Does the word, "confidence" describe you? If you don't feel like it does, this post is for you.
If you DO feel like it does, this post is still for you. Here's why: confidence is very harmful if it's overdone. Overdone confidence runs the risk of coming across as arrogance.
The trick is, you will never know if you have confidence without examining yourself, and you will never attain true confidence without adequate self-knowledge, so the keys to confidence lie in a strong self-knowledge.
Let's dive in!
1. Measure your capabilities holistically and objectively
This can sometimes be painful. Measuring your capabilities through hard results, a case study, or outside input will keep you honest, and that is the first step to confidence.
We must be aware of what our capabilities are and what they are not. This enables us to avoid false confidence in something we aren't the best at and be full of true confidence in areas we know we excel in.
2. Identify weak spots in your capabilities that are crucial for what you do, and then improve them.
Don't miss the importance of this: if you have a weak spot that isn't crucial for what you do, don't worry about it! If you want to improve your overall confidence, seek to improve areas that are crucial for what you do. If you stink at public speaking but never need to speak in front of a group, don't sweat it! Become proficient in Microsoft Access, instead.
After you have identified your weak spots (and strong ones) in Step 1, improving your weak spots will enable greater confidence in those areas as they improve.
3. Utilize the "Fake it 'till you make it" mentality when appropriate
So let's say you've identified your weak spots, tried to improve them, but you're still feeling shaky. You need to make that sales pitch but you are very nervous and fear the worst.
This is where the false confidence can actually help you. Act like you know what you are doing, keep striving for improvement, and eventually you will know what you are doing. Best of all, you will often convince your audience that you are confident and grounded all along.
Know yourself, improve your weaknesses, and fake it 'till you make it.
Keep it simple and be confident!