According to the Melbourne Newsroom, “The old saying ‘fake it until you make it’ might actually be sound professional advice, with new University of Melbourne research finding self-confidence is a key determinant of workplace success.”
However the million dollar question, quite possibly literally, for your small business is, “Why?”
What makes self-confidence so important? Anyone who has taken their automobile to the wrong repair shop has experienced the answer.
As soon as the service writer at the counter begins to hem-and-haw about the myriad of various possible reasons for the knocking coming from under the hood and explaining that they “might probably, possibly, if the planets are in alignment, and your pocketbook is at least as deep as the Grand Canyon, fix your car… temporarily.”
It’s like a good barber; as with a good “confident” mechanic: When you find someone who knows what they’re doing, not only do you stick with them, you recommend them to your friends, family, and co-workers, too.
Self-Confidence Tied to Self-Esteem
Merriam-Webster says self-confidence is, “confidence in oneself and one’s powers and abilities.” The definition of self-esteem is similar, and reads “a confidence and satisfaction in oneself.” Any small business owner or manager worth his or her salt must have a modicum of each.
Consider the inverse of self-confidence. A lack of self-confidence would of necessity be closely tied to a lack of self-esteem, and, at least to some degree, a disbelief in your own abilities or worth. Carelessness has no place in small business management; there is even less room for a lack of confidence or self-esteem.
Confidence and Success
There have of course been skeptics as to the nature of any causal relationship between self-confidence and success. A paper written by Roy Baumeister of Florida State University was highly critical of other studies and called into question whether doing well leads to self-esteem, or if self-esteem leads one to do well.
In essence the argument here becomes “which came first, the chicken or the egg?”
Both scenarios require that all-too-necessary ingredient – and the small business owner/manager looking for success must absolutely have a goodly amount of self-confidence, no matter what the beginning balance in the checking account is.
Real World Application
In real world application, there are always obstacles. Having self-confidence and self-esteem by no means is a silver bullet to kill off any problems or issues. It’s simply the foundation under you, which will provide the needed support to the specific skill-set you bring to the table. According to an article in Forbes, confidence is one of the key ingredients of leadership.
“As the leader, by staying calm and confident, you will help keep the team feeling the same,” says writer Tanya Prive. As the lead dog on the sled team you set the pace, direction, and atmosphere for the team following in your footsteps– and that beats being the dog behind the lead dog, whose view never changes.
Believe in Yourself
Over-confidence has its dangers. The self-confident person, who has a well-founded belief in his own personal expertise, must also be in touch with his limitations. Believing you have the ability to do something, and actually having the capability to accomplish the task are not always the same.
In fact, these two positions can often be worlds apart. How many “strong swimmers” die each year because they didn’t feel the need to wear a life jacket on the boat? There is a fine line between self-confidence and arrogance. Believe in yourself enough to put your best foot forward; be in touch with yourself enough to know when to ask for the expertise of another.
The bottom-line for any small business person is that without self-esteem and self-confidence there will probably not be a bottom-line to worry about for very long. The long days of analyzing the tasks at hand, the hours necessary to accomplish them, and the funds designated toward the cause, must first have that all important belief that the labors will produce a reward.
Are you wavering on the borders of self-belief and self-doubt? Say it with me everybody: “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.”