2nd May 2013

Confidence and Competence by Ian Kinnery

If confidence is the difference that makes the difference, the thing that all high performers share, it would be good to have strategies to develop and enhance that confidence, wouldn’t it?
Life is many things and it strikes me that one of life’s frustrating quirks is that it can be both corrosive and uplifting at the same time, and not necessarily in equal measures. We all know that success breeds success and when we are on a roll, we seem invincible. Everything we touch seems to be successful. We can’t help but ride the roller coaster upwards and onwards. And then…then something happens and the upward spiral seems to stall, and before we know it we are in a downward spiral. That is life. It is never a smooth road. Sooner or later we encounter the corrosive element. The part that seems to eat away at itself, destroying as quickly as it built.
As we spiral upwards our self confidence increases, and consequently as we spiral downwards our confidence dissipates and disappears. Such is life.
What is important, it would follow, is to develop strategies that we can use to nurture and preserve our levels of self confidence.
Fortunately there are many available to each and every one of us.
Confidence and competence are very closely related. I will guarantee that the things that you are most confident about are the things that you have the most competence in, whatever that may be for you. Also the things that you are most competent in are the things that you will be most confident about.
So one strategy is obvious, to develop your confidence, develop your competence. take an example of an area where your confidence is less than you would want it to be, public speaking, running meetings or selling might be examples; and work to build your competence and I will guarantee that your confidence will begin to grow.
Learn what you need to learn about that particular area, read everything you can, get a coach or a mentor, watch the best exponents you can, study them. Practice, practice, practice at every opportunity you can get. Practice out loud. Make mistakes, learn from them and practice some more. Don’t let the ease that great performers have learnt to display fool you. Every great artist was an amateur at first.
Develop mastery of your task. As your mastery develops, so will your confidence and as your confidence develops so will your mastery.
A great strategy for developing confidence is to develop competence and that requires taking action.