Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Are You an Inspiration, or an Inspirer?

Exposing the Con of Confidence!

Confidence is KING! Go in STRONG! You have to BELIEVE!

Nowhere is this more important than in the world of sales - though one could argue it is EQUALLY as important in many, even most, areas of life.

If you go into a sales meeting without confidence, your likelihood to actually make a sale goes significantly down. Wow, news to you, right? Of course, if you go in with too much confidence, you can blow the sale just as easily. The real confidence killer is when you go in with just the 'right' amount of confidence, and STILL don't make the sale!

That's the con of confidence - that it assures success. Except when it doesn't, which causes us to incrementally lose confidence, which can be the beginning of a self-fulfilling downward spiral of doubt, tentativeness, and compounded failure.

Where does confidence come from? Often, the first confidence comes when we have little idea what we're getting into - and it's usually when we're young. REALLY young. We try to walk with little evidence that we can. Our confidence is usually bolstered by adults who want us to walk - but then beaten down when those same adults DON'T want us to walk, run, climb, or do anything that inconveniences them (or puts us in dangerous situations).

From that moment, our confidence is mostly managed by others, both in terms of what we're allowed to do, and the results of our confident actions. The most confident student can get a poor grade - especially in situations where grading is subjective. The most confident athlete will finish second, fifth, or even last. The most confident boy or girl can still get turned down for a first date. These outcomes, just like most sales outcomes, are out of our complete control. Other people and external circumstances directly affect our results. The results then affect our confidence.

The expectation remains, however, that WE manage our confidence INTERNALLY. Wait, what?

The truth? Few people care about bolstering your confidence. The less confidence you show, the less others have confidence in you, and the less likely they will be to encourage the confidence you might have. Sounds harsh, but reality is harsh. Beyond your super-supportive Mom or spouse, you are on your own.

Fortunately, the harsh news is also the happy news. While you can't always control the results of your actions, you can control the action of your actions. Without actions, you get no results, and no return on investment, because there's no investment. But as long as you continue to take action, you can ensure a return on your investment, even if the return isn't exactly what you hoped. You at least have something to work with - to build from. To build a solid confidence that is based on experience, not just bravado.

Let your actions, and your assessment of the results, build your confidence. Take confidence from what you learn in failure as readily as you do in success. Define victory for yourself, based not just on what the outside world expects, but the experiences you create. Be open to variations of success - times when you're behind the expectations curve of others, times when you are perceived as a shooting star outpacing your peers.

While your results will always vary, you can control your confidence when you recognize the con - that confidence guarantees success. When your confidence sits separately from your results, but instead securely within the energy of your chosen actions, it truly does become the powerful and steadying tool you thought it was in the first place.


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