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The Importance of Confidence

Creative Commons via youaremyfave.com

Over the past 4 years, I’ve met a lot of my online friends “in real life.” And, as a sociologist, I’m always curious to see if someone will live up to their online persona.

There are 3 possibilities, right?

I am always delighted when people meet or exceed my expectations and sometimes slightly confused when meeting them is more underwhelming than I expect it to be. When this occurs, I wonder if I have pegged the person wrong or whether the anonymity of being online gives them a confidence that they don’t otherwise hold in face-to-face interaction.

I think it’s important to realize that human communication is never perfect. We are all human and ultimately, we are all messy in one way or another. What is often not “seen” by everyone are the dark thoughts, the sordid history and the pain that belies every single one of us in our lifetime.

From having met a ton of people in my lifetime, no story is really as pristine as the fairytales would have us believe. And frankly, have you really read the fairytales? Even they are full of wicked witches, interrupted destiny and the early demise of most parents.

The difference, communication-wise, between most people, however, boils down to the confidence of the message.

Why is confidence important?

  • Confidence illustrates that someone is comfortable in their own skin and with their message,
  • Confidence gives an aura of expertise and knowledge, and
  • Confidence people make us want to believe that the message and story is real.

Confidence, in the delivery of your message, is entirely under your control. If you haven’t really considered how you deliver your message, consider practicing as often as you can. Meet people, listen to what is of interest to those that you find yourself in conversation with and seek to find something of connection in each interaction.

Remember, relating to others involves a 2-way street which means sharing and listening to what is shared in human interactions. No expects you to be perfect, but they will listen to your message differently if it is delivered with confidence. Intentionally, be confidence this week in at least one interaction and see how others respond.

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Andrew Krzmarzick

I’ve been reflecting a lot on confidence lately, seeing some folks who are are more confident than they should be and others who lack confidence despite an extraordinary set of natural talents. But what I’ve observed and realized is that confident people get ahead more quickly…even when they’re wrong…sometimes even when they’re deliberately leading people astray (history is filled with these kinds of figures, eh?).

And there’s definitely a degree to which confidence is one of those things where you can “fake it ’til you make it”- if you continue to exercise belief, you one day grow into a place in your perception where it has become true. One example: