Available for the time being
This just out in the paper version of Reader's Digest. It is a great write-up on Confidence. I found it of worth to write about. I present to you the essence of this interesting piece.
All of us struggle at some point in our lives. Herein ends the similarity. Some will go on to be winners while a great many have to accept defeat. 'Loser' is a derogatory way to put it. So what makes some of us winners and more than half of us losers? Confidence is the key.
Rosabeth Moss Kanter author of Confidence: How Winning Streaks and Losing Streaks Begin and End has narrowed the definition down to: 'Confidence is the expectation of a positive outcome.' She is a professor at Harvard and in her own words: "Confidence makes you willing to try harder and attracts the kind of support from others that makes 'winning' possible." How does one boost his/her sagging morale?
Praise others (this one's for bosses)
A little bit of praise (maybe flattery) does wonders. Words are powerful - a hint of scorn or praise can affect performance. In an interesting experiment, Harvard researcher randomly placed students in two groups labelled 'High-potentials' and 'Low-potentials'. Interestingly, those denominated as successful ...infact were. Body language says a lot too. Kanter commonly suggests failing businesses to refurbish the workplace. Appropriate surroundings automatically enthuse people to live up to high standards. And Kanter also doesn't find 'a good haircut' or 'personal grooming' frivolous. "You don't do those to dazzle someone...but to build confidence." So bosses reading this should remember - A few well-chosen words is all that's needed for 'victory'.
Pep yourself up
Have you observed athletes talking to oneself? Well, that is just what's required - and keep those words positive. Nothing can be more self-destructive than a negative self-assessment. Pepping your ownself may prepare you better for competition. Kanter practices what she preaches. She makes a deliberate effort not to show foul mood, if ever she is in one. She makes concious effort to smile and work harder. She also advises to coach oneself to create confidence. A good way is to exude satisfaction even in little things in life such as joining a book club. "These feelings are contagious." Start today and practice, practice and practice.
Though she is a much sought-after consultant, she doesn't let her success interfere in her day to day activities. She says that she is almost always over-prepared for any lectures. She doesn't waste any free time to revise details of any such meetings. She rehearses even during travel.
Choose 'Confident' friends
Kanter advises to avoid individuals who sap your energy and confidence. Steer clear of them. Hang out with people who see you at your best. Pessimists and critics drag you down. She tells us also to avoid 'gripe' sessions unless it is absolutely necessary and 'you agree to be part of the solution'. Confident people have a sense of control and they show it.
Make setbacks a pedestal, not a loadstone
Get up and walk after every fall rather than whine and nurse your wounds. Don't whine. Don't whine. Don't whine. She also has a word of caution though. If you suffer a major loss, take some time to absorb the blow. One should not deny hurt or try to solve the problem immediately. Ignorance to misfortunes could sometimes lead to bad decisions. Seek friends and loved ones for support when you are in the doldrums. The idea here is not to be stoicic but to be as human as possible. In simple terms: if you are too emotional following a stressful situation, postpone decision-making for a while. You may come up with better solutions when you have regained your composure.