At Flair, we’ve put such focus and attention on building confidence in our clients, that confidence has become the through-line of our vision and strategy. Why such a fuss? At the core, confidence is the belief in oneself, plus confidence impacts how we behave and how we are received.
Flair believes an appropriate amount of confidence is attainable by all. We hold it in high regard because its’ range creates a self-fulfilling or self-defeating cycle:
- People with high self-esteem behave confidently. They value themselves, recognize their own strengths and positive qualities and are at ease with who and what they are. This promotes additional confidence because they are happy with their life. Others respond favorably to this, allowing the individual with high self-esteem to feel even more confident and to lead others to mimic them.
- On the flip side, people with low self esteem look at themselves negatively, which creates self doubt and holds them back from reaching their full potential. People around them respond to their hesitancy with concern and doubt, further enforcing the individual with low self-esteem’s belief that they aren’t performers.
The following three examples demonstrate there is a range of confidence, from “that athlete sure is confident” (translation: what an arrogant jerk), to a performance review stating, “you lack confidence” (translation: you need more presence and a take-charge attitude when you run a meeting), to the brazen, “Wow, that takes confidence!” (Translation: it takes courage and tenacity to climb the mountain, speak up against the naysayer, and/or stop a bad decision). The performance review examples shows a lack in the desired amount of confidence, and the athlete example indicates abundance, tipping confidence into a negative territory.
In his INC Magazine article “Without Confidence, There is No Leadership, Self-confidence is the fundamental basis from which leadership grows. Do you have it?” Francisco Dao states “Self-confidence is the fundamental basis from which leadership grows. Trying to teach leadership without first building confidence is like building a house on a foundation of sand. It may have a nice coat of paint, but it is ultimately shaky at best. While the leadership community has focused on passion, communication, and empowerment, they’ve ignored this most basic element and in the process they have planted these other components of leadership in a bed of quicksand”.
In Flair’s quest to build leaders with confidence and presence, we ponder:
- Can you teach yourself, your kids or co-workers to have a healthy dose of confidence?
- Do your thoughts impact your confidence?
- Do the clothes you wear help?
- What does confidence get you?
We acknowledge that confidence comes from several sources: from within yourself, from others and from your achievements. As stated earlier, confidence impacts how we behave and how we are received. If you believe in yourself, get positive feedback from others and know you gave your best effort, you are more apt to feel confident the next time a similar situation arises.
According to the Mayo Clinic, “positive thinking doesn’t mean that you keep your head in the sand and ignore life’s less pleasant situations. Positive thinking just means that you approach unpleasantness in a more positive and productive way. You think the best is going to happen, not the worst”.
The good news is you can teach yourself to be a positive thinker, a great place to start is with self-talk. “Self-talk is the endless stream of unspoken thoughts that run through your head. These automatic thoughts can be positive or negative. Some of your self-talk comes from logic and reason. Other self-talk may arise from misconceptions that you create because of lack of information”. (from the Mayo Clinic article “Positive thinking: Stop negative self-talk to reduce stress”).
By looking at situations more positively, you will create a more optimistic outlook. Three quick fixes include:
- identifying areas that you typically think negatively and find something good,
- when you feel your thoughts going negative, try to immediately put a positive spin on them,
- seek out positive people who will be supportive in your quest.
The Clothes You Wear:
Flair absolutely believes that style can have a positive change on you internally. Our first five years of business were solely focused on building the external confidence of our clients. We focused on body shape, colors to compliment skin tone, and creating a clothing rotation that allowed our clients to always dress their best without settling for lower quality just to have more outfits.
As a certified image consultant, I am constantly stopped, emailed or texted with: “I nailed that presentation in the statement outfit you selected for me”, “my husband said I looked beautiful …and he hasn’t said that in a while”, “I was invited last minute to a swanky event and I knew exactly which dress, shoes and jewelry to pull out of my closet”.
When you have an outfit that works, you regain the swagger in your step. That’s when you look better. That’s when you feel better.
When you make a little more effort for yourself, you may find yourself smiling more, eating healthier and staying on your diet longer. It’s infectious. Your effort also impacts those around you. They begin to notice the difference and want to start behaving more like you. Think about it, the more confident you are, people take notice, pay attention and listen harder, which in turn makes you more credible, impactful and believable. This is when style helps you up the corporate ladder.
Confidence Benefits You:
Flair believes it is worth the time and energy to build your confidence and presence, because they impacts so many aspects of your work, family and faith:
Work – All aspects of corporate America revolve around confidence. It enhances the ability to be promoted, increases your ability to perform, plus you receive greater job satisfaction in a job well done, thus you are more apt to stay at your employer.
Family – As your confidence grows, you are more accomplished at work, thus less work needs to come home. You become more present at home and more engaged with your family, friends and community. You also are offered greater opportunities to build financial wealth due to being promotable/hirable. This financial engine can then be used not only for your family, but the benefit of serving others.
New Opportunities – Your confidence and positive attitude allow you to take on new challenges, even those that seem difficult because you are less fearful. Your past successes propel you forward. You’re open to new ideas because you worry less. This doesn’t mean you take incalculable risks, but that you are more open to look at new goals and improving circumstances.
Faith – Your confident will also encourage you to share your belief system. As you continue to keep track of what you are grateful for, many recognize there was Divine assistance, thus typical byproducts result in a reduction in ego and sharing the praise.
At Flair, we have the great fortune of working with existing and future leaders. By building their confidence and presence in the workforce, we have the double pleasure of witnessing how their confidence grows in their personal life and expands out to their community. We hope you will try some of the above suggestions to continually increase the confidence in yourself! Please contact us if you would like Flair to come speak or provide a workshop to your organization.