Journey of a Serial Entrepreneur

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How to get from where you are to where you want to be

How Confident are you?

“It took me a long time not to judge myself through someone else’s eyes.” Sally Field

Being confident about oneself is an integral part of being a good communicator. Without this characteristic,  knowledge will not help you to communicate in an effective manner. We see this in every day life, ranging from professors, colleagues, friends and family members. Many of them have vast knowledge bases, yet, when it comes to sharing an opinion or taking a stand, they back down. Confidence is however, something that we can acquire. It takes a lot of hard work and persistence, on the flip side, there are great returns. If you find yourself lacking in the confidence department, the following couple of steps which helped me, may be of assistance:

1. Weakness Identification: The first step requires us to accept the fact that there is a self confidence problem that needs to be overcome. Many individuals refuse to acknowledge this, unfortunately  this denial hinders progress . It is important to identify the scenario and related feelings, which make us uncomfortable. This may be a cocktail party, a networking session or a presentation. It is important to identify the situation and one’s reactions. Once equipped with a comprehensive listing of areas we need to work on, we can move to the next step.

2. Visualization: Before beginning your journey, be clear about where you want to go. Do you want to give flawless presentations in front of thousands of people, be the center of attention at parties,  engage in highly intellectual discourses, or be comfortable in a group conversations? Whatever your end goal is, look for individuals who excel in that segment and visualize yourself being as comfortable as they are in that particular situation. This step provides the brain with an end goal,  and makes it easier to get there.

3. Goals: Building self confidence takes time, so enjoy the journey. I strongly advocate setting mini goals instead of larger ones. For example, the major goal could be to give a presentation to 20 people at the next quarterly staff meeting. Mini goals could include, practice presenting in front of the mirror for 15 minutes daily, give presentations to friends and family, give a presentation to a few colleagues, all of which will finally help you reach the end goal of giving the staff meeting presentation. It is important to take notice of the progress made along the way.

Tips:

Knowledge Base: As mentioned in the last post the larger and broader your knowledge base is, the more confident you become. I have met many confident people who lack a credible knowledge base, unfortunately this results more often than not, in meaningless and rambling conversational monologues, putting you in the find the next exit opportunity spot.

Self Doubt: Many a time we over analyze things. I know this is something  I used to do a lot, and it severely hindered by ability to communicate effectively. We have to take possible negative outcomes out of the picture, and focus on the positive. This impacts positively on your confidence level, and the ability to communicate clearly.

Over Confidence: Unfortunately over confidence results in an individual seeking to overshadow all conversations they enter into. This results in a monologue rather than a dialogue. There is a fine balance between under confidence, confidence and over confidence.

During this journey a feeling of liberation and empowerment comes into play when words begin to come easier, and more importantly, sharing opinions or taking a stand is no longer scary. Conversations become easier, and slowly, speaking becomes an enjoyable exercise.

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