Confidence is Overrated (and Not Necessary for Success)
This is about the idea that a fixation and focus on 'increasing confidence' might not be the best course of action, or the pathway to success.
At the time of this writing, I have been coaching a wide range of individuals, from all over the world, and from every walk of life for a little over 12 years.And one of the most common things people tell me they want more of is ‘confidence’.
Somewhere along the line we have bought into the idea that CONFIDENCE = SUCCESS.
And that without ‘confidence’ you won’t succeed, or realise your dreams.
Here is what do I say to that?
Take this scenario…
In order for the Dalia Lama to make a lasting positive impact on the world, does he work on his confidence? Does he even give a second though to this thing called confidence? Is it on his radar? Does he ever think “I will have a lot more impact on the world if only I was a little more (or a lot more) CONFIDENT”?
Of course not!
What he does work on is being more compassionate, more joyful, more open-hearted, more empathetic, more tolerant, more centred and more grounded.
So let me share with you what I have come to realise as a result of working with 100’s of people over the last decade plus.
NEWS FLASH #1: CONFIDENCE IS OVER-RATED
I am not sure when it happened.
But somewhere along the way a lot of people bought into the idea that the reason they are not more successful is because they lack this thing called confidence.
I have numerous clients coming to me thinking that if I was able to show them strategies to become more confident, or if I could wave a magic wand they would suddenly be more confident, and all of their issues would go away. Plus success would be immediately forthcoming.
I am all about using techniques and tools to shift around their limiting beliefs and self-made (mental) obstacles, and to give them more clarity about the possibilities that have always been in front of them, but the idea of focusing on increasing their confidence in order to increase their success, does not have the desired return on investment (ROI).
Do you think Oprah Winfrey was focused on increasing her ‘confidence’ in order to become more successful and impactful, or did she work on being more compassionate, generous, vulnerable, brave, curious and caring? Don’t get me wrong…her doing what she does also makes her appear to be calm and confident.
I actually believe that the perception of confidence is actually the by-product of doing other things. And one of those best things I will be sharing with you shortly.
NEWS FLASH #2: HOW DEEP DOES IT GO?
I was at breakfast this morning with my buddy, looking over the ocean at the surfers at Echo Beach (Bali), and I was riffing on the subject of ‘confidence’ – which inspired this blog post.
One of the things that came up was whether confidence is something that fits more like an external ‘mask’, or is a thing that is created in order to give off an impression to people external to ourselves, and therefore is somewhat lacking in true depth.
I had the thought – and maybe it is a thought you can also ponder – about how DEEP confidence actually goes. And as you go much deeper if it is a thing called ‘confidence’ that you come up against, or is it something else entirely.
I am of the impression there are a lot of things much deeper than confidence, that cause you to succeed in life, to get the results you want, to make the impact you desire, and to create the depth of character you desire.
I have already talked about some of those emotions when I mentioned the Dalia Lama and Oprah Winfrey; but there is one virtue I like more than all the others.
NEWS FLASH #1: THIS IS EVEN BETTER THAN CONFIDENCE (when it comes to living a life that makes a difference and truly matters)
This may not be a news flash if you have followed my work; but for those new to the Carl Massy take on life, get ready for the keys to the kingdom.
This is what I get my clients to focus on when they come to me with the “I need more confidence story”…
I actually tell them to put the idea of needing more confidence to the side and hear me out on this. We can come back to this thing called confidence later if they really need to, but what about the real difference maker.
What I tell them to focus on is BECOMING MORE COURAGEOUS.
I believe the by-product of living life more courageously is we give off the impression of being confidently engaged with what we are doing. We appear more ‘confident’.
I also wonder if it really matters whether we look confident. I am personally less interested in looking confident and more interesting in courageously doing my work, in serving the person in front of me to the best of my abilities, in looking for the magic in the person in front of me, and being tenacious in uncovering their blind-spots. I don’t need confidence for that.
I place my attention on the other person.
I place my attention on being of the greatest service.
I place my attention on living courageously.
When I run seminars or workshops, the same thing applies. I don’t need confidence. I need courage. I need a deep sense of service. I need a strong desire to help. And I need to come from a place of love and not from a need for significance or acceptance.
My humble observation is confidence does not guarantee success.
So what is the (practical) takeaway?
THE PRACTICAL TAKEAWAY
The practical takeaways are this:
1. Success is not dependent on confidence.
2. Focusing on being more COURAGEOUS has a much greater ROI than focusing on being more confident.
3. Focus on being of more SERVICE.
4. Focus on being great at whatever it is your are doing.
5. Focus on self-education so you become better at whatever it is you are engaged in.
6. Don’t buy into the story that what is holding you back is a ‘lack of confidence’; because that might just be an excuse you are holding on to. It might actually be the ‘story’ holding you back and not a ‘lack of confidence’.
In a very practical sense, when I talk about living more courageously, I mean each and every day, in big or small undertakings. Aim to be a little bit more (3-5%) courageous than last time. This slow continuous growth of never-ending improvement over time, will have a monumental impact on the RESULTS you get in life.
Live courageously (and you might also be an incredible role model for others who have bought into a story about their lack of confidence holding them back too).
Can you do me a favour please?
Experiment with this yourself.
If there is an area where you think you lack confidence, and you ‘think’ it is holding you back; suspend that thought.
Just ask yourself the question “How can I be (a little) more COURAGEOUS right now?” and then DO IT.
See the results for yourself (and do share them with me).
Focus on SERVING others, rather than focusing on “Do I come across as confident?”
(How you appear is less important than who you are being from the inside out).
And finally…You are awesome.
Be (even) more courageously you.
Thus endeth my lesson and observations. If you have any questions, do let me know. I would be more than happy to help out. I am honoured to be here and proud to serve (for my ex-army buddies).
Have a super fabulous day.
Take care and much love.Carl
Want help with getting clear about you path, priorities and a sustainable plan? Then get in contact. Just reply to this email or connect with me on Facebook. Also check out PROCESS YOUR LIMITING BELIEFS workshop if you want help with overcoming obstacles and getting clear of the stories and beliefs that are holding you back (and then processing them).
And head over to Amazon to get a copy of any of my other books: The Guidebook to Happiness, The Guidebook to Optimum Health, The Guidebook to Authentic Success, and The Successful Mind