What to do when your confidence takes a nose-dive
I've never had to wonder much about these things, because I learned early on that confidence produces performance. It motivates you to do things at a much higher level than even you are capable of at that point in time. It allows you to dream bigger without hesitation. It makes you feel like you are ten foot tall and bullet proof.
I know that if I walk into a room with my head down, no-one will see me, let alone listen to me. However, if I walk into that same room full of energy and confidence, everyone will be drawn to everything I have to say and I can facilitate a positive outcome.
To be totally honest, I've been holding back. My confidence hasn't been what it should have been for quite some time. I had some bad news in the last quarter of last year, and that followed an untimely death of my dog, which has hit me hard. Instead of being the leader I know I can be, I am the person who has sat in the back of the room, or more precisely in my office, quiet as a mouse - and I know that doesn't get you anywhere.
But that will change. Life happens. We have our ups and downs. I know that and have to accept that I won't always be on top of my game from a confidence perspective. When entrepreneurs or business leaders confidence goes down, so too does the people around them. Fortunately for me, my team has empathy and I haven't lost anyone on the team. Instead, they took it upon themselves to step up and be counted. That doesn't always happen and is very rare in the business world.
What we can all learn from confidence and projecting an alter-ego that draws people in, is that it can be a game changer, particularly:
When sellingTry selling someone when you are as flat as a tack? Won't happen. Or you are bitching about life. Won't happen then either. When you have had a bad day... well, that means it will only get worse. The opposite of course is selling something when you are full of knowledge, confidence and positivity. Boom! Everything changes.
Try raising capitalI've put off this one for my artificial intelligence company simply because I have a great self reflection and I know I have to be on my A-game to be playing with the big boys and making sure I get the best possible deal. I know our product is the best in the industry and it is so ahead of the field, but if it doesn't have 100% of my attention, my confidence in my product won't mean much. It has to be the full circle: product, company, team and me.
NetworkingShy? Yes, I know what that feels like. I can only network when I know the room which defeats the purpose. The other option is alcohol, but that's a tad embarassing to admit. I am not the person who can walk into a room without someone holding my hand. Apparently, Nicole Kidman is the same. But if someone is there with me, or I have to show someone how it's done, confidence overcomes me and I walk into that room like I am the star of the show with something worthy to share.
Public speakingHave you fallen asleep when someone has been put on a stage and they talk to their notes? Or when their content is good, but their delivery is shocking? Then their is the person with the really bad voice box and over-excited personality that you want to hate, but can't because they are keeping you awake and thinking about something other than falling asleep or playing with your iphone. When I go onto a stage, I pretend I am not me. I pretend that I am a performer who has something to share with the room that they want to hear. Boom! They get it. I get it. People ask for Instagram photos afterwards or my card. They start emailing and on it goes.
Strongly believing in yourself and your capabilities will do wonders for your career, but to do that you have to be an athlete and do all the hard work. Learn as much as you can, start reading books on cold reading people, be motivated, write down your goals, be positive all the time, learn new skills and live by your own realistic version of success (to avoid disappointment!).