Confidence is an intangible feeling; however, the feeling can be defined by one self with words like, “very confident,” “really confident,” “extremely confident.” But what makes a person confident, or on the flip side, lose confidence?
The answer lies in your mind and how you think. You would be happy to note that the mind can be programmed to be confident, or improve the level of confidence. Think of a time when you were really confident, about something. Why did you feel confident? What made you feel that way? If you are to speak in front of an audience, what would affect your confidence level?
An elementary requirement is your knowledge on the subject which you are discussing or dealing with. The more you know, the more confident you get, and its relative to the situation you are part of. For example, you may be confident in speaking about a topic in front of students in college, but may not be so in front of the professors. This may be because you feel the professors know a lot more than the students and you may not be able to live up to their expectations. Or they may just ask a tricky question.
Here is where the state of mind becomes important. Here you can program your mind to change your feelings about speaking on that topic in front of the professors. I have seen many speakers carry off the presentation so well in spite of not knowing a huge amount of information. I have been one of those people who have scored well in exams in spite of not knowing everything about the subject. Did I cheat? No!
I have always discussed, negotiated and convinced my mind to think differently. Please take note of the words here: “discuss,” “negotiate,” “convince.”
Let us take the example of the presentation first. Say I know that I would have an intelligent audience. Should that make me nervous? Possibly yes. But I would counter that. I would ask myself how much of the subject matter do I know well? How much of what I know does the audience know? If I am delivering the presentation, isn’t it because I have knowledge on it? Can I prepare those parts which I know well?
I would move on to build a presentation on what I know best. I would negotiate with my mind and convince it that I have planned, prepared and practiced what I would be delivering. So finally I would convince my mind that I am well-versed with the topic of presentation.
Now the example on the examination. What I have always done is measured my strengths and areas of improvement. That helps me prioritise my preparations based on what I can do best. Finally I would apply the Pareto Principle. In simple terms this principle advises me to spend most of my time in working on areas which would give me 80% results. Take up any objective/work, and you will find that 20% of the tasks produce 80% of the results. So I spend 80% of my time on these 20% of tasks!
Not convinced? Test these methods honestly with effort to clear your doubts. Only action would prove the theories!
The most important activity for improving your confidence would be to believe in yourself. Believe in your capabilities. All of us are born with many skills and qualities. Find them, nurture them.
Keep your thoughts positive, plan out your work and career, and most important of all, take action!
CONFIDENCE comes from KNOWLEDGE
CONFIDENCE comes from SELF-BELIEF
CONFIDENCE comes from POSITIVE THINKING
CONFIDENCE comes from TAKING ACTION