Genuine self-confidence has a profound impact on how you’re perceived by others. The more self confident you are, the more likely you are to succeed. While positive attitudes and self-confidence are engaging, negative attitudes and a lack of self-confidence are infectious, like the flu.
Negativity sadly spreads at least ten times faster than something positive. Think of how many times you want to fill out a complaint form when you’ve had a bad shopping or dining experience. Yet when things go well, you are less likely to call for the manager to thank them or to reward one of their staff.
Being confident will help you press on through the disappointments, trials, missed opportunities and other bumps, detours, and blowouts you will likely encounter on your road to success. There are a number of things you can do to encourage self-confidence as you grow personally and professionally.
One of the keys to encouraging, maintaining, and even growing your confidence is to become acutely aware of how others perceive you. See how those perceptions line up with your intentions and perception of yourself. Then, you can set out to make necessary adjustments and assess any changes.
Curious Commitment To Growth
Stay curious and seek answers to those questions that continually pop into head. Pay attention to comments you most frequently hear or read about your performance, your attitude, your personality – in short, these are comments and observations about your walk in life both on and off-stage, as well as in and out of the recording studio.
Create an anchoring phrase that defines why you are seeking more information about common comments or feedback you most often receive. Your phrase might be as simple as “I just want to see if there is really anything to this.” It might be: “What can I do to address this issue?” The anchoring phrase or statement helps you to step back a bit emotionally so that you can as objectively as possible receive and process information.
Resources for gaining further information are your friends, mentors, and any others whose opinions you genuinely respect. Avoid the tendency to beat yourself up with ridicule or puff yourself up with flattery when you know it’s a touchy issue that needs attention.
Five Types of Feedback
Feedback will likely come in several general areas: physical, vocal, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual. A physical comment might be something like, “You never make eye contact when you sing” or “You have a tendency to look down when you’re upset with yourself.” Physical comments could be related to obvious issues such as fitness, grooming, and the image you project. And don’t dismiss the positives. You might hear, “I love the way you move when you sing.” In a case like that, ask what specifically they like. This helps to reinforce that positive.
Vocal comments can run the gamut from “I can’t understand the words” to “I love your voice.” When someone compliments your voice, thank them, and ask them, what are some things that touched you or moved you about my singing? If it’s a comment about your speaking voice, you might ask what sort of things they could imagine you reading or performing. This will give you a specific to help further validate the positive comment. Specifics also help to validate or dismiss feedback that’s negative.
Comments that may sound negative initially can actually become a positive when it triggers growth in some way. For example, if someone says they don’t always understand the last word or two of a phrase when you’re singing, then you become more aware of the issue. It can then be checked out and addressed.
Emotional comments are tough because the national impulse is to get defensive, or become really emotional. Remember your anchoring phrase so that you can process the comment as objectively as possible. You might hear something like, “I can never tell if you’re excited or happy or if you just don’t care.” A comment like that needs to be framed first; is the comment about your live performance, studio work, or your everyday reserved attitude?
It’s important to understand the point of reference as specifically as possible before you put together an action plan to address any feedback you get.
Spiritual is a more deeply, intimately personal area to consider. It lives very close to emotional perceptions and feedback. Handle these as your faith and beliefs and spiritual or religious community lead you. Obviously if you’re a gospel singer, new age, or contemporary Christian, this will more like be a factor that can be encouraging and sometimes disheartening.
Intellectual feedback is often dismissed for reasons that seem closely tied into spiritual feedback. In other words, you’ll hear things like, “Well that’s just what they think” or “That’s just what they believe.” The feedback that is most critical is a comment that challenges you to think more deeply or more clearly or to consider new ideas or fresh material.
What You Think Is What They’ll Feel
What you think about something often translates into what you and others will feel. Think about an idea in a sing or a phrase that you think is incredible because it says something you think is so true or so deep or whatever. What you think will help deliver that phrase with feeling that triggers feelings and thoughts in others. This applies to the songs you sing, your rants and raves, compliments you pay and complaints you register.
Always refer back to your anchor statement when assessing any action you’ve taken as a result of feedback and comments you receive. Ask yourself, how have I changed this? What results have been generated? Is it working, or is there more to do here? Is this a non-issue?
To help you stay grounded and to avoid getting too down or too high on yourself, have one or two people that you meet with periodically to review your assessment and processing of comments and feedback. These people will serve as an additional filter and will help you keep things in perspective. They’ll be able to positively reinforce your commitment to growing more confident.
This approach will help you stay committed to self-improvement and always staying on top of your game. The very nature of this approach invites communication, connection, commitment, and confidence.
A Few Quick Tips To Stay Upbeat
A few other tips for confidence building include writing a one-minute monologue that hammers home your strengths and your career goals in quick, specific bullet points. Think of it as a commercial, one of those quick teasers that TV shows like 20/20 and Dateline use to get you to stay tuned. Share your monologue with others. Use it for self-talk to boost your spirits, invite a smile, and just plain make you feel good about yourself and where you’re headed.
Another key to staying confident and positive is to be grateful. We’re not talking about a general feeling. Once again, be specific. Give yourself time each day to jot down a quick list of everything you have that you’re grateful for.
Periodically cite any successes, unique talents, positive changes, and healthy loving relationships you cherish. This is especially helpful when you hit plateaus in your career or personal growth. It can do wonders to fight the blues, even if singing the blues is your forte.
Finally make it a habit to purposely look for the good in others and offer positive feedback. Be specific and truthful in the compliments you pay. By looking for the good in others, you bring out the best in yourself.