Cockiness Gets You Nowhere, Confidence Gets You Everywhere

Cockiness Gets You Nowhere, Confidence Gets You Everywhere

John Eades 04/10/2019 6

Henry Ford famously said, "Whether you think you can or think you can't, you are right." 

Ford was talking about confidence. As his quote suggests, confidence is crucial for any type of success, especially in business. If confidence is so important, why do so many people struggle with it?

If you are going to build confidence, it starts with understanding exactly what confidence is and what it isn't. It's best described as the belief in one's self and one's ability to succeed. It comes from a Latin word meaning, "to have full trust." 

Confidence is not cockiness or arrogance. It is not masking a hole inside by portraying something else on the outside. As I covered in a recent episode of the Follow My Lead Podcast, confidence is a genuine belief in yourself that comes from within, and it's more crucial than ever.  

If you want to build your confidence each day, start by using these five strategies.

Visualize Yourself at the Top

The mind is a powerful thing. Everything that has been achieved started as an idea in someone's mind.

How you think will determine your future

The Journal of Consulting Psychology outlined an experimental study of visualization techniques and the results were pretty amazing. They studied two groups of job seekers. Both groups were exposed to the same career counseling and interview coaching, but the second group also learned visualization techniques. 

Within two months of training, there was a 45 percent increase in the second group getting employment versus the first group. Leaving no doubt about the power of visualization. 

If you want to grow your confidence, you have to visualize yourself at the top. Close your eyes and see it like it's happening to you well before it actually does.  

Leverage Specific Kinds of Affirmations

Confidence starts with the words you tell yourself every day. Affirmations are a great place to start. An affirmation is a formal declaration of emotional support or encouragement. 

While this is so important, any old affirmation isn't good enough. Instead of telling yourself, "I am good enough" or "I am worthy enough," add to the statement WHY you are good enough or WHY you are worthy. It would sound like this, "I am good enough because I have already hit rock bottom." or "I am worthy of being a great leader because I care more about others' success than my own." 

Strengthen Your Words

While adding words of affirmation is a great place to start, you also must eliminate the words that protect you from failure (they're setting you for it). Most people are afraid of failure. To cope, they try to soften the blow of failing by setting themselves up for the fall. 

They'll say things like, "I am going to try..." or "I might be able to...". Instead, replace those words with, courageous words like, "I am going to..." or "I will..." or "I can..."  

Always Look for a Positive

If you look hard enough at anything you do, you can find something you could have done better. If that wasn't enough, you could always find someone else who has achieved more, has more or won more. The opportunity to be negative and look for flaws is plentiful.  

There is nothing wrong with striving for more. But if you are working on building your confidence, you must always look for as many positives in each situation as possible. This reinforces to your mind that you are doing things well and moving in the correct direction even if the macro result isn't what you want.  

Filter The Words of Others

As Lou Holtz said, "You're never as good as everyone tells you when you win, and you're never as bad as they say when you lose." If you are reliant on gaining confidence from the words others say to you, you are in a dangerous spot.

Since you can't control what others say, it's important to take others' words with a grain of salt. Remember, confidence comes from within so allowing others words to dictate how you feel isn't real confidence.  

Confidence is crucial for both short-term and long-term success. Stop hoping or pretending you have it and put these fives moves into play starting today. 

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  • Tim Wild

    Discovering your inner talent and being able to build on confidence is a step in setting your career on the right track.

  • Michael Gabbitas

    Having a set of own values and being able to analyze and make the necessary points for consideration are key aspects to evolve

  • Chris Hutchinson

    Risks are part of decision-making hence the need for being sure about ones self through self-confidence is a must.

  • Steven Lorrison

    A positive mindset will help you learn more easily.

  • Bobby Spencer

    Eliminate negative language and stop being rude with others

  • Adam Wells

    Congrats for the new book !!!

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John Eades

Leadership Expert

John is the CEO of LearnLoft, author of, F.M.L. Standing Out & Being a Leader and host of the 'Follow My Lead' Podcast. He writes or has been featured on, LinkedIn Pulse,,, CNBC Money, and more. John completed his education at the University of Maryland College. 

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