CONFIDENCE YOURE MORE attractive and likable, and you feel
better than when you lack confidence. Youve experienced
the truth of that statement many times in your life. But isnt
confidence something you either have or dont, something
youre either born with or not? Can you deliberately become
Im confident you can.
You see, if we just use a synonym for confident,
the way becomes obvious. One of its synonyms is certain.
And it is true that you feel confident wherever you have a lot
of certainty. Think about it. For a teenage boy who wants to
talk to a girl he likes, he may feel very awkward and not confident
at all. But if he knew a lot about computers, and she was having
a problem with a computer and asked his help, he could help her
and feel confident doing so. Why? Because he would know what
he was talking about. People feel confident when they are certain.
Therefore, wherever you would like to feel
confident, develop more certainty about it. And I dont
mean an attitude of certainty, I mean to develop real
honest-to-goodness, actual certainty.
If, for example, you have to get up and
speak to a group next week and you dont feel confident
about it, start working to develop some degree of certainty:
Talk to the people you need to talk to and find out who will
be there and what they are expecting, and then prepare thoroughly.
The more you prepare, rehearse, talk about what you will say
to your friends, make notes, do research, the more certain you
will be and the more confident you will feel.
As another example, a shy person might
feel a lack of confidence meeting new people. When shes
introduced, she feels like running away. This is very common.
Why? Because a new person is by definition unknown.
Our shy person is not certain about anything except the persons
name (and if she is too distracted by her nervousness, shell
quickly lose her certainty about that too).
But surprisingly, even with a person youve
never met before, you can know with certainty quite a bit about
him. And our shy person can increase her certainty and therefore
her confidence when dealing with people by:
Learning more about the human nature we all have
Learning more about manners (so youre certain
about what should be done when).
Learning strategies for getting to know someone.
You can learn human nature and manners
and strategies so well you have a high degree of certainty about
those things. This would add up to more confidence around people
even people youve never met before. A good book
to start with is Dale Carnegies How to Win Friends and Influence People.
But there are many ways to gain certainty
about people, and each one increases your feeling of confidence
a little more. Confidence is not on or off; there are many shades
of gray from No Confidence to Absolute Confidence. Any actions
you take to increase your level of certainty slides you over
a little more toward Absolute Confidence.
Increase your certainty about
how to act.