In Lead more gently/ Purpose

Five actions that cultivate confidence and determines success

A number of times in my life I have been in the middle of a project and have wondered about its success or failure.  There have been times where it became obvious that a certain strategy had run its course, was not going to work and needed to be put out of its misery. Failure is part of life.  Reserving the right to say, “Nope, that didn’t work” is healthy.  When the failure is costly – financially, emotionally or otherwise – it hurts like crazy.  I have, however, learnt that all hurts can heal given enough time and given the right kind of attention.   On the other hand, there are times when a project should be pursued and success should be fought for. Many times the determining factor boils down to confidence.

Confidence is not an illusive quality reserved for a select few.  Anybody can develop confidence.  Here are five actions that cultivate the kind of confidence that determines success:

  • Hard work.  Nobody will succeed for long by being a slacker.  Confidence and success feeds off effort and consistency.
  • Stay calm.   Some of the most successful enterprises looked like a failure in the middle.  Panicking and throwing out the game plan only makes matters worse.  Keeping calm is an exercise in confidence.
  • Learn from others.  Find somebody that can give advice,  provide a helping hand or invest in the project in some way. Put together a team.  Many times my “team” is made up of people I have never met or spoken to.  I have read their book, watched their video or read their blog. “Google” is the cheapest team I have ever hired.  Countless thousands of people are out there sharing their insight and I take full advantage of it.  Learning from others undergirds confidence.
  • Be adaptable.  Tweak the game plan if necessary.  Be on the lookout for creative ideas.  These ideas often come from the most unexpected places and most common daily activities.  We just need to train ourselves to be confident enough to look.
  • Keep going. In the middle of a project, when the rubber meets the road, we need to keep doing what we need to do.  “A rolling stone gathers no moss” and a person flitting from one project to another will be flakey, shallow and accomplish little.  Consistency is a key to confidence.

I have found that people who work hard and stay calm, who are willing to learn from others, who are adaptable and keep going are generally confident in what they are doing.  These five small but significant actions cultivate confidence.  Confidence promotes success.  Success breeds confidence and so the cycle repeats.

Question:  Do you think that confidence is a quality everybody can cultivate or is it reserved for a select few? Comment below.

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