04 Jul 2015 19:24 IST

Know how confident you are

A quick guide to assessing one’s capabilities

Confident people have a greater chance of success because they believe in their capabilities. So, confidence is actually an outcome and is not something that can be developed independently.

The first step to becoming confident is to evaluate one’s capabilities in an objective manner. In other words, look at the capabilities you possess from a third person’s perspective and assess the following:

Competence or minor skill?

Is it truly a capability or is it a minor skill? For example, a person who knows typing might consider it a capability whereas it is only a skill.

More important, even this skill has relevance only in a certain context. If one were to consider this an important capability and build their confidence on the same, it might not be sustainable as this would not be relevant or useful in a majority of occasions and situations.

How relevant?

Is the capability relevant and useful? Communication is a good example of a capability that is relevant and useful.

This is also based on a variety of skills but the ability to consolidate all these, in terms of written communications, language skills, etc., in communicating effectively becomes a strong capability.

Once this reality check has been done and you have a list of your actual capabilities, you need to assess whether you are really as good as you consider yourself to be. People who feel that they have a good capability to communicate but are weak in English or are shy obviously cannot consider this a strong point.

Having done this exercise of assessing and identifying your capabilities, the next step is to consciously put them into practice in everyday situations. This will give you a chance to test your capabilities, improve them and also help you believe in them over a period of time.

Believe in yourself

The last step towards confidence building is to truly believe in your capability and not be discouraged in the face of any adverse outcome or feedback. Although such feedback and situations should be used to improve these capabilities, it should not undermine the confidence that has been built up in yourself.

Confidence is a habit — an important perspective that is often ignored. This means a person needs to be consciously confident in thought and action, and especially in body language. Only then will it become ingrained in the psyche and become a habit.

This will help to project confidence to others around you and that is an important aspect of success. The main reason why confident people have a greater chance of success is because others around them trust and believe in them. This can happen only when you trust and believe in yourself, which needs to be rooted in your capabilities and should become a habit.

Guard against over-confidence

However, a word of caution: It is very easy to shift from confidence to over-confidence as a thin line separates the two. While confidence is the belief and trust in your capability to handle a situation, over-confidence is the wrong belief that only you can handle the situation.

This can arise from various reasons but, most importantly, from a wrong perception of one’s capabilities. Guard against this and be careful against slipping over this thin line and becoming over-confident.

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