The Crippling Confidence Conundrum - 9th March 2018

If you’re not the person who’s the loudest in your group of friends, don’t confuse that with a lack of confidence. Confidence is not about being the storyteller or joker, or the person who makes fun of other people and oozes self-importance.

In our world, sales, people often believe that only super-confident, outgoing people can do it. However, some of the best salespeople are not loud people who always want to be the centre of attention. A simple definition of confidence is ‘A feeling of trust and firm belief in yourself or others’, and you can learn confidence as you learn competence. When you’re taught how to do something and have the chance to practise it repeatedly, you see improvements and get better results. You then start to believe in yourself more and become confident.

Learning how to drive is a great example. When I first started, I had no confidence in what I was doing at all. It was quite frightening and I could not believe that it was possible to control three pedals with two feet while steering, watching the road, being aware of other drivers’ movements and navigating my way through unknown roads, never mind indicating, checking mirrors and chatting to my fellow passengers as I did all that. I lacked any confidence because I was incompetent.

Once I’d passed my driving test and had been driving for a few months, I was 100% confident in my ability to drive safely. I had learnt to be confident because I had become competent.

You can do the same with most things in life and certainly in sales. Don’t let a lack of confidence stop you from learning new skills. You’ll build the confidence as you learn how to do things better – you’re not just born with it.