Unwavering might be one way we like to describe ourselves, but let’s face it—humans aren’t rocks. And even the strongest oak trees will blow a little in the wind. In business and in life, there are going to be bumps in the road. But don’t let them slow you down.
Brian Tracy is chairman and CEO of Brian Tracy International, a company specializing in the training and motivation of individuals and businesses. On his blog he talks about leadership, and the ability to go over and around those bumps in the road.
“One of my students recently asked me, ‘How can I be a confident leader in uncertain situations? Does it come from your personality or is it learned?’
My simple answer to that is…
Yes. Having certain personality traits does help your self-confidence. But, self-confidence is a habit that can be learned.
Maintaining your self-confidence as a leader in unsure or defensive situations does not have to be difficult. You just have to know how to go about the situation in the right way. What makes a good leader is being confident and the practicing the right habits.
High Self-Esteem Is Essential
The first habit you should practice to maintain an unshakeable self-confidence in any situation is having great self-esteem.
The best definition I’ve heard of self-esteem is, ‘how much you like yourself.’
When you like and respect yourself, you always perform and behave better than if you did not.
The more you like yourself, the more confidence you have. The more you like yourself, and believe in yourself, the more efficient and effective you are in each area of your life.
Self-esteem is the key to handling yourself the best way possible as both an individual and a leader.
Live Life Consistent With Your Values
Living your life consistent with your deepest values is essential for high self-esteem.
People who are clear about what they believe in and value, and who refuse to compromise their values, like and respect themselves. People who are unclear about what is really important to them have a much harder time.
The ‘Law of Reversibility’ says that feelings and actions interact with each other. If you feel a certain way, you will act in a manner consistent with what you’re feeling. However, the reverse is also true.
If you act in a certain way, your actions will create within you the feelings that are consistent with them.
This means that when you act as if your time is extremely valuable, you feel like a more valuable and important person.
Practice Courageous Leadership
Another way to build up self-confidence for handling any situation is to continuously practice courageous leadership qualities.
All of life is a risk of some kind.
Whenever you engage in any action where the outcome is uncertain, for any reason, you are taking a risk.
You take a small risk when you drive to work or walk across the street. You take a larger risk when you start a business or invest a sum of money.
You take a risk whenever you venture into the unknown. Your possibilities and probabilities cannot be determined to an exact degree.
The issue, then, is not whether you take risks. The issue is how skillful you are in taking them. Being confident and courageous in taking the right risks for the right reasons puts you in pursuit of the right goals or objectives.
Take Intelligent Risks
The goal is to become better at analyzing and assessing risk, and then avoiding as much of the risk as possible. Once you are, the more competent and capable you will become at maintaining your self-confidence in uncertain situations.
One of the very best ways to develop your ability to take intelligent risks is to consciously and deliberately do the things you fear, one step at a time.
You don’t have to leap out of an airplane without a parachute. Simply practice resisting your natural tendency to slip into a comfort zone of complacency and low performance.
Take any fear that you may be experiencing and treat it as a challenge or as an opportunity to grow and to become a better person. Face the fear, control the fear, master the fear, and continue to move forward regardless of the fear.
This is the mark of a confident and fearless leader.
Admit To Your Shortcomings
Lastly, being a self-confident leader doesn’t mean you’re always right or even have to be right in the end.
Leaders need to be courageous, but they also need to be open to the idea that they could be wrong. There are many leaders who eventually fail because they refuse to question their own assumptions or conclusions.
Don’t get caught up in your ego.
It makes you a much more courageous and confident leader when you admit to your shortcomings. If you made a mistake or a bad decision, be honest with yourself and with others to admit your wrong doings.
There’s a difference between being confident and blind.
Maybe you are not wrong. Opening yourself up to that possibility, though, is going to make you a more confident leader. It will open your mind to new ideas or new thinking or new solutions to the uncertain situation.
Grow Through The Insecurities
Remember, new opportunities and experiences can be just as exciting as they are scary. Growing through the insecurities is what shapes you into a confident leader. You just have to continue practicing the right habits."
—To read more from Brian Tracy, go to www.briantracy.com.