Self Confidence is a Myth-No One Really has Enough!

Posted by in Books, How the Top 10% Do It!, Self-Management Strategies for Optimal Performance

One of the most common reasons I hear salespeople give as to why they cannot connect with the high-level decision-makers in an organization, why they cannot ask for the appointment, why they cannot make prospecting calls, why they cannot ask for the order and so on, is because of a lack of self-confidence. It is important that you know, that self-confidence is a complete myth—it has nothing to do with your success!

I developed a model in 1995 that has stood the test of time. As you move through it, you will realize why self-confidence is a myth and why it has little to do with your, or anyone else’s, success.

I speak at meetings for an organization that is comprised of a group of CEOs, that meet monthly across North America and Europe. At some point during the session, I will ask the group of usually sixteen or so, “How many of you have as much self-confidence as you need?” Never has a single hand been raised. But, when I ask, “How many of you feel fear, doubt, and insecurity a good portion of the time?” every hand goes up.

What’s the difference? Highly successful people can tolerate the feelings of turmoil and fear incited by taking the next step. They have a high threshold and tolerance for fear and they are willing to feel uncomfortable and be rejected. So, let me take you through the path to success. This is the path of those who are profoundly successful despite their fear.

You first need passion to combat any fear. Now, passion is a two-thousand-year-old Latin word. It comes from the Christian Passion of the Christ, and it means a willingness to suffer and die for your cause. Likely, you will not be asked to suffer and die but let’s take, this term a step further. The definition of motivation or passion is the willingness to push past your discomfort and do what needs to be done to build your sales business. In simpler terms, it is the willingness to feel uncomfortable during the process of achieving a goal.

First, we feel passion. Then we tap into courage; show me a courageous man or woman and I’ll show you a successful one. Conversely, if you show me someone waiting to be confident before they take the next step, then I’ll show you someone languishing in the outfields of life. It is indeed unfortunate to have that much talent stifled by the need to feel confident beforehand.

Courage is simply the willingness and ability to act despite fear, doubt, and insecurity. It means you have a threshold for discomfort, are willing to take imperfect action, and then are capable of testing and modifying your actions. Do this repeatedly and guess what? You become competent, which will take you much further than waiting for confidence.

My fellow salespeople, what we really should be searching for is competence; only then can we flirt briefly with self-confidence. I say self-confidence is a myth because the truth is that none of us has enough. If you show me a person who says, “Yes, I’m confident,” I ask, “What is the next risk that you should be taking in your personal or professional life?” Soon, they say to me, “OMG, I get it. You’re right; I have been waiting to feel confident before taking the next step.” Those who become self-confident only do so because they are stuck in a comfort zone. In that comfort zone, of course, you either must break out or stay as you are. If you’re not living on the edge, then you’re taking up too much room.

You will experience success faster if you strive for a place where you are outside your comfort zone, where you begin to feel uncomfortable, because you feel trapped in a lull. The best question to ask yourself is:

“What would I do today if I had more courage?”

To tap into courage, you must first pass through the gate of fear. First, there is fear; passion and courage will overcome fear any day! The truth is that everything you want, at least anything good, is on the other side of fear. Good luck on the journey through fear, as you take charge of your life and achieve your goals.

This article is an excerpt from my upcoming publication:

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Sara Haynes, P. Eng.
Sigma Solutions

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