Confidence is a trait that can be trained

Whilst many skills and traits are argued to have an impact on performance leading to success, an inevitable trait desired by employers, jobseekers and professionals alike is confidence.

Confidence is a skill that can be trained and is comparable to a sporting ability. If a sports person lacks the skill in a specific area, under pressure they are more likely to fail as it is not their dominant practised response. However, if that person continuously practices poor technique and experiences improvements this will increase their confidence in the skill, therefore reducing the likelihood of failure under competition settings. In addition to this, if a sports person knows they have good technique with a skill, they will be more likely to perform it well under pressure as they have confidence in their ability; repeated success in the skill under competition settings subsequently increases confidence and it becomes a cycle.

The cycle of experiencing high confidence is prominent with low confidence too. It’s a dangerous sequence that could begin with a small drop in performance. This could be because of fatigue, stress, being let down by a friend or colleague, or illness. The dominant response is discouragement and negativity because of the pre-existing pessimistic mindset, which then leads to more negative emotions such as anxiety and frustration. This anxiety occupies thought processes during performance of the next task and generates more poor results which have a cyclical effect.

A common misconception is that confidence is a talent; that people are either born with it, or simply don’t have it. This is a myth. Whilst it may be true that someone’s innate personality breeds more confidence than others, it can still be progressively built in those who lack the trait.

Practice doesn’t necessarily make perfect, but if you rehearse negativity and discouragement, then pessimistic thoughts will become your dominant response and thus will be more likely to emerge during important situations.

Confidence is a trait that with the correct guidance and training can be coached to hopefully prevent pessimism and anxiety from affecting performance. Everyone is destined to experience difficulties during their career journey. For example, if two employees of similar expertise face the same difficulties and Employee A becomes discouraged by the problem and avoids it whereas Employee B is motivated by the challenge and embraces it, regardless of the outcome who is more likely to impress? Anne Taylor’s Executive and Personal Coaching provides one-to-one or group sessions to improve employee confidence. If you feel your career suffers due to a lack of confidence, and would like more information on how she can help, feel free to get in touch on 02031516830.