Confidence is a necessity in business and in life
What are some of the qualities we see in those we consider confident? Do we observe loud or quiet, big or small, happy, determined, positive or tenacious? Actually, there are many layers to being confident and confidence does look different on different people at different times. During the 2012 Olympics as sprinter Usain Bolt stepped onto the track to defend his gold medal, there was an unmistakable look of confidence about him. That didn’t mean he couldn’t lose; it simply meant he believed he would win.
A Belief In One’s Own Ability
The word “confidence” is defined as a feeling, state or quality of being; a feeling that you can rely on something or someone, a sense of assurance or self-assurance and an emotional security and faith in ones self and ones ability, capacity and power. While legitimate confidence based on an informed belief in ones self is no guarantee of success in any single instance, the belief that a person can realistically succeed does contribute to a pattern of success. In contrast, those who lack confidence may find success through luck, timing or opportunity, but without self-belief success is very difficult to maintain.
Research tells us that some people may have a biological predisposition to certain characteristics, be it optimism or pessimism, or confidence or self-doubt. However, these predispositions alone do not tell the story. Your experiences — including where you live, what you learn and who believes in you — can significantly impact who you become and what you achieve. Perhaps confidence comes more easily when you have the right DNA, but we’re all capable of writing and rewriting our own story.
The Brain Believes What it Experiences
Chances are you’ve had moments where your confidence has grown or diminished. It can happen over years or in a moment. Neuroscience tells us that the brain can learn what it experiences, real or imagined. Visualization and virtual reality experiences can convince the brain we’ve experienced things we’ve only imagined. The brain processes our thoughts and virtual experiences as tangibly as it processes our actual experiences. If you believe you can succeed, you can vastly improve your odds of succeeding. Of course confidence alone won’t allow you to beat Usain Bolt in a race, but it can still carry you a long way.