As a coach, I work with leaders to strengthen their effectiveness, enhance their executive presence, achieve fulfillment in their careers, and experience delight in their lives. In my work, the issue of Confidence surfaces on a regular basis. Even in the presence of what most would recognize as thriving professional and personal lives, these individuals are exceedingly hard on themselves.
I began asking myself, “If I could give one gift to my clients, what would it be?” After weeks of reflection, the notion of Confident Success came to me.
Before I share my definition of Confident Success, let us be clear that success is a relative and personal thing. Success is like a chameleon; it takes on the characteristics of the person wearing it. As individuals, we each get to design our own style of success.
We would probably agree that confidence is knowing who you are and understanding your value, even when others question it. It is the pursuit of goals with laser focus knowing that everything is possible. With confidence comes the understanding that success does not come without some degree of failure along the way and an appreciation of the knowledge and growth that come from that failure.
With that preface in mind, this is how I define Confident Success. Confident Success is the unshakable appreciation and bold exploitation of one’s self-awareness, competence, capability, and relatability.
The first component, self-awareness requires clarity of values, and knowledge of hidden strengths and blind spots. Clarity of your values will always provide a secure foundation from which to operate. Your values provide directional arrows especially in times of uncertainty. Hidden strengths are recognized by others and overlooked or taken for granted by us; understanding what they are expands our competency portfolio. Insight into our blind spots provides information about behaviors or qualities that others see in us (consistently) and we may not see in ourselves. Gaining this awareness informs our development needs.
The next component is competence. Awareness of our strengths and operating from a position of strength helps maintain a knowing that is unshakable.
Capability is about potential, thinking BIG about our goals and not minimizing our hopes and dreams out of fear or insecurity. Never having done something does not mean that you cannot do it; it simply means that you have not learned how to do it yet. You will never know your potential without taking some risks and becoming comfortable with learning from your failures.
Finally, to be relatable is to be open, approachable and vulnerable; this is the stuff from which authentic relationships are made. Early in my career, I worked with a woman, Olga Rice, who told me something that I did not understand until years later. She said, “You have to make others comfortable with you.” To be effective in your professional and personal lives you must give others the opportunity to get to know who you “really” are. You must shed your armor and become more accessible.
Honestly, I cannot say that I have always been confident in my success; and I have had plenty of it. My professional experiences shape my insights, seed my enthusiasm, and fuel my confidence. As I think about this chapter of my career as an executive coach, speaker, and author, I revel in the awareness that I am leveraging my self-awareness, competence, capability, and relatability to create success that is custom designed just for me; and it fits perfectly.
Can you say the same? If not, what changes are required to move you closer to your Confident Success?