If you can believe it… You can achieve it
How Belief in your own Ability brings Success
Does confidence come with success or is success a result of confidence? It sounds like a chicken or the egg argument, but every study in the last 50 years have observed the following:
- Those who appeared more confident reached a higher social standing than their less confident peers.
- Belief in your own ability to accomplish a task is a stronger prediction of good performance than your actual skill and talent.
- Affirmation in one’s ability to succeed will often result to success. In a Harvard Study, two groups of Asian women were given a math test. One group was told beforehand that women were poor at Math, as compared to men. Another group was told that Asians were better at Math than other ethnic groups. The second group showed higher test results even though the tests were the same, and their Math IQs were at par with each other.
- One study even suggested that it is not sheer talent, skill, education or hard work that leads to career success, but unashamed confidence. When you look at the reason why less skilled colleagues are promoted over more skilled once, check their personalities. The one promoted exudes more confidence than the other.
- Confident people are able to manage the perceptions of their peers. Their confidence is mistaken for talent.
- Studies at the University of California showed that confident people genuinely believed that they’re better than others, even if they’re not. Their careers reflected their beliefs and turned it into reality. They become successful.
How does being sure of yourself make you more successful?
One important part of self-confidence is a sense of self-efficacy, which simply means, “the belief that you can do it.” The words, I CAN, are words that you often hear from confident people.
“I can get this promotion.”
“I can finish this task on time.”
“I can overcome this problem.”
These are the traits that makes people with self-efficacy more successful than their colleagues:
- They are not afraid to try new things.
- They rebound faster after a failure.
- When faced with obstacles, they are more persistent.
- They see difficult tasks as challenges to be conquered, rather than problems to be avoided.
- They are strongly committed and passionate.
- They see failure as opportunities to try harder or gather more information and learn.
- They do what they believe is right even if they’re discouraged by other people.
- They can admit their mistakes and learn from the experience.
According to Mark Leary, a noted researcher on self-confidence and self-esteem, and a professor of psychology from the Wake Forest University, our sense of self-efficacy dictates how we think, feel, behave and motivate ourselves. A strong sense of efficacy is what enhances our capacity to achieve and accomplish, and it definitely improves our general well-being. It is similar to the powerful effects of positive thinking. Personal accomplishment are direct results of a positive outlook – which has the power to inspire and motivate.
If you are lacking in confidence, it is advisable that you take steps in developing a healthy self-esteem. How?
Learning how to be self-confident
It is said that once you’ve done something, you lose your fear of it, and the next time you encounter the same situation, you will approach it with the confidence of your experience.
So, the next time you feel insecure in a situation, fake it. Putting on a false front helps only in getting you through difficult situations. So you can face it, instead of running away from it. Once you overcome your fear, you will realize that YOU CAN do it. This will help raise your confidence a notch. In time, it will all come naturally to you.
Faking it and presenting yourself falsely are not the same thing. Fooling people into believing that you’re something you’re really not, may put you in undesirable situations.
How to improve my confidence?
Here are other ways to help boost your confidence:
- Set realistic expectations for yourself and pat yourself on the back when you accomplish something. Small victories does wonders for our self-esteem.
- Remember your accomplishments and learn from failures.
- Accept all your weaknesses, look at them objectively and improve on what you can. Self- awareness gives you an objective view of your areas of improvement.
- Don’t keep comparing yourself to other people. Someone will always be richer, wiser and more beautiful. Compete only with yourself.
- Constantly aim for self-improvement. Build your knowledge, and develop weak points. Be better than you were yesterday.
- Give yourself a break. Don’t aim for perfection, only growth. We all make mistakes, which is a sign that we’re making an effort.
- Love yourself. Everything that you are makes you unique.
- Believe that you have the power to be whatever you want to be – if you just set your mind to it and do what is necessary to achieve your goals.
- Manage your thoughts. What we whisper to ourselves has the power to improve or weaken our confidence in ourselves.
- Stand taller and keep your chin up. You’d be surprised at how this simple correction in posture can make you feel better about yourself.
- The Telegraph: Key to career success is confidence, not talent
- CFNC.org: Self Confidence: A key to success
The Happiness Advantage
Read more about the importance of confidence and how your belief in positive change can become a self-fulfilling prophecy in the book “The Happiness Advantage” by Harvard graduate Shawn Achor.
Get the Book today