I have spent the last few weeks working with many truly inspiring and talented people, yet I hear the same word time and time again ‘confidence’ – in the context of – lack of it!

I can’t deliver a presentation as I don’t have the confidence ….
I can’t leave my job although I’m unhappy, because I don’t believe in myself …
I can’t change what I do as I haven’t got the confidence …..
I can’t contribute at meetings because I can’t speak up in a group ….

And so on ….

Collins dictionary tells us that confidence is ‘the feeling or belief that one can have faith in or rely on someone or something.’  Well that someone or something is YOU. Confidence is not something we can be given as a gift, it is something we can develop ourselves through belief in our skills, talents, decisions and who we are in this world and having the ability to take moderate risks and step outside our comfort zone.

Sometimes harder said than done, but as research suggests, confident people are more successful, perform better at work and are not being held back by limiting beliefs.

Take steps to increase your confidence and notice the difference – how you feel and how others act towards you. Some initial steps using an Appreciate Inquiry approach:   (AI – Cooperrider, D.L. & Whitney, D., “Appreciative Inquiry: A positive revolution in change)


Spend time to reflect on what helps you to feel confident eg being financially secure; dressing smart; feeling valued. Ensure these are then part of your future goals.


How you want to be, how you want to act, behave, communicate. What impact you want to make, what you want to really achieve – visualise this and keep a reflective  journal with images to remind you


Provocative statements that reflect what you want to achieve to fulfil your dream e.g.

  • I will be strict with myself every time I hear a negative inner voice saying you can’t and the ‘what if’s’– I will turn it into a positive
  • I will pay attention to my body language – open gestures and positive core – straight back, relaxed facial expressions and good eye contact
  • I will talk positively about other people (be kind) and avoid spending too much time with negative people
  • I will set myself goals to change a few things eg change my routine in the morning, try something new eg a new hobby, new hairstyle
  • I will keep an eye on my daily fitness and healthy eating – which helps me to feel good


Set clear actions and commitments (short, medium and long term goals) remember – small steps and tiny tweaks – lead to big changes.

Read some of the theorists and other views on confidence. Check out Harvard Business Review’s article (published 2014) from Rosabeth Moss Kanter on ‘Overcome the eight barriers to confidence’.

Let’s end this article with an inspiring song lyric from Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music:

you can sing along !

I Have Confidence 

(Lyrics thanks to http://www.metrolyrics.com/i-have-confidence-maria-lyrics-the-sound-of-music.html)

What will this day be like?
I wonder.
What will my future be?
I wonder.
It could be so exciting,
To be out in the world,
To be free!
My heart should be wildly rejoicing.
Oh, what’s the matter with me?
I’ve always longed for adventure,
To do the things I’ve never dared.
Now here I’m facing adventure
Then why am I so scared?
A captain with seven children
What’s so fearsome about that?
Oh, I must stop these doubts,
All these worries.
If I don’t I just know I’ll turn back!
I must dream of the things I am seeking.
I am seeking the courage I lack.
The courage to serve them with reliance,
Face my mistakes without defiance.
Show them I’m worthy
And while I show them
I’ll show me!
So, let them bring on all their problems,
I’ll do better than my best.
I have confidence

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