Vince Lombardi stated, “Life’s battles don’t always go to the stronger or faster man. But sooner or later, the man who wins is the one who thinks he can.” Much truth, yes?
Consider two interviewees who are similarly qualified. One appears uncertain or apprehensive, while the other confidently and clearly states how he will benefit the company. The “man who thinks he can” is the “man who wins”.
But for the naturally timid or the inexperienced, how do you cultivate your confidence?
Did you read the KJZZ piece about four teenagers who are blind or visually impaired preparing to hike the Grand Canyon? Check it out. What a great example of increasing confidence. The group is training on short hikes until their bodies and minds are equipped to hike the Grand Canyon.
The group is gaining confidence not by self-talking themselves into feeling comfortable, but by training. As they succeed they will grow in confidence.
Pertaining to yourself as an employee or future employee who is blind or visually impaired, here are my suggestions for increasing your confidence by increasing your successful experiences:
- Take the time to receive blindness-specific training. Prioritize learning and mastering assistive technology, Orientation and Mobility, recreation and leisure, self-determination, literacy and compensatory (calendar use, note-taking, etc.) skills, and independent living skills. If you never learn the skills and practice them into second-nature, your frustration will grow in lieu of your confidence.
- Perform a self-assessment on all skill sets related to your work, gauge your job performance, and evaluate your mental and physical health. To ensure you have an accurate self-assessment, seek the feedback of a few trusted individuals. Set goals to increase, or shall I say to train, lacking areas. Attend related conferences, take a course, obtain online research, receive mentorship, or seek professional counsel. Next, repeatedly practice the acquired skills through volunteer work or small-scale work projects. [Think, practice on local hiking trails to prepare for the Grand Canyon.]
- Strike a power pose. It has been scientifically proven that holding a powerful, confident body stance for at least two minutes will increase your confidence. Take a few minutes in private to hold a power pose when you need a confidence boost. You’ll be setting yourself up for a successful experience.
- Dress for success. Remember when I blogged about a professor who told my class to wear power outfits to look and feel successful? Yep, it works.
- Seek opportunities to train or mentor others in your areas of strength and expertise.
There you have it. If you’re lacking confidence in a particular area and that bothers you, train in that area. Can you be successful in every facet, trade, and skill? Absolutely not. Can you gain confidence in an area that is important to you, Absolutely.