Why, if self-confidence is so important in nearly all aspects of our lives, do so many people struggle with it?
A child playing with the father who throws him in the air: does a child laugh and ask for more? Then, when a child is high above your head you ask him “Would you be a star fighter pilot?” Child won’t hesitate to say yes! However, why then most adults are so fearful of choosing a career that could provide them a professional satisfaction and leave those they are not satisfied with? Is it because of a vicious circle in which people who lack self-confidence can find it difficult to become successful and consequently self-confident?
In martial arts, when you face the opponent your level of self-confidence is shown in many ways: by your posture, your movements, your reactions, your behavior during the combat, your body language and your verbal language (if you speak, what you say etc.). Everything reflects your (lack of) confidence. If you hesitate, you lose. A well-known truth is that self-confident people inspire confidence and/or respect in others.
Inspiring the confidence in others is one of the key ways in which a leadership process perpetuates. A leadership is all about having the confidence to make decisions, to show to your followers the vision, to communicate good and bad news, to inspire others. If someone is afraid to make and commit to a decision, all of the communication and empowerment in the world won’t make any good to get confident.
Leaders need unlimited amount of traits and personality qualities to excel. Some are hard-wired ancestrally or since birth, others are learned (more in my blog: Are leaders born or made). Where does confidence stay? Can it be found in a mountain of statistical analysis most managers so like to use? One of confidence key components is for sure a stability (in my BLOG: Leadership and stability). What are the others?
Trying to teach leadership without first building confidence is like building a house without a proper foundation. It may have a nice coat of paint, but it is ultimately not stable at best. While most of the leadership approaches focused on external issues like: passion, communication, and empowerment, they’ve ignored and overlooked the whole plethora of internal issues of a leader where self-confidence is fed and is an integral part of it.
While the fearful leaders will agonize over decisions and always try to make the safe selection, the confident leader will absorb the information and start the action. An exceptional leader will inspire with his ability to lead into the unknown via self-confidence. It is based on his stability, his trust, his personality (in my BLOG: Leadership and stability; Leadership and trust; Leadership “style”) and shown through empowerment, empathy, passion and vision. It’s a combination of the ability to communicate, be influential, possess a deep sense of responsibility (in my BLOG: Leadership and responsibility), and deliver decisions with conviction.
Self-confident leader will confidently make a decision, follow it, stand by it, and admit if he is or when he is wrong. A self-confident leader will not hinder or cease when an error occurs but will rather confidently deal with it. Without mistakes, there is little growth potential. And lastly, a self-confident leader will be surrounded with people who are better professionals than he is, because he knows they are there to deal with tasks he envisioned and passed to them through responsibility.