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#10 – Exude Confidence, not Cockiness

thumbs-up-girl-for-printThis is the grand finale, and I’ve saved the best for last.  It’s all about confidence!

Without a strong dose of confidence, none of the other self-promotion strategies even have a snowball’s chance of working.  Confidence is the foundation upon which all else is built.

However, don’t confuse cockiness with confidence.  There can be a fine line between the two, but it’s easy to see when someone crosses the line.  One will hurt you, and the other will help you.  Guess which quality is an enormous turn-off, and which one is a turn-on?

In this 10-part series on self-promotion, we have explored ways to promote yourself through verbal messaging, actions and activities, and now through demeanor.  Your overall presence.  A self-confident person does not need to broadcast their self-assurance to the world, fly a plane to write it in the sky, or get it tattooed on her forehead.  A truly confident person just oozes confidence, and it’s obvious to everyone.

Confidence, not cockiness, is what’s attractive and makes people take notice.  People are drawn to confident people, they want to follow confident people, and they want to be like confident people.  Confidence can be hard to define, but you definitely know it when you see it.

Without confidence, it’s nearly impossible to muster up enough bravado to promote yourself.  It doesn’t mean you need to feel 100% confident about everything you’re doing, but you need a certain level of confidence about what you’re promoting.  Otherwise, it comes across as inauthentic and disingenuous…and, you better believe, people can tell the difference.

The self-motivation mantra, “If you believe it, you can achieve it” is all about confidence.  Confidence is not something you can buy, nor is it something you can borrow…true confidence comes from within.

So, what does it take to be a confident woman?  If you look at highly successful and confident women, they share a lot of similar qualities.

Confident women…

  • listen more than they speak
  • proudly shine the spotlight on others
  • recognize when they need help and ask for it
  • don’t try to be men
  • are not afraid to look silly
  • are not afraid to be wrong
  • own their mistakes and move on
  • think “why not me?” instead of “why me?”
  • don’t feel threatened, only inspired
  • surround themselves with smart people
  • don’t make others look bad to look good
  • only seek approval from those that matter
  • don’t suffer from the “disease to please”

Confidence is not something you’re born with, it’s something you build.  It’s something you work on and  cultivate throughout your life.  Every time you overcome an obstacle, you build confidence.  Every time you rise to meet a new challenge, you build confidence.  And every time you achieve a lofty goal, you build confidence.

When a toddler is learning how to walk, there are a lot of tears and skinned knees.  However, every time that toddler walks a little farther without falling, her confidence grows until eventually she’s not only walking, but running.  As a mom, there is nothing like seeing pride and confidence escalate within our children.  And we know it’s nothing we can give them, they have to earn it themselves.

Children learn and grow at an alarming rate, and so does their confidence.  As adults, we have a tendency to get very comfortable and complacent.  We need to remember that exuberant feeling of accomplishment and actively seek out greater challenges.  Instead of shying away, we need to pull on those big-girl panties and say “I can do it!”

Whether it’s saying yes to a project you’ve never done before, agreeing to deliver a presentation to an audience larger than you’ve ever seen before, or managing a conflict with a co-worker you’ve never encountered before.  With every new experience, with every new step, you gain more and more confidence.

With genuine, inner confidence you don’t always need to “tell” everyone how amazing you are, and you don’t always need to “show” them…you just “are” amazing, and everyone knows it.

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