Confidence is accepting everything you are
...and everything you are not.
Knowing your strengths (and knowing your weaknesses) and accepting them, can make you feel more confident -- as long as you're not using them as excuses to remain "average".
Here's what I mean...
Math has never been a friend of mine.I think I have some sort of numeric version of dyslexia and I am constantly transposing numbers in my head and when I write them down. If you give me your phone number and I write it down as you speak each number AND I repeat each number as I write it -- there's still a good chance I flipped the last two numbers.
As a result of this weakness, I take special care in dealing with numbers.
It would have been easy for me to just throw my hands up and say "Oh, no... I'm bad at math" and direct you to someone else. But I learned numbers-equal-money a long time ago (thanks to my 5th grade teacher Mrs. Owens) so I just make sure I triple and quadruple check any numbers I'm working with. As a result, I rarely make stupid mistakes with any project pricing (I use a calculator for virtually everything), quantities of items being ordered, or even your street address or phone number.
I know math is a potential problem for me, so I can take steps to mitigate it as an issue in my life. I have all the best online calculators bookmarked, I use an accountant for my business and personal taxes, and I can always rely on the assistance of my super math-girl wife who is the "arithmetic whisperer".
Knowing and accepting your strengths is also important.
You'd think that it would be obvious to "go with your strengths", but sometimes people can rely too heavily on their natural talent and affinity for a personal skill to the point where it becomes a liability.
I'm a decent public speaker.
It's a strength that I've always had (I've never been afraid to be in front of an audience) but I've honed that ability over the years through training and practice. being a member of Toastmaster International (an organization dedicated to helping people at every skill level improve their public speaking ability) I relished something they call "Table Topics" which is basically impromptu speaking.
Every Toastmaster's meeting has a Table Topics session where any member could be called upon to speak for a short amount of time on just about any topic under the sun. From speaking on the traits of your favorite candy bar to why peace in the Middle East is so difficult to achieve.
As a result, I have no problem being asked to speak on extremely short notice because I've strengthened that ability like a bodybuilder works out at the gym.
Just because I have the confidence to get in front of the room without any prepared remarks doesn't mean that when I am hired to speak at an event that I would ignore the hard work that goes into developing and practicing a professional keynote presentation or workshop.
To use the bodybuilder metaphor once more, just because Arnold Schwarzenegger pumped himself up in his youth and won awards in the 70s and 80s doesn't mean he can just sit on the couch and rely on his earlier training to hold up when he goes to star in his next Terminator movie.
Even though one of his personal strengths is literally strength, Arnold still has to go to the gym and keep pumping iron to make sure he's at peak conditioning to ensure an action-hero-worthy performance.
His dedication to making sure he's constantly honing his strengths gives him the confidence to return to a role he originally played at the age of 37 an entire 35 years later to play the same part at 72 years old.
Now that's confidence.
©2019 | @dontheideaguy