Confidence Matters

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Do you ever look around and wonder why people who don’t seem to work as hard as you or are not as smart as you are more successful than you? Business mentor Simon Reynolds’s recent Forbes blog post, The Strong Link Between Your Self Image And Business Success says it could be your self-image that is holding you back. Reynolds claims that our subconscious negative self-assessments can prevent us from being bold and confident, thereby preventing us from achieving our potential.

We all know that blog posts over simplify complex issues, but Reynolds is on to something. Daily affirmations might not get you the promotion or business deal you are seeking, but they probably won’t hurt either.

When I quit my secure job as an associate at a prestigious Chicago firm five years ago, I believed I could build a firm focused on creating opportunities for our clients, but I gave little thought to the fact that confidence came easy when I had a team and infrastructure behind me. It took me a full 18 months of “faking it” before I really started believing I was “making it.” Part of what helped me get to that point came from exactly what Reynolds describes: I recognized my accomplishments and invested in continuous education.

My only caution with respect to Reynolds’s advice is that talking yourself up is not always indicative of self-confidence. Masking self-doubt and insecurities by becoming a blow-hard or egomaniac will not likely help anyone achieve more. True confidence comes from believing in your knowledge and skills and recognizing you don’t know everything.