“With confidence, you have won before you have started.” – Marcus Garvey
In a world where experience is valued so highly and confidence is given a bit of a bad rap in comparison, I aim to examine this mindset and find the answer to the question about which is more valuabe to you. That’s not to say that either has more power than the other, but when you know where each comes from and the value that it has, you can then utilise them to maximum effect. Anyone who’s ever been for a job interview for example, will know that you are 100/100 times going to be asked the question: “What experience do you have?” While I personally do value experience highly, I believe it in many ways to be a lesser tool in creating the life you ideally want to choose.
Since I do Life Coaching, lets take this as an example. If you wanted to find a Life Coach that was perfectly suited to your needs, what would be the first thing you would search for in your Life Coach? What qualities would you search for? I’m guessing that you would probably scour the net and search for one with a great website that grabs your attention! Marketing aside, when actually making your final selection what would you be looking for? Experience? Qualifications? Confidence? Recommendations? Testimonials? What would be the deciding factor for you? When I picked my Life Coach, it had nothing to do with her experience, and everything to do with her confidence. We met completely by accident on the internet and she isn’t even a trained Life Coach by profession. But I saw straight away that she had amazing confidence and that grabbed me the most and I decided that I wanted her and no one else as my Life Coach.
How highly do you value your own experience in whatever it is that you do and do you feel that it’s been the most important factor in you getting to where you are, or are wanting to be? The danger with constantly looking at our own experience is that we can restrict or deny ourselves from persuing our dreams just because: “I don’t have enough experience!” I can’t think of a worse way to live life because if it wasn’t for my confidence and persuit of my dream 8 years ago, I would never have gotten my first I.T. Job for the one of the worlds largest investment banks with no qualifications, no degree and barely any experience!
Experience can often hold you back from doing the things you’re capable of doing just because someone has said to you: “you don’t have enough experience!” Anytime anyone has said those words to me I wanted to tell them – where to go, in the nicest way possible; in my head I always end up swearing, however I won’t share that here as there maybe women and children present!
Yes, experience is extremely important, but where you lack experience, you must make up for it with confidence! Confidence will be the driving force that will make your dreams come true. So you might ask: “How do I gain confidence?” or “how do I become confident at something I’ve never done or have no experience of?” Those are all good questions and there are several ways of building your confidence to a degree where your confidence will determine the outcome, not your experience.
Before I move onto those it’s important for me to mention that whatever experience you do have, can be elicited for any other task you choose to apply it too. Your experience should never ever be discounted but it also should never be the deciding factor for you. If you truly want to do something, experience or not, your levels of self belief are priceless. I also want to make it clear that confidence and arrogance cannot occupy the same space or time! They are not the same thing, they’re not even similar or close! Someone with confidence would never be arrogant as arrogance stems from insecurity. It is a result of lack of self belief manifesting an attiude of: “I am better than you.” Someone with true confidence would never need to think that and in fact would use their confidence to assist others in building theirs.
Here are some ways of raising your confidence and self-belief so that you can utilise it in a variety of situations whether that be to do with career, relationships, business, sports, etc, these tools apply to all.
1. I’ve already mentioned before the principle of Ghosting. Ghosting is a tool to physically and mentally practise your actions and steps without being in a live situation. In the example of sport, lets take the game of squash, you would be on a squash court, practise your strokes and moves with an imaginary opponent but in your mind you imgine that you’re in a real game! You can do the same for any situation. You can pretend you’re in an interview and are being asked questions and you give outstanding answers. You can practise your body language, gesticulation, any aspect of it you wish! If you’re a young guy like me and you want to practise asking a young lady on a date, ghost or rehearse it first. Do it in front of a mirror, check your stance, your posture, your demeanor, practise what you’re going to say, all of these methods will boost your confidence 100 fold!
2. In point 1 I briefly touched upon body language. I only touched upon it but it probably one of the biggest factors in devoloping your confidence to superhuman levels. Your body is your largest communication device. Every thing you do with your body sends out a message. For example, you’re listening to someone speak but you yawn or your eyes keep wandering or you keep looking at the time. What message does that send? You MUST learn to know what your body is communicating at any given moment! If you need to practise in front of a mirror, that’s perfectly alright. I’m sure in the privacy of your own home you will always have the opportunity to do that. The secret is, imagine yourself as confident in whatever you do, and as you look at yourself in the mirror, see clearly how your body is behaving. Observe what confidence looks like. Find a role model who exudes confidence and mimmick their body! I say it again! YOUR BODY IS YOUR BIGGEST COMMUNICATION DEVICE! Learn how it talks and you will truly find your confidence levels soaring through this one step alone!
3. The third and final tool for enhancing your confidence is literally, get good at things! If you’re good at nothing, try taking up something new, maybe a sudoku puzzle, chess, a sport, running. What are you good at? Write a list of the things you’re very good at and think about how you became good at it and how you exhibit your confidence while you’re doing it! Maybe you’re great at computer games! Maybe you’re great at public speaking! If anyone says to me that they’re not good at anything, I would turn around and say: “Thats not true, you’re a great liar as everyone is good at something!!” You have a talent, bring it to the surface and ask yourself what it is that gives you that talent and how does your confidence show?
There we have it. Your confidence is probably the biggest gun in your arsenal, it supersedes your experience because it will be the thing that puts all your experience in combined form to good use and help you to make your dreams come true!