Authentic Confidence - Get it once choice at a time
by Joseph Liberti
Self-confidence: Some have it, some want it, all need it and many misunderstand it. Yet
everyone seems to agree that self-confidence is essential to success and happiness.
Confident people move through the world seizing opportunities, influencing
people and outcomes and generally enjoying life with greater ease. They are
decisive, able to change and try new things, and able to stay in control when things get
difficult. These self-assured people seem to live life with greater passion and
Many people want more self-confidence. There are over 200,000 searches made on
Google each month for help with developing self confidence. And there are 27,000,000
pages of internet content devoted to the subject. Those searching for help recognize
that something is holding them back but don
There are many others who can
coaching practice over the last 10 years, I have worked primarily with middle to upper
level and emerging leaders. They did not ask for more self-confidence. They came
looking for help with managing emotions in themselves and others, in making decisions
and in positively influencing others. And, the greatest benefit of the coaching was
improved performance from increased self-confidence.
“Self-confidence is the fundamental basis from which leadership grows.” Says executive
coach Francisco Dao,in a recent Inc magazine article. “Trying to teach leadership
without first building confidence is like building a house on a foundation of sand. It may
have a nice coat of paint, but it is ultimately shaky at best.
“While the leadership community has focused on passion, communication, and
empowerment,” Dao says, “they've ignored this most basic element and in the process
they have planted these other components of leadership in a bed of quicksand. At the
end of the day, leadership is about having the confidence to make decisions. If
someone is afraid to make and commit to decisions, all of the communication and
empowerment in the world won't make a squat of difference.”
ʼt know how to change.ʼt or wonʼt talk about their low self-confidence. In my
What Is Self-Confidence, Really?
There is a lot of agreement on the importance of confidence but great differences on
what it is and how to acquire it.
Some say that self-confidence is a result of achievement. They say that the more skilled
and practiced you become and the more success you have with something the more
confident you are. So, I might become a confident golfer or public speaker, but what
happens if I am required to do something out of my area of achievement?
© 2009 Joseph Liberti
I have read articles that advise people to dress well to feel better about themselves and
that will bring self-confidence. A popular self-growth blog tells readers to “think positive”
and to “kill negative thoughts,” as ways to increase self-confidence. And, a well known
and highly paid executive consultant advises, “Demonstrate courage on the outside,
even when you don't feel it on the inside,” as a way to deal with a self-confidence issue.
sense of self-confidence. You simply can not increase your sense of self by seeking for
validation from outside of yourself or by pretending. Self-confidence is an inside job. It is
an expression of authentic self.
ʼm sorry but these things are not going to work. They are not going to bring a lasting
Your level of confidence is the degree to which you trust yourself to live consciously.
The ultimate confidence comes from your ability to trust yourself to be present and
engage any situation you are met with; to respond creatively in the present instead of
reacting impulsively; and to trust that you will choose and act from integrity.
Authentic confidence is not dependent on skill or appearance or bravado but is based in
truth - The truth of who you really are and what you value. The fruits of your authenticity
are peace of mind and freedom. When you choose to be real and to take ownership of
your choices and your results, you are free to:
Slay a sacred cow
Tell the truth.
Your authentic confidence is also compelling. Because you are congruent, you are
credible and influential and we will follow your lead. And no matter what your position is,
your authentic leadership is so needed now. Consider how much loss could have been
avoided in our current economic crisis if people had the authentic confidence to:
Stand on principle
Blow the whistle
Refuse to play the game
Say the emperor has no clothes.
Once Choice At A Time
How do you develop authentic confidence? Once choice at a time. Empower yourself by
claiming your power of choice - taking ownership of your choices and your experience
First, acknowledge that while you have no control of others you do have absolute
control over what you choose to think, feel, say and do. That makes you uniquely
powerful. I know, your mind wants to tell me that sometimes you just don
choice. As pervasive and seductive as that thought may be, it is simply not true. You
may not like your choices but you always have a choice.
Next develop your ability to make choices based on your truth - your purpose and
values and what is in integrity for you. It will help you greatly to develop your emotional
self-awareness - your ability to recognize your emotions and how they are influencing
your thoughts and choices. By managing and integrating your emotions you increase
your ability to consciously choose what is most true and purposeful for you.
Now, each choice you make is building self-confidence. You trust yourself to make a
conscious choice and accept the results. That increases your ability to make more, and
more difficult, choices. Each time you make a choice that is consistent with your
purpose and values you make a deposit in your authentic confidence account. Choice
by choice you build a trusting relationship with yourself and increase your authentic
confidence and your ability to live courageously. And when you do, you are free.