I’m asked “How do I get more confidence?” A LOT and its a personal favourite of mine because I have an interesting viewpoint I'd like to share with you today.
This is 100% normal. You simply can’t be confident in everything you do, equally I wouldn’t want to be it means I have no room for growth. A bit like winning at Monopoly, once I'm winning I'm bored. I do feel that I'm confident in the parts of my life that are important to me and that I have worked hard at.
I have to go wayyyy back in time to give you some context on this subject, because I’m finding the older I get the less and less I feel the need to be brave.
When I was at university I saw an opportunity to apply for a business grant for undergraduates and I wanted the opportunity in a really bad way but I doubted myself as the process involved a 10 minute pitch.
I was 23, a Mum of 2, lacking confidence in my appearance from still packing the baby weight, pretty crap at design at that point, no business experience and no qualifications but I was HUNGRY for success. I had to prove to a panel that I was worthy of their money and had what it takes to start and grow a business. I can still remember how shaky I was in that room, and sat there thinking “be brave, be brave, be brave”. I started my pitch, voice shaking and legs shaking and some how managed to get through it all and at the end of it they told me how confident I came across about my idea. I didn’t feel confident in any way, but what I did feel was brave.
That was the first time I learned that courage is more important than confidence – you can’t make yourself be more confident, but you can make yourself be more brave. Confidence is just the bi-product of continually showing courage.
I was so happy that I got the grant, I used the money to buy my first computer and started my design business. Looking back that was one of the moments in my life that changed my path. I ended my time at University with a first class honours under my belt AND a business so whilst others were struggling to even get work experience I was getting head hunted for management roles.
I must have done 100 pitches in the 10 years since – I love them! I love most how confident I feel stood up on front of a room of people engaging them in the subject I’m talking about. All that confidence started from the courage I showed in a pitch.
I challenge my readers to do more of the things that scare them, its from those brave moments you grow and that is how you get more confidence.