If you’ve ever worked with a coach, then you’ve probably discussed self confidence. When it comes to private coaching sessions, one of the biggest issues that come up with clients—even for the smartest and most accomplished leaders I work with—is self-confidence.
Having confidence is a huge advantage in careers, life, and relationships. It’s the key to attracting the right job, the right people, the right decisions from others, and getting what we want.
Like money, everyone seems to want more self confidence. Some people naturally seem to have it; perhaps they were lucky and had the right kind of parenting. In any case, knowing a few strategies for improving our self-confidence will ensure that we can tap into its power.
How much is enough?
Everyone has a baseline of confidence. Some people have unshakable confidence built upon strong foundations; others find their confidence level is a bit shaky when faced with mistakes, criticisms and failures.
Confidence is closely tied with our sense of self-esteem. Self-esteem enables us to experience ourselves not only accurately but gladly. It’s a realistic, appreciative opinion; we are able to be honest about our strengths, weaknesses and everything in between, and still feel good about who we are.
There is a difference between the outer appearance of confidence and deeply felt intrinsic self-worth. True self esteem is steady; it doesn’t lead to complacency or overconfidence, but rather is a strong motivator to work hard.
Studies have shown that self-esteem is universal: it is important not only in Western Cultures, but is related to mental health and happiness in diverse cultures including Asia and the Middle East.
In this next series of posts, I’ll discuss what sorts of things you can do to strengthen self confidence without veering into over-confidence which breeds even more problems.