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“Self-Confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings.” ~ Samuel Johnson

Last week, I was talking with a friend who asked my advice on how she could be more confident in the recommendations and decisions she gives at work.  Our conversation made me reflect back on those times when I felt most confident with my ideas, decisions and actions, and those times when I felt least confident.

The times when I showed confidence, which I define as “contagious conviction”, people believed in me, rejoiced with me, and gave their wholehearted support and commitment. In many occasions, they actually led to victorious moments.  In my first job as an account manager in an IT multinational company, I delivered my first internal presentation to our senior sales management team with so much conviction, I remember getting an enthusiastic applause and many “well done” remarks.  When I progressed and became a regional sales and business manager, in another multinational company, I started engaging senior leadership teams of our regional clients. My confidence during client presentations and negotiations carried me through tough and complex situations and led me to many successful deals – and a successful regional management career.

On the other hand, the times when I doubted myself – and showed that – were the times people doubted me too. Consequently, the “buy-in” and support would be half-hearted and tentative, and the results would take longer or would take a different path, and worse, would turn unsuccessful. There was a study from Carnegie Mellon’s Center for Behavioral Decision Research, which showed that confidence would win over accuracy when it came to earning the trust of other people. The research, by Don Moore of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, showed that “we prefer advice from a confident source, even to the point that we are willing to forgive a poor track record. Moore argues that in competitive situations, this can drive those offering advice to increasingly exaggerate how sure they are. And it spells bad news for scientists who try to be honest about gaps in their knowledge. I do not encourage at all being overly confident, as I believe in remaining authentic. Authenticity is a key aspect in gaining and radiating confidence.

Be H-A-P-P-Y: the Formula to Radiate Confidence!

Stay Hungry to learn and excel. Accept who you are. Project well. Practice consistently. Remain authentic and true. The result: You radiate confidence. Literally, when you are HAPPY, the world rejoices and celebrates with you. You standout due to the positive and contagious aura you radiate.  Such confidence and joy within you and around you will then lead you to greater undertakings in life!

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