12 Ways to Find Your Confidence
Lack of confidence is the dirty secret in top leaders. Insecure leaders often cover insecurities with strutting. Cocky is compensation for lack of confidence.
Cocky is phony confidence.
Puffing up, putting down, posturing, excuse making, and negative comparisons express – lack of confidence – cockiness.
The need to feel superior means you aren’t.
Confidence vs. Cocky
- Invites in – Pushes away.
- Inspires – Insults.
- Relaxed – Stressed.
- One of – One above.
- Lifts up – Pushes down.
- Accepts – Rejects.
- Releases – Controls.
- Belonging – Alone.
- Joy – Fear.
- Transparent – Phony.
See: The difference between arrogance and confidence is _______, on Facebook. (Great insights from readers)
Relational impact is the reason you care about cockiness.
Effective leaders connect. Cocky leaders disconnect, close doors, and shut out.
Confident leaders explore, learn, develop,
and grow in the context of community.
- Reflect on and embrace your beliefs.
- Reject cocky behaviors. When you feel like pushing others away, pull in, for example.
- Focus on giving more than getting.
- Accept your strengths and weaknesses.
- Develop experience.
- Adopt a learners attitude.
- Admit mistakes without excuse and commit to improve.
- Hold your ground, kindly.
- Separate performance from intrinsic value.
- Plan. Develop first responses to unanticipated questions. Say, “I’m not sure of the answer, let me get back to you,” for example.
- Share insecurities with friends. Bringing insecurities into the light often weakens them.
Bonus article: “10 Powerful Strategies to Build Your Confidence“
How can leaders find confidence?
Don’t forget the power of care, Dan. Always Care is another good way to build confidence and although it is an underlying factor in some of the 12 ways you mention, I’d vote for giving it a place of its’ own on the list. :).
Brooke T Allen has a good article on this on his website “noshortageofwork.com” where he asks “Should caring be part of every job description?”
Great add, Paul. Lets not be afraid to use the term love. Not romantically of course but love as in seeking the highest good of others. So glad you dropped in. Cheers
To build confidence – focus on doing the right things to advance the organization’s mission and people and forget about self-advancement. A shy, quiet mother can become a lioness when protecting her child because she only cares about that child. Likewise, a leader who only cares about the organization and people he/she leads will not spend time thinking about self-confidence, but will simply act. The “what will people think of me?” question is really one of pride, and becomes irrelevant to people who think more of what they are responsible for.
Your “cockiness is phony confidence” statement is true and powerful. Cockiness is related to pride. Truly devoted and caring leaders aren’t cocky because they have nothing to prove – only something to do.
Thanks Marc. You and Paul are on a similar and powerful track. One of the most challenging lines you add is… “forget about self-advancement.” Powerful and challenging. Cheers
I do agree with Marc. When you are focused on your people and the organisation, you will not have time for the wasted effort of trying to build self confidence. I say this from experience…
Love Marc’s lioness reference! How true that when a true leader’s focus is the organization & people and it gets threatened somehow, it can bring out surprising qualities even the leader doesn’t realize are there!
I am constantly looking for ways to build confidence early and often, particularly in new leaders. I think if we can start early, by the time they get to the top, we will see more of the positive behaviors you list here.
Love that. Confident leaders build the confidence of others!
I wrote: 10 Strategies for Building Confidence in Others.
Always appreciate your insights.
Difference between arrogance and confidence is drumroll…..RESULTS! That was simple enough, right? Results, not ingredients!
Human beings can find confidence by getting their own house in order. Any other way in my experience and opinion is just lying.
Start at Step One and proceed through thru Step 12. Quit messing around, this is not a dress rehersal. Great thing about that ole AA Big Book…..first 164 pages NOTHING but what the first 100 drunks did to sober up and turn their lives around. And FREE to read on the internet!
No theory, no saying EXACTLY the SAME things with different words and calling it the greatest NEW strategy for whatever, buy now cause I wrote it!!!!!!!!!!!! Blah blah blah. This first 164 pages JUST WHAT THEY DID. You do it will work for you too.
All FREE too! Just google AA Big Book and read and apply today!!!!!! hehe How can you possibly get better than Proven Results and FREE??????? Sad thing is how few will actually take what I am sharing and investigate???? Silly humans!
Once you take a deep long hard look at yourself and see how screwed up you are you gain some persepective on dealing with other people. Some call it humility, others empathy! Look at YOU and grab a fork and plenty of napkins cause a huge ole serving of humble pie is on its way down your throat.
My favorite quote is at the end of this treasure! In an appendix relating to a Spiritual Experience, if you have not had one I Highly Recommend that too!!!!!!! LOL
“There is a principle that is proof againt all arguments that is guaranteed to keep a man/woman in everlasting ignorance, that principle is contempt prior to investigation”. Herbert Spencer DUH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If I didn’t know better, I’d think you are on commission! 🙂 Thanks Scott
Great post. You touch on the aspect that confidence comes from your beliefs, and I think also your values and knowing who you are, where you come from, and where you are going.
Great stuff, Carlos. Thank you. Self knowledge is so central.
The difference between arrogance and confidence is “knowledge”. I think arrogant people know with little knowledge and they argue and support their position based on inadequate knowledge. Confident people have adequate knowledge to support their views. Another thing is that arrogant person thinks, his knowledge is more than enough to derive conclusion whereas confident person questions whether his knowledge to derive at conclusion. And this thinking diversion makes the difference who is arrogant and who is confident.
I also believe that confidence is not absolute situation where person can claim for his views. Instead confidence situation is the condition where person instil confidence the way he discusses the issue. Confidence person put the facts and realities before others to derive conclusions whereas arrogant derive conclusion itself and expects others to accept it.
Another good difference could be “humility”. Arrogant person lacks humility but confident person possesses humility. I say, this out of my experience. I have seen many unsuccessful people with inadequate knowledge. You can not win argument with them. They have all the answers. Arrogant people also believe that everyone is less knowledgeable. They quickly decide that they are right and other is wrong in argument.
One kick in the pants you give me Ajay is driving conclusions and expecting others to accept them… without facts.
Really like this Dan. I think one of the issues leaders struggle with is the reluctance to acknowledge self-doubt. Even though it is a perfectly natural emotion that affects nearly everyone, we tend to think of it as weakness. So rather than explore and learn from those moments of doubt, we instead dig-in, puff up and go to whatever extreme necessary to ‘appear’ confident. The pace and extreme bias toward action of some corporate cultures can really exacerbate this.
To me the distinguishing difference between arrogance and confidence is simply openness and curiosity. Arrogance is over-attachment to your own ideas and sense of self. Confidence comes from knowing who you are and what you believe, while maintaining a curiosity to learn more, and an openness to your beliefs evolving with new information and experiences. I like to call this “living in the question,” as opposed to “knowing the answer.”
Ooooo… over attachment to your own ideas… Now you are just driving the nail in my coffin. I think what I think because it’s right! I like what Bob Sutton says… think that you could be wrong.
I believe that leaders find confidence in knowing that being successful has more to do with how they can help others than it is about who people think they are.
Servant leadership keeps you grounded and humble, because that’s how you remember that ultimately leadership isn’t really about you. It’s about the leaders you’re building.
Thanks Colby…here’s the thing I grapple with… it is important for others to think we have something to offer. The higher people think of us the greater our opportunity to lift them. It’s a dangerous line where we can become self-important because people think we are important.
Absolutely. It’s easy to get sucked into the self-important black hole. I think that’s why you have to stay grounded firmly in a servant leadership mode. If I am lifted higher by those around me, I need to look at it as a chance to bring them higher WITH me. Otherwise, I run the risk of stepping on their heads on the way up.
this correlates neatly with the difference between those who aspire for excellence versus perfection in their activities and goals.
Arrogant people reflect on themselves. Confident people reflect on others.
As usual- a great post! The other day, I took a walk and noticed a few wild turkeys in the woods near where I live. The male turkey was “looking for a date”, so he had his feathers all puffed up and was strutting near two females. I couldn’t help but laugh then, wondering if the female turkeys were rolling their beady little eyes at his showmanship. That’s how I feel when I encounter leaders who are so obviously “puffed up” over themselves – all show. And I wonder if they can deliver the goods.
Thanks again for being part of my day, I so value your insights.
Would you say that managers who put people on the spot (particularly in front of senior managers) are lacking confidence or is this something else? For example, asking a question that has little to do with the subject at hand, but the nature of the question means that answering it comes out as being defensive but not answering as though you are hiding something.
In my experience, confidence is always a process. One never “arrives.” In order to grow, one must continually circle back to the “beginner’s mind,” which is an uncertain place to be. I suppose true self confidence is being able to do that while trusting the process.
Confidence, unlike many here state … is not something to chase or find by skills you obtain, what you do, feedback you get, how you hold yourself, the beliefs you hold true or not, …
Confidence is a natural state of being. And maybe you forgot it.
Why are you looking for confidence outside of you? because you can’t manage your thought stream.
And what you do is that “you feel your thoughts” not what’s real outside.
Slow down your thoughts and discover again what’s innate in you.
You’ll find clarity and tap into your own natural confidence.
It’s by looking outside of you that you’re missing the obvious.
This is such a great post! I love that you compare the 12 ways. 1 and 4 are my favorite. In my opinion, those two are the most important to continued success. Thanks for sharing!