Confidence is an essential commodity for leaders and managers, and yet many of us seem to lack it in key areas. Even those who outwardly appear enormously confident, will often secretly experience feelings of self-doubt or nervousness.
Would it surprise you to know that confidence is really an illusion?
The great actor, Sir Laurence Olivier, commanded the stage with all the appearance of a supremely confident man. And yet he suffered from almost crippling stage fright, and would be shaking and nauseous whilst waiting to go on stage.
We all know that quaky, shaky feeling of nervousness. You might experience it when you are about to give a presentation. Or you might feel it when you are being quizzed about your results. Or your knees may be a bit wobbly when you have to have a difficult conversation.
True confidence is acting confident
Confidence in these situations doesn't mean that those feelings go away. Confidence means that even though you feel weak, you can command your reserves and go into full performance mode. That's why true confidence is partly acting confident.
Your brain can't really tell the difference between nervousness and excitement. When you feel those quaky, shaky feelings, you can tell yourself you are nervous, OR you can tell yourself that you are excited. The physical feelings are the same either way. Then, when you tell yourself that you are excited, you generate the positive mental associates that enable you to go into peak performance mode.
Act as if...
We use the expression "act as if". Act as if you are confident, and you will be.
Madeleine Allen is a human leader in a corporate world. She delivers training in Soft Skills with Hard Benefits, enabling leaders to be compassionate AND profitable.
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