Ever feel like you have great intentions at the start of the day, only to watch the productivity drain out of you at the first sign of conflict or doubt? Your momentum takes a hit as your mind fills with thoughts that derail your motivation and sends your productivity plunging.
What just happened? Where did I go wrong?
The key to protecting your productivity when doubt rears its ugly head lies in improving your self-confidence. But what is self-confidence, and how does it affect productivity?
What Is Self-Confidence?
Self-confidence is often confused with self-esteem or self-efficacy. Although you may have seen the three terms being used interchangeably, they all have their own unique meanings. So, what IS self-confidence?
According to the New York Times, self-confidence is your belief in your ability to do something based on your past experiences.1 When you’re self-confident, you feel assured that you have the ability to do what is required of you and complete the task at hand with success.
A self-confident person can stay in action, even when things go wrong or the unexpected pops up. They see their current situation through the lens of past experiences and have confidence that they’ll succeed.
Think about the first time you rode a bike. Having no past experience, you were probably a bit hesitant at first, but now you hop on your bike and ride it without even giving it a second thought.
If you have high self-confidence, you’ll be more likely to believe you can also succeed at other things, like skateboarding or riding a scooter, because you mastered something similar in the past.
Self-efficacy, on the other hand, is your belief that you can accomplish a specific task. For example, if you’re a great cook, you likely have high self-efficacy in the kitchen.
Self-esteem refers to what you believe about your worth as a person. Self-esteem has nothing to do with talents and abilities and everything to do with how a person feels about themselves.
Why Self-Confidence Matters
A 2008 study by the Journal of Economic Psychology2 found that confidence was at least as important as intelligence when it came to predicting income level. Why? Self-confident people build a better working environment for their teams.
Your self-confidence impacts your personal productivity and the productivity of your organization. Find ways to build self-confidence in your team members. Setting reasonable expectations, focusing on learning from failure instead of criticism, and nurturing competence can help you create an atmosphere of productivity in the workplace.3
“Confident people inspire confidence in others: their audience, their co-workers, their bosses, their customers, and their friends. And gaining the confidence of others is one of the key ways to succeed.”3
Tips For Building Self-Confidence
If self-confidence is something you or a member of your organization’s team struggles with, there’s hope! Here are nine ways to build self-confidence that anyone can master.
Know Yourself First
A strong sense of identity gives you the ability to pinpoint the areas that need improvement. Start by focusing on what you’re good at. Once you’ve built that confidence up, you can begin to work on areas of weakness.5
Confidence is all about how you see yourself. Feeling good when you look in the mirror is a huge boost of self-confidence. Even small things like wearing your favorite color or working on your posture can make a difference.5
Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
Everyone falls into the trap of comparison sometimes, especially in this day and age of social media. Don’t take the bait. Choose to spend less time on social media, and you’ll see your self-confidence improve.6
Embrace Mistakes and Learn From Failure
Don’t dwell on mistakes and failure, your self-confidence could take a hit, and it may impact your willingness to try something new in the future. The second-and better-option is to learn from your failures and mistakes by thinking through what went wrong and uncovering what you can do to improve next time.5
Learn to Face Your Fear
What you fear can hold you back, but facing and conquering that fear can give you the shot of self-confidence you need. So, face that fear head on!5
Practice Positive Thinking
A positive outlook on life doesn’t always come naturally, but when you choose to replace negative thoughts with positive ones, your self-confidence increases and you can move forward to the next thing without dragging negativity with you-and you’re much more likely to inspire confidence in your team that way too.6 Choose to focus on the potential for success, not failure.7
Focus On Communication Skills
Want to feel more confident in your leadership skills? Brushing up on your communication skills can give you the boost you need. According to Tony Robbins, “Communication skills are critical to achieving confidence, and learning how to be confident is pivotal to succeeding in your career.”7
Prepare Well and Trust Your Preparation
Imagine walking up to the front of a conference room to give a speech without a single idea what you’re going to say. How self-confident do you think you’ll feel? A little preparation can go a long way so you can walk into a situation with your head held high.6
Develop a Support Network
Surrounding yourself with a supportive group of family, friends, or colleagues is so important. Having a support network that you can rely on for words of encouragement and advice will help keep your self-confidence and productivity at their peak. Better yet, choose to BE part of that network for your team.6
Be Self-Confident, NOT Arrogant
One final word on self-confidence-beware going too far in the other direction. Self-confidence is good, but cockiness and arrogance isn’t. A surefire way to alienate your team is showing up as if you’re above everyone else.
When you build your self-confidence and encourage self-confidence growth in your team and organization, you’ll find that you’re all able to accomplish more than you thought possible.
Dean Graziosi Byline:
Dean Graziosi is a multiple New York Times best-selling author, entrepreneur, investor and trainer. Throughout his life, he has successfully started or played a major role in over 14 companies that have impacted lives around the world. For over 20 years, Dean’s passion has been delivering self-education / training platforms to individuals seeking self-improvement, fulfillment and success in life.
1 Ravenscraft, E. (2019, June 4). Practical ways to improve your confidence (and why you should). The New York Times. Retrieved October 16, 2021, from https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/03/smarter-living/how-to-improve-self-confidence.html.
2 Drago, Francesco, Self-Esteem and Earnings. IZA Discussion Paper No. 3577, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1158974 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0042-7092.2007.00700.x
3 Four tips to boost the confidence of your team. BrainWorks. (2020, August 25). Retrieved October 16, 2021, from https://brainworksinc.com/confidence-increases-productivity-four-tips-boost-teams-confidence/.
4 Mind Tools Content Team By the Mind Tools Content Team. (n.d.). How to build self-confidence: Preparing yourself for Success. Stress Management from Mind Tools. Retrieved October 16, 2021, from https://www.mindtools.com/selfconf.html.
5 6 ways to build your self-confidence. JUMP Recruits. Retrieved October 16, 2021, from https://jumprecruits.com/build-your-self-confidence/. (2018, September 18).
6 Ward, M. (2020, September 3). 14 methods to dramatically increase your self-confidence. Cornerstone University. Retrieved October 16, 2021, from https://www.cornerstone.edu/blog-post/14-methods-to-dramatically-increase-your-self-confidence/.
7 Robbins, T. (n.d.). The Ultimate Guide to Building Confidence. tonyrobbins.com. Retrieved October 16, 2021, from https://www.tonyrobbins.com/building-confidence/.
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