When you hear the word confidence, what does it make you think of?
In our years of leadership coaching, we’ve shared plenty of ideas about what confidence is, but also addressed some of our clients’ questions about what confidence is not.
Confidence is not an elusive concept. It’s not something we think other people have. It’s certainly not something we have to pretend to have or to fake our way through. We don’t have to psych ourselves up to get it, and we certainly don’t have to go through life (or leadership) without it.
Confidence is a certain set of skills based on a rock-solid, impenetrable foundation and plenty of practice.
This rock-solid foundation is the key to confidence. It’s what the whole idea of building your confidence muscle depends on.
We like to call this foundation the 5 Cs.
We’ve written before about why confidence is the key to letting things go, but now we want to make sure you know how to do it.
How to Be More Confident with the 5 Cs
The 5 Cs, when combined, mastered, and practiced, can open the door to confidence and help you lead with your own wellness first. That, in turn, will help you lead more authentically, and more effectively.
So, here are the 5 Cs:
As you strengthen your communication, clarity, connection, community, and courage, you will begin to see that unshakable confidence building up around you. That’s your impenetrable foundation. Here are some tips to strengthen each of the 5 Cs:
1. Improve Communication
When stress is communicated through words and actions, it’s almost always unhelpful, but it can be hard to spot because it looks different to everyone. As a leader, if you speak in a way where everyone feels heard and understood, you will be able to alleviate some of this stress and create opportunities for growth.
Do you know how to read and respond to people’s different reactions so they feel heard and understood? You can start to improve the way you listen and speak to yourself to others as a crucial first step toward building confidence.
2. Gain Clarity
Clarity can be especially difficult to see clearly when you’re stressed or overwhelmed.
An obscured view can lead to impaired judgment and poor decision-making. We all know that. So, do you have a way of helping yourself and the people you lead? In particular, can you help them:
- See a way forward
- Feel more secure when faced with a crisis or challenge
If not, you may need to find some clarity in your life. To get there, you can start with deep self-reflection to uncover what your values are and what your mission statement is. Unearth the foundation of you and grow more confidence from there.
3. Deepen Connection
Connect to your needs, the needs of your team, and to your own sense of purpose to increase work satisfaction and performance.
Do you connect your needs to your work so you feel great about your contribution? If you’re in a leadership position, do you do this for your team? Connections are essential to confidence because it deepens our why. Otherwise, we’re just going through the motions.
4. Build Community
Developing authentic, trusting relationships will help you create a balance between respecting personal boundaries and remaining open. This will promote collective health and wellness, and it will feel amazing once you’ve mastered it. How could a heightened sense of community in the office contribute to collaboration and motivation? If you focus on building community, your confidence in the support system around you will likely flourish.
5. Move Forward in Courage
Doubt and fear hinder progress. Moving forward with confidence requires courage — the courage to commit to your vision and speak truth in a way that creates understanding rather than guilt. How could you use a little courage to adjust and re-align yourself to better fit your values or vision?
Confidence is like a group of muscles that we exercise over time. As long as you’re taking the 5 Cs to heart, addressing them as equal parts, and practicing as much as possible, you won’t lose strength.
Love this? Sign up for our free course: 4 Foolproof Steps to Communicate Better with Your Team to discover how conscious leaders can do better in the face of mistakes, misunderstandings, and miscommunication.