Every fortnight, we hand over the blog to one of the London Shapers, to give you a flavour of what they do, how they think and what's really going on in our hearts and minds. Today's piece comes from Kenny Imafidon who is co-founder & Managing Director of ClearView Research Ltd.
“A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.”— Mark Twain
We all want to be successful in life (however you personally define success) and achieve our goals. There are many key ingredients we need in order to make this happen and the most vital one without doubt is confidence.
Confidence can be described as ‘the quality of being certain of your abilities or of having trust in people, plans, or the future’.
I know life can knock the confidence out of any of us; I have even seen the most talented people lack self-confidence. Yet, a high-level of confidence is something that we can all have!
We each have to be intentional on working on our personal growth and continue to work at it, even those of us who consider ourselves to be already confident. New levels in life, require new levels of confidence to match it.
If you feel you have a high-level of confidence then you are halfway to becoming a success. However, if you have low self-confidence you will almost certainly be less successful in life because you will not reach the heights in life that you are destined for.
People who lack confidence, compared to those who are confident are:
1. Less likely to take risks and come out of their comfort zone.
2. Less likely to put themselves in positions where they can make mistakes.
3. Less likely to speak their mind and tell others what they think.
4. More likely to say ‘yes’ to things they know they should say ‘no’ to, such as unnecessary or inappropriate work/obligations.
5. Less likely to take up opportunities, for example a job promotion.
6. Less likely to be assertive and will rather use softer language.
7. More likely to avoid confrontation.
8. More likely to self-sabotage themselves one way or the other
9. More likely to quit before they really have tried or exhausted all options.
10. More likely to compare themselves to others.
11. Less likely to be resilient.
12. More likely to set mediocre goals.
13. More likely to be perfectionists (perfection is not achievable).
Looking over this list tells me that confidence is a superpower worth possessing! However, it is important to recognise that confidence is a journey and not a destination.
On my own personal journey I have seen how a direct increase in my confidence has enabled me to achieve my goals. It’s also enabled me to out-do my expectations of what I thought I could achieve.
I am not delusional and so I do not believe I am the most talented or capable person in the world but I know for sure that due to my high level of self-confidence, I have been able to achieve things that those who are more capable than me couldn’t. My confidence has allowed me to; overcome my fears, say ‘no’ when I should and most importantly believe in myself. I take daily steps to become more self-aware of my confidence levels and capabilities.
Still, there is a balance as you do not want to be overconfident, which leads to arrogance, which can be best described as an exaggerated sense of one's own importance or abilities.
These are my 5 key tips on how to become more confident:
1. Execute! We all know people who just talk about ideas, even great ones but who we really respect are those that turn ideas into reality. The more you do what you say, the more confident you will become. Don’t just talk, act. I truly believe that the more you achieve what you set out to, the more capable you realise you are.
Also, celebrate all your wins don’t wait for a big win to happen before you celebrate or feel good about yourself. No matter how small the wins are, you have permission to feel proud and congratulate yourself. Even if it’s a small win, treat yourself!
2. Stop comparing yourself to others - we’ve all heard the saying that comparison is the thief of joy. Our confidence should come from within and not be based on the toxic habit of comparing ourselves to anyone else. We need to focus on ourselves and remember that everyone’s journey is unique to them; its impossible to compare your chapter 1 with someone else’s chapter 20 because no journey is the same. Be content (not complacent!) with where you are right now, be excited for the future and enjoy the journey and the colourful process of leveling up.
3. Read and say out loud affirmations! They lift up your spirits and remind you of who you are! Put together a list of quotes and throughout the day or at least each morning and night, say them out loud. Say it with conviction! You are what you tell yourself and you can only do what you believe you can do. I say daily affirmations to myself and it has really helped to shift my mentality to a more positive and confident one.
4. Remind yourself of the times when you achieved something that at first you did not think you could. Whenever you are feeling anxious, Pause. Reflect and remind yourself of times when you achieved despite the odds. We can be so quick to forget what we are capable of.
5. Surround yourself with other people who have a high level of confidence - if you are not a confident person, the worst thing you can do is be around people who lack confidence or isolate yourself. You have to break the cycle and place yourself in a circle of people (e.g. friends, mentors) who are self-confident. These are the type of people who will encourage you, praise you and remind you of how amazing you are. They will be a strong support system for you on your journey to achieving success, as you can’t do it alone.