The Funny Thing About Confidence

I recently had a conversation with a coworker about confidence. We came to an ironic conclusion.

Everyone is portraying themselves as confident. They have what it takes to get the job done. They are the ones you need to call if you need something done.

Confidence is a funny thing

Image by Evan Rummel

But is this really the case? Are people really confident?

I don’t believe they are. I know I’m not. Yet I can come across as confident.

There’s this facade we all put up to protect ourselves from the outward gazes of those looking at us. The facade is hurting us.

I’m Not Confident, No Really… I’m Not

When I look at the daily changes I have to face in my career, in my home, with my friends, I begin to quake. I don’t know if I have what it takes to take care of my job, my home, my family, and my friends. But I put up a front.

Building Your Confidence With Joel Boggess

Answers From Leadership Podcast Episode 32

Joel Boggess knows a thing or two about building confidence as a leader. As the host of the ReLaunch Podcast and best-selling author of Finding Your Voice, Joel helps leaders around the world improve their confidence and live the life they were meant to.

I’m excited to have Joel on the show to share how you can increase your confidence and lead well.

Joel Boggess shares how to build your confidence

Listen To The Answers From Leadership Podcast

Show Notes:

How would you describe leadership?

Leadership is being clear on your best features and enduring qualities and leading with them. Let those features and qualities take the forefront.

We use the different qualities we have in our leadership toolbox. As leaders, we hone and develop those tools over time. We do that by steeping ourselves in the best leadership resources we can find.

Become A Beacon Of Hope

Great leaders take a stand and call for others to come along on the journey. They point towards hope and say “There we go! That’s where we need to head.”

These impactful leaders become a beacon of hope for those they lead.

Hope guides people, be a hope brings

While leading will wear you out and take you down some dark paths, the job of a leader is to point to a brighter tomorrow. One that others have a hard time seeing.

That’s why they’re not leading. They can’t see the better days ahead.

You can. Even in your darkest hours. You know there’s something good ahead. And you want to lead others on a purposeful journey.

Hope Is What People Need

Getting things done and advancing is critical to being seen as a good leader. Leaders are people who move others to the next stage of life.

How Your Lack Of Confidence Is Undermining Your Leadership

A thought hit me like lightning recently. I lack confidence.

My brain raced through the scenarios where this is true.

You need confidence to lead well

I lack confidence in:

Leading effectively

Playing soccer (where this idea really hit home)

Being a good husband

Creating lasting and meaningful relationships

And so much more

Your Lack Of Confidence Is Disturbing

At least I hope your lack of confidence is disturbing. My lack of confidence disturbs, no, wait… This lack of belief in myself scares me.

As it should.

I discovered my lack of confidence in my abilities fully on the soccer field, of all places.

I can play defense well. I can do man-to-man coverage and do a decent job of keeping my man out of the goal.

However, where I lack confidence in my soccer game is offense.

Whenever the ball comes to me, I freeze. Like I can’t move and I don’t know what to do.

My head goes side to side. I look for an opening. I can’t see any play to make.

Then the opponents take the ball and move towards their goal.

This is humiliating! I should know how to move the ball forward. Actually, I do. But I lack the confidence to do so effectively.

I’ve faced similar situations in my marriage and my career and my friendships. I know the right things to do. I don’t have faith in my ability to do so.

Not only does this impact me. This impacts those around.

My soccer teammates can’t trust me with the ball. My spouse can’t always trust me to do what I need to in our marriage. And the list goes on and on.

And this damages my leadership.

I love how Brian Williamson sums this up –

Some of you are undermining your influence not because you lack competence, but because you lack confidence in your competence. Step up now!

How To Increase Your Confidence As A Leader

I’m slowly working on improving my confidence in soccer. So far, the tactics to increase my confidence could apply to you in your business or personal life. Let’s take a look at what it takes to increase your confidence.

Get the advice of others: I never played soccer growing up. Heck, I never played soccer until I was over 30 years old.

And I never watched soccer on TV or in person. Soccer wasn’t of interest to me so I didn’t know the rules of the game.

That meant I had to ask someone for help.

I approached other members of my team to ask their advice on the rules of the games and how to improve my skills. This took courage to put myself out there but doing so has helped out tremendously.

Are you willing to go to those wiser than you and ask for their help? If you do this, you’re guaranteed to get some wise words of wisdom that will help you gain confidence.

Practice the right skills: There were soccer skills I knew how to do. I could defend the goal by watching the opposite team and watching where they were going. I had an instinct on where to move and where the ball was going.

I didn’t have the skills to move the ball forward. Over and over again, I would fail.

Getting the ball downfield was the skill that I needed to practice. By practicing getting the ball in front of me and then moving it towards the goal, I was able to feel more confident that I could do this.

Are there skills you’re lacking in or that you don’t feel confident in? Begin practicing those skills that you don’t feel are strong.

Doing this goes against the common advice of practicing your strengths. However, I’ve found practicing in your weakness can help boost your confidence.

Watch the professionals: We can be honest here, my teammates aren’t soccer pros. We’re just a bunch of 30+ year old men who want to get out and have some fun kicking around a soccer ball. And, we want to win a game or two.

Watching and talking to these guys will only get me so far. Observing how they play soccer has helped me improve my game and confidence. Yet that will only get me so far.

To gain even more confidence, I needed to watch semi-pros and professionals play the game of soccer.

Luckily, we have a semi-professional soccer team in Muskegon called the Muskegon Risers. I can go to their games and watch them play. By watching them, I can see new tactics and tricks to improve my offensive soccer game.

Who’s a professional you can watch? What do you need to learn from them and how can you observe the work they do?

Remember your wins: There’s been a few successes in my soccer playing. I’ve moved the ball downfield a time or two and it felt good. Until I froze.

But I still had success. And I can count those towards my wins.

You’ve had success as a leader. You know it, you may not remember it though.

Tally those wins. Keep a running checklist of the times you’ve succeeded as a leader. There’ s a lot of success you’ve had.

Have that list of wins handy. Your list of wins will help remind you that you’re making progress and you can have confidence in what you’re doing.

Lacking confidence as a leader can kill your effectiveness. You have got to get your confidence under control and know that you have what it takes to be a great leader.

Question: Are you lacking confidence in your ability to lead? Why or why not? Share your leadership story in the comment section below.

Competent, Confident, And Agile

Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.
–Vince Lombardi

Human contortionist in a glass box

How Are They Made?

If leaders are made by hard effort, as Coach Lombardi points out, then I need to know how. What traits should we strive to intentionally develop within our future leaders?

I thought about this question long and hard. I wondered if I could even “boil it down” to a list that did not infinitely consume binary one and zeros within Microsoft Word. I felt challenged by the opportunity to succinctly and coherently define the traits common to all leaders.

Finally, (as if someone turned on a light bulb within my brain) three words came to mind:

  • Competent
  • Confident
  • Agile