Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight,
or any experience that reveals the human spirit.
For more than four years I wrote a weekly column in The Tolucan Times, a local SoCal paper. Recently, I reviewed those columns in prep for a book I’m writing. What surprised me (though it shouldn’t have) is that “Confidence” was the #1 topic I wrote about. Maybe that’s why my website is The Business of Confidence!
I’ve just finished conducting an eight-week workshop at the Westwood campus of UCLA Extension titled, “How To Talk To Anyone.” Participants ranged from Millennials to Baby Boomers.
There was a lot of pain and confusion in the room the first night. Swirling about were all the issues of feeling judged and wondering,“what if I screw up, what will they think?”
There was so much self-doubt. Confidence was scattered about only in bits and pieces, as each of those first-nighters had only a vague sense of “self.”
Over the course of the eight weeks nearly two-thirds of the participants dropped off. On the last night there were only three people in the room.
Those three people – Michael, Sha and Keanna (names changed)– acknowledged they were qualitatively different from who they were on the first night of class. Each sensed feeling more comfortable in their skin, more trusting of their own voice.
While each recognizes that they need to continue to practice and hone their conversational skills, each knows that there is no going back.
The great truth each took away is –
You can’t talk to anyone unless you own your life.
You need an “I” with which to engage people.
Even though I weekly conduct workshops and seminars to businesses throughout Los Angeles and Orange Counties, during the eight weeks of the workshop I continually asked myself,
“What does it mean to be confident?”
Sure, I “know” what it means to be confident, yet there always remains an elusive dimension to confidence.
One day, mid-way through the course, while at a Starbucks waiting for a couple whose wedding I’m officiating later this summer (check out my bio for this aspect of my life!), I jotted down characteristics of a confident person.
Here’s what immediately came to mind:
A confident person. . .
- Is not threatened by people of different beliefs and backgrounds
- Does not retaliate over real or perceived injuries
- Is generous with time and knowledge
- Initiates conversations in unfamiliar settings
- Acts with the guidance of having pride in the understanding of who they want to be
- Does not live life based on “committee decisions”
- Is able to laugh at themselves in their dopey moments
- Can readily say, “I’m sorry”
Later, during the review of their ceremony, the couple told me they’d like read an excerpt from Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians, chapter 13 – yes, the classic, “love is patient, love is kind.”
I’ll admit, when I heard they’d chosen that reading my eyes did a mental roll. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard that reading. . .
BUT, later it occurred to me that ultimately confidence is a form of love – and, no, I’m not getting corny here!
If you take that classic scripture passage and switch out “love” for “confidence” then here’s a snippet of what you get:
Confidence is patient and is kind.
It is not jealous, is not pompous, and is not inflated,
It is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury,
It does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.
Confidence is a gift – to your own self and to the people with whom you engage.
Why? Because being confident allows us to CONNECT in ways deep and genuine.
So, yeah, confidence is an aspect to love!
Do you want to own the confidence that will allow you
to engage others without crippling self-doubt?
To explore how one-on-one communication skills coaching can help
you present you with enhanced confidence,
contact me at: