From the podiums of presidential campaigns, to the starting blocks of Olympic sprints – confidence is seen as a necessary factor in the pursuit of triumph.
In everyday life, an air of confidence is touted as the key to a successful job interview, audition, exam or auction bid.
A warning for those who adopt an attitude of ‘fake it ‘til you make it’
However, I have a warning for those who adopt an attitude of ‘fake it ‘til you make it’: authentic confidence is a natural by-product of living in alignment with your highest values and will help propel you toward achievement, whereas a façade of bravado will always be doomed to fail.
An outward display of self-confidence, or an over-exaggeration of confidence is often just a cover-up for its complementary opposite, a lowered self-confidence. This incongruence will eventually be recognised, and the very façade that brings the rise will serve the fall.
Authentic confidence is a natural by-product of living in alignment with your highest values and will help propel you toward achievement, whereas a façade of bravado will always be doomed to fail
Wanting to ‘impress’ someone and feeling the need to adopt a façade in order to inflate or embellish your skills or experience in any area is unwise. When this area is truly one of your highest values, you will prioritise gaining skills in this area, and confidence will flow organically.
When you are congruent and confident you will walk your talk, not limp your life
Rather than setting yourself up for failure, it would be wise to determine your highest values; values that will show up naturally in your behaviour.
Firstly, look for the areas in your life where you have the most discipline and attention. Perhaps you are high-achieving and confident in your career – an area aligned with your highest values – but when it comes to training at the gym, you are quite shy.
Any time that you attempt to excel in an area that is not truly highest in your values, you will lower your self-esteem and confidence; you will tend to procrastinate, hesitate and frustrate doing actions that are not truly important to you.
Instead, you will become preoccupied with doing actions that are truly more important to you. You have another area in your life where you excel, and that is in the area of your greatest congruency.
The trick to authentic confidence is to focus your energies only on goals that naturally inspire you
When you set congruent goals, you become spontaneously inspired from within to achieve and fulfil your innermost dominant intentions. You become more disciplined, reliable and focused. Your self-worth rises while your space and time horizons expand.
You become more objective, you plan more strategically and become more prepared for the pros and the cons, the ups and the downs, the positives and negatives, and the risks of pursuing and achieving your goal. In this way, you are more grounded in your expectations. (You can assess your own values here)
Here are some tips for building greater authentic confidence:
- Set realistic expectations, goals and objectives that are truly aligned with your highest values.
- Take large projects and break them down into smaller, more manageable pieces. Then tackle them one at a time.
- To awaken self-confidence, don’t ‘fake it till you make it’. Live your own life rather than attempting to live by someone else’s priorities or values.
Always remember: consistent little actions can lead to big dreams.