your life...who like you and they’re behind you and they will back you, no matter what goes on,” said Gates. “That gives you enough confidence to go off on a quest and during that quest, you try different things out.”

The billionaire says that he was lucky enough to have that as a child and so was able to find his passion at age 13. However, Gates admits that many don’t find their passion until later in life.

In your quest to find this passion, says Gates, you must tap into this self-confidence. Doing so allows you to “try out new things,” he says, and also gives you room for failure — a necessary precursor to success.

“Self-confidence is primary and then finding your passion is an adventure, a quest that may take time. It may switch over the time of your life,” Gates explains, “but those deep relationships will let you pursue it with vigor.” 

Having self-confidence doesn’t come easy, though. Sometimes, you have to “fake it till you make it,” which is what Gates did while studying at Harvard. For example, In 1975, news broke about the world’s first commercial computer Altair.

Gates and his college friend Paul Allen reached out to Altair’s makers and told them that they had created a programming language that could run on their computer. The two offered to demonstrate their work to the company’s directors. This wasn’t true, however, and they actually did not have a programming language available. 

Yet their promise peaked the interest of the president of Altair’s manufacturer who wanted to see the what they had to offer, Allen tells 60 Minutes in an interview. “We had nothing,” he says.

The duo spent weeks creating the programming language, although they didn’t have an Altair to test on, he explains. Two months later, Allen flew to Albuquerque to pitch their software. Unsure if it would be successful, he typed the code into the computer system and their programming worked.

“A wave of relief surged over me. I almost couldn’t believe it had worked the first time,” Allen tells 60 Minutes. However, their product did work and this self-confidence in their abilities allowed them to create the programming language.

In fact, Altair’s manufacturers were so wowed by the pair they offered both Gates and Allen jobs within the company. This was the start of a business partnership and they would go on to create Microsoft.

The company is now valued at $573.5 billion, according to Forbes, while Gates has a net worth of $89.3 billion.


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Last modified on Monday, 26 October 2020 11:24

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