I love talking with readers of my blog and newsletter and, if I can, always give a reply. Sometimes the questions I am asked are too complex to give a full response in which case I’ll often refer them to something I’ve written or a good book on the subject.
One question I am asked with regularity is what is your top tip for confidence?
It’s deceptively easy and equally as hard. No one is bursting with confidence all of the time. I heard the ex president of Ireland, Mary McAleese, in a recent radio interview saying her shyness often led her to stumble in her early days of public speaking.
The thing with confidence is that you have to find it for yourself and take responsibility for finding it. It can’t be given to you. That said, parenting, friends, coaches, courses, books etc can all help, but in the very last resort it’s you. You are in charge of your life.
Confidence comes with practice, with trying out the things that you feel fearful about. Mary McAleese did not let her shyness stop her having a very public career. She practised speaking in front of a mirror, she put herself in for debates, and she conquered her fear. Her mantra was I can do this, not I’ll look stupid, or fail.
And so can you! You will get it wrong a few times but so what? The world won’t stop spinning on its axis and you’ll have learnt something valuable about yourself. Resolve to take responsibility for your own development and do what you can do, as often as you can. Be inspired by other women and their success but don’t be intimidated by seemingly effortlessness stories of success; they are rarely the full picture. They had to start somewhere too and you can start right now!
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Posted on August 16th, 2013 by Jane