A young woman approached me after a recent customer service seminar and expressed a need to improve her self-confidence. She believed that her career prospects were limited by her personal insecurity. Additionally, she asked if the Partnership Process would work for her. As those of you who are regular readers of this publication know, partnership can help two people become more successful at whatever they want to do. The good thing is that he is aware that he needs to improve and wants to improve. So of course I told her to use the process and focus her plan on these keys to improving her self-confidence.

Leave the past behind. Don’t dwell on past failures and disappointments. People often repeat past failures and predict that they will fail again. The question everyone must answer is: What would I do if I knew I couldn’t fail? A person cannot redo what he did yesterday, however, he can change what he will do tomorrow.

Remember the victories. As people make progress toward their self-improvement goals, they need to look at small successes and celebrate them. Obstacles will impede progress and as they are overcome they will foster greater confidence. It’s a good idea to keep an achievement journal to refer to when you feel little progress has been made. It is experience, both good and bad, that builds trust.

Acquire knowledge. One of the best ways to build confidence is to equip yourself with knowledge. The more knowledge acquired… the stronger the self-confidence. Learn more about the profession you have chosen, more about your company
products and services, more about the people around you, more about your customers, and more about people in general.

Stay with the eagles. It’s probably easier to soar like an eagle when surrounded by nothing but turkeys. However, if a person spends time with people who are more confident than they are, their own self-confidence will most likely improve.
Like many people, my scores on the golf course are better when I play with players who are superior in skill. Maybe I focus more. Maybe I focus more on my game. Or maybe I just try harder.

Go for the ripe fruit. As you build your self-confidence, look for opportunities to succeed. In the planning process, set possible short-term goals to help build confidence. It is important to get away from uncertainty. For example: A person who wants to improve their presentation skills and overcome their fear of speaking might want to do some one-on-one presentations to trusted friends. The second step could be joining Toastmasters or enrolling in a Dale Carnegie class. After developing their skills, they can ask if they could do more presentations to clients or leadership teams.

Start each day right. I’ll be the first to tell you that this sounds a bit ridiculous, but it works. Start each day with positive affirmations about how confident you are becoming. And believe it! Literally look in the mirror and say that your self-confidence is improving. These positive statements will reinforce the other actions you have taken to improve your self-confidence.

The Earl of Chatham, William Pitt, in 1766 said that “trust is a plant of slow growth.” Self-confidence cannot be achieved easily or quickly. It requires determination, a well-thought-out plan, and a partner who provides support, feedback, and encouragement. Share these six keys to increasing self-confidence with others who can grow and improve through Partnering To Success.

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