To Be Confident, All You Need Is This

I’d be willing to bet that the reason you haven’t accomplished THAT thing you really want to accomplish is this: you lack confidence. (Or time-management skills, but we’ll leave that for another post, because my gut tells me that’s an excuse you’re using to cover up your lack of confidence in a certain area of your life.)


If you make being confident your ONLY new year’s resolution, you’ll be fine: your new confident-you will tackle any other.


I’m going to give you the best secret ever to be confident. And you’ll love me for that!

But if you don’t, I don’t care.

There. I just demonstrated it for you.


The secret of confidence is not giving a rat’s-A about things that are not in your control, and instead, focusing on those things you can control.


I can control doing my best to explain this secret that I think is awesome (and running the spell checker before posting this), so I’ll focus on that and not on what you’ll think of it, because you know what? Whether you’ll love this post (or me for having published it) is not in my control.

I know, it sounds too good to be true, right? But you can test it.

Let’s do like Harvard does and go over some case studies:

  • Jan is going on a first date on Friday and she’s not confident that the guy will like her. (And by “Jan” I mean me.) What if he doesn’t like my accent? What if he thinks I’m too old for him? What if I’m too poor for him? (I’m too poor for myself and I love me anyway!)

  • Carli needs to cold-call some clients to grow her Excel-training business (and by Carli I mean Jan). What if they ask me to send them information I don’t have? What if they require for me to have been in business 42 years? What if they don’t like me?

  • Alice wants to ask her boss for a raise, and she’s not confident she can get it. (And by Alice I don’t mean me, because I don’t have a boss, but it may be you) What if the boss says no? What if he dislikes me for having asked?

In all those cases, the woman who lacks confidence is asking questions that neither you, I, or she can answer, because there’s nothing she can do to control the outcome: it’s someone else who will ultimately decide. Lack of confidence though, can be translated to fear of failing, fear of the unknown, fear of rejection… fear of whatever: FEAR.

So here’s your solution: next time you feel you lack confidence, ask yourself, “Am I focusing on an OUTCOME that’s beyond my control?” And then a second question: “How can I focus more on the PROCESS that IS in my control, and less on that OUTCOME that IS NOT?”

  • Jan can focus more on enjoying that first date, showcasing her big assets (by these I don’t mean wearing that dress, but using her listening skills), and being the happy Jan she usually is (not the unattractive Jan that she becomes when she lacks confidence).

  • Carli can focus on preparing a good script that anticipates objections, on creating a nice brochure and other materials prospects are likely to want, and on having a database of potential customers so if one of them (or several) say “No,” she can just pick another name in the list to call.

  • Alice can prepare for the meeting: the best time for ask for a raise is after lunch, not on a Monday, she needs to bring documentation to prove her value to the company, she needs to have done some market research on salaries for her position and tenure, and so on.


In summary: focus on the process you can control, not on the outcome you can’t.


Happy 2018, and “see” you next Thursday!

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