The most beautiful thing you can wear is confidence

Bold, assertive and competent leaders always seem to exude a level of confidence that sets them apart. This is often referred to as the X-Factor. Why do they have more confidence? Where does it come from? After all, confidence isn’t something that’s taught in school. It’s not something that someone can just give to somebody. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. Instead, confidence is a personal skill (trait) that each and everyone one of us has the ability to develop by doing a few simple things I refer to as the “confidence loop”. It’s a simple four-step process that only requires a commitment on our part. I assure you this isn’t rocket science and it’s probably not even an original concept, but it is a series of steps that have helped me exceed my personal and professional goals for over 35 years. 

Step 1. Courage – It doesn’t matter what you are doing, you won’t be very good at it the first time you try it. That fear of the unknown, looking foolish, or being mocked by our peers is the biggest hurdle we face pursuing courage. Combine it with the silly notion of “don’t take a risk” that has been ingrained into our subconscious since we were kids, and you can see why fear, weakness, and lack of confidence far too often derail our drive for actions. However every time you decide to try something new you chip away at the walls you’ve built up. In fact, you begin to overcome all of your fears when YOU make a decision to TRY something new. When YOU make a choice to be different. When YOU take the first step even though you know it’s going to be difficult and you may even fail, YOU have shown courage and you are becoming different than the herd.

2. Consistency – it’s easy to be good at something for a day, a week, or even a month. If you want to develop a level of confidence to be great, you need to develop a consistent routine (commitment) and reassess what you’ve done every 30, 60 180 and 365 days. This requires honestly evaluating your process to see if you are producing the desired results you seek. If not have the courage to blow up your routine and consistently work toward it again. Everything worth doing requires each of us to maintain a level of consistency that will produce our desired results. You can’t have a false set of expectations, you can’t cut corners or tire of the process. Stay involved, contact others doing similar things. Talk with them about worked for them. Don’t be afraid to reach out, they’ve been in your shoes. Don’t overestimate your abilities or underestimate the amount of time it’s going to take either. Prepare for the long haul but progress by the day… Every day.

3. Competence -I promise as you consistently work through your process you’re going to become frustrated, tired, and feel like quitting over and over again. Don’t quit! All of those things are slowly turning you into a master, a winner, a boss. Every failure, every emotional breakdown, every single thing along the way toughens you and educates you… All of the pain is making you competent in your field. Competency is EARNED as a result of the confidence you developed getting started and the consistency you applied to the process. The more you do, the more you grow, the more you learn how to get things done. 

4. Confidence: the X-Factor – there’s nothing secret about this. The X Factor is nothing more than going through this emotional loop and naturally building toward what you will become… a better more confident version of YOURSELF. When you get to this stage you no longer need validation. You no longer feel the need to sell, everybody, a product, you have the confidence to be more selective. The confidence you’ve developed will also bring more depth and substance to you as a person who will drive you to achieve even greater success. When that happens, you take that next step outside of the comfort zone you just mastered and repeat step 1 … Courage .. and so on…

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