"The Power of Confidence"

Have you ever walked away from dealing with a situation where the odds were stacked against you.feeling that you have done exceedingly well In that moment you feel taller, the sun feels warmer, life is worth living.

You might be thinking to your self, "Today nothing can defeat me!"

Or perhaps you are listening to a top class salesman dealing with a couple of disgruntled clients. So confident is he, that even the apparent contradictions which emerge from his statements have no effect on the potency of his arguments. Against the odds his customers find they are agreeing with the salesman rather than disagreeing..

Confidence is a wonderful thing for those who have it.

Sometimes it can in fact be the single most significant factor in a successful outcome.

If you watch children playing tennis, one instant they can play difficult shots with ease and the next they can't hit a ball. Much depends on their confidence in the moment.

Obviously the same applies to actors.

Why is it so crucial?

A well placed sense of confidence will ...

  • increase the ability to trust yourself and thus improve your listening
  • it will allow you to assess reasonably the real value of any information being presented to you without the bias generated by doubts and fears
  • allow you to see the bias of those presenting the information and not be intimidated by it
  • mean you can express your opinions in the belief that they are worthy of being heard
  • engender an enjoyment in participating.

It is not hard to believe that this list of achievements would be significant factors in guaranteeing a good performance in any arena.

It is however important that it be a "well placed" sense of confidence as over confidence creates an imbalance - for it is in fact a product of our fears not our understanding. Over confidence distorts the way things are heard. It also distorts the way we 'assess' and 'present' an argument.

Confidence in the Inexperienced
But how can one have confidence if you are inexperienced. Firstly, accept the limitations of your circumstances. Adjust your expectations to an appropriate level. Don't expect to achieve more than is reasonable under the circumstances. Then trust yourself to -

  • listen openly
  • assess fairly and intelligently
  • question things you don't understand (to gain understanding)
  • commit to performing the task

Do all this with the full understanding that if you are doing your best then nothing more can be asked. Someone who is relaxed, intelligently open to suggestions and participating with enjoyment can be confident that they are giving of their best.

May 2003

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