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Tackling the Third ‘S’ of Winning: Self-Confidence

By Felipe Villarreal - Alian Plastics


By Felipe Villarreal | CEO - Thu, 12/09/2021 - 13:57

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"The 3 S’s of winning in business are Speed, Simplicity, and Self-confidence." Jack Welch.

In my last two articles, I wrote about two “Winning S’s:” Speed and Simplicity. In this article I am focusing on the third: Self-confidence

As the Dalai Lama aptly put it, “With realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.”

Wikipedia also provides an interesting description: “Confidence is a state of being clear-headed either that a hypothesis or prediction is correct or that a chosen course of action is the best or most effective. Confidence comes from a Latin word, 'fidere,' which means ‘to trust;’ therefore, having self-confidence is having trust in one's self.”

I mentioned in my previous articles that we are living in a complex environment, from a health and business perspective, and today, in November 2021, I can say that it is even harder and more challenging than before to prepare business plans and strategies considering what the business world is facing: very complex supply chains, price increases in different materials and commodities, multiple shortages in the automotive industry, and another 1,000 etceteras. There are so many variables that disturb our brains and sometimes leave us believing that there is no light at the end of the tunnel, that we must step back, breathe and believe in ourselves, really care about our potential and have a positive belief in our skills and attitude. At the end of the day, this is what self-confidence is.

With our current political, macroeconomic business and health environments, to mention some, it is not easy to be confident in yourself, and even harder if you are self-critical or if other people put you down or don´t believe in your vision and strategies. Trusting in your own judgment, capacities and abilities, valuing yourself and feeling worthy, regardless of any imperfections or what others may believe about you, is what self-confidence means.

Self-confident people demonstrate attractive characteristics: they inspire, trust, and build confidence in others.

As Mark Twain aptly put it, “A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.”

People who lack self-confidence are less likely to achieve the success that could give them more confidence. We weren’t born to be persons who don’t approve of ourselves; we were born to be successful leaders, successful parents, successful human beings. Confidence can make you more motivated and ambitious, less anxious and stressed and it is more likely to drive performance, career growth and work relationships.

And you may wonder, how do I assure I am a successful human at work, at home, in life? In my opinion, it is simple, or sounds simple: Have the confidence to leave behind what makes you comfortable to try new challenges, while always doing the right thing despite what others might think of you; focus on your strengths and learn from your mistakes, It’s difficult to accept failure, but failure can influence how you apply your skills in future trials, while on the other hand, focusing on your strengths can help you boost your confidence, as it requires you to measure your success and abilities.

Think about the characteristics you see in a person who you may think is very self-confident, such as the way they interact, the way they speak and the level of energy they transmit to you. What do you not have that those people do, and would you likely be willing to start working on yourself to gain some of those characteristics? And even more interesting, how can you even improve those characteristics and behaviors of others in yourself?

Finding business success is dependent on having self-confidence. Imagine yourself speaking to a potential, big customer and trying to get them to know your company without showing enthusiasm or energy, and without knowing your own stuff, products, or markets. I might say that would be the last time you talk to that person. You can show self-confidence in your behavior, your body language, and in what you say and how you say it. Opportunities occur maybe just once in a lifetime and there is a right way to take advantage. But you need to feel self-confident to make it a success.

Do self-confident people feel fear? Of course! The difference is how this fear is managed and how it gets evaluated in the situation to find the best way to tackle it.

Self-confident people also don’t necessarily have broad knowledge of every single subject. Instead, self-confident people learn about the subject they need to handle or work on, and in doing this they become self-confident. Remember that one good method of learning is to ask questions, analyze the answers, then ask questions again. Ask, ask and ask.

No matter how challenging the situation becomes, a project can be successfully developed its leader has enough self-confidence. It would not be wrong to say that self-confidence comes with experience. With time, self-confidence develops because you must deal with different problematic circumstances over time. For example, in our case, developing a new project in the plastic injection industry, where tooling designs, development and manufacturing take months, whether for mid or large tonnage machines. Development of a new project is so critical and precise that the entire time and all parties need to act with engineering intelligence and speed, and there is always a need for a person with enormous self-confidence, who knows what needs to be done to get things done on time and at the best quality and cost.

The world is changing every day, and it will continue moving faster and faster. Put your self-confident hat on. Put the self-confidence hat on your team, and as Jack Welch aptly put it, “Change before you have to.”

Until the next time. Keep Safe!

Photo by:   Felipe Villarreal

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