Characteristics of Successful People – Confidence

confidence, person in water silloetted against a sunset

Last Friday I wrote about Courage, so it's only fitting that I now write about a very similar characteristic today – Confidence.

So what's the difference between courage and confidence?

Well, as I mentioned in my last article about Confidence, it's about doing things without fear, or in spite of fear.

What is confidence?

According to Dictionary.com it is “1) full trust; belief in the powers, trustworthiness, or reliability of a person or thing … 2) belief in oneself and one's powers or abilities; self-confidence; self-reliance; assurance.” It does have other meanings too, but those are the only relevant ones here.

So the difference is that courage is about being able to face a risky or dangerous situation and act in spite of it, whereas confidence is about believing in yourself, another person, or a thing you use. So, for example, you could have confidence in your car's brakes to stop you whenever you need to, or in a business partner to get a certain job done on time. You could also have the confidence to know you can organize a particular project and complete it successfully.

Confidence Breeds Courage

A courageous person can develop confidence by simply being brave and jumping right into something. Likewise, if that person hones a particular skill through study and practice to the point that he knows he can accomplish any task involving that skill, he will have confidence, and it is actually rather easy to be courageous in areas that one has confidence in.

How Do I Get Confidence?

Let's take a woman who wants to climb a cliff but lacks the confidence to try it as an example.

So she wants to get into rock climbing but lacks the courage to climb a real cliff. She could start out by getting training at a climbing wall with harnesses and ropes; instructors; and assistants to teach her how to find the hand and footholds with the confidence that her assistants will hold the ropes and not let her fall if she makes a mistake. She then learns how to flawlessly climb the wall, and gains confidence in her own ability to do so without falling. By the end of her training and practice climbs she now knows with absolute certainty that she can climb that cliff so she now goes out with an experienced partner do to the real thing.

Firstly, she knows her climbing partner is competent, so she has confidence in him. Secondly, she knows she is competent, so she has confidence in herself. Lastly, she knows their equipment is all in good working order, so the has confidence in it. By becoming so competent in climbing, selecting good equipment and a competent climber for a partner, she has enough confidence to override any fears she may have had, and now has the courage to face that cliff and climb it to the top.

Just like that woman who wants to climb a cliff, but is too afraid to at first, you can overcome your fears and doubts about starting and running a business by training yourself to be competent in your business skills. That competence will breed confidence, and when you're confident in your business skills, you'll find those “unstoppable” fears just can't hold up in the face of confidence and courage.

That's about enough for today, but there are many more characteristics to go over and I'll continue to cover each of them over the coming weeks.

To your confidence to do what's needed to succeed!

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