Leadership is a topic that has been talked about and researched for years. Many reflections on leadership present some common traits that most leaders exhibit. Some are arguably inborn or referred to as stable personal attributes, while others are more like skills that can be learned over time. A list of common traits include:
Browsing through a number of these articles on leadership, one common trait is self-confidence. Do you think this is a trait that is inborn or a skill that can be practised? Self-confidence is defined as a strong belief in oneself and one’s ability to carry out a given task. The Merriam-Webster’s definition – “Faith or belief that one will act in a right, proper, or effective way.” Downard, in looking at self-confidence, purports that “Unfortunately, confidence can be one of those things you either have or don’t have.” However, he still believes that it can be practised and learned.
Walk with me through a journey of building your self-confidence. It all starts with positive thinking. You must believe you can achieve this all important quality of a great leader.
Confidence Booster Plan
Week 1 – Self Awareness
Are you fully aware of your strengths and weaknesses? Make a conscious effort this week to identify your strongest attributes. Confidence comes from a positive state of mind. Are you the one who sees the glass half full or half empty. Many times our fear of the unknown weighs in on the belief we have in ourselves to complete a task or take chances. Examine your list of strengths!
Take the time to look at your areas of weakness and start to think of ways that you can improve in these areas. Sometimes it is just a matter of refocusing priorities and making a deliberate decision to put steps in place to address these areas. Share your list with a mentor, friend or family member who can help you through the process.
Take a look at the video below which provides 3 Tips to Boost Self-Confidence:
Week 2 – Positive Thinking
Make a conscious effort this week to think positively about every situation you face this week. Positive thinking has a ripple effect on boosting your self-confidence. It helps you to see challenges as brain building opportunities and creates opportunities to problem solve. There are so many things happening in our lives that we have very little control over. The best thing we can do for our self-confidence is to look at the positive side. Eg. “I don’t have a job – however, I am healthy and I have the ability to take care of my body.” Remember that mistakes and failures are opportunities for learning, don’t be hard on yourself.
Remember that mistakes and failures are opportunities for learning, don’t be hard on yourself. If we learn a lesson from each failure we face, it would have been worth it. A reflection on many individuals who have achieved greatness in our society will reveal that failure was an integral part of their journey.
Week 3 – Face Your Fears (Learn a New Skill)
As you reflect on your areas of weakness, this week your plan should include a path to facing your greatest fears. How can you improve your weaker skills? Why not learn a new skill or explore the myriad of options available to improve your skills. Take advantage of training opportunities that will definitely improve your belief in your own abilities or self-confidence. Set a target for the next few weeks to consciously spend at least an hour or two per day to learn a new skill. You will be amazed at how this one new skill will improve your confidence.
Here is a list of free online training opportunities.
- 43 Free Career Advancing Courses
- Coursera (Take courses from top universities worldwide)
- Management and Leadership (Free Online Courses)
Week 4 – Celebrate Success
As you continue to develop your new skill. Ensure you make a daily reflection on your journey to self-confidence. Share your success and celebrate them along the way. Successes are not necessarily confined to the great achievements. It can be something as simple as going through an entire day without focusing on one negative thought. The more you believe in yourself, the better you are able to transfer that confidence to those around you. Look for every opportunity to celebrate the journey of life. If you continue to focus on just the destination, you will never learn to appreciate the simple things that make life beautiful.
Building Self-Confidence begins with your state of mind!
Downard, Brian. 101 Best Leadership Skills, Traits & Qualities. Retrieved from http://briandownard.com/leadership-skills-list/
Whitmore, Jacqueline. 6 Actions You Can Take Every Day to Build Your Self-Confidence. Retrieved from: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/247353