Confidence is an expectation of a positive outcome. It is not a personality trait; it is an assessment of a situation that sparks motivation. It’s not confidence itself that produces success; it’s the investment and the effort. To muster the confidence to meet your goals, avoid these common traps:
• Goals that are too big or too distant. Leaders often like to say they want to tackle BHAGs — “big hairy audacious goals.” But having only enormous goals can actually undermine confidence. Confidence comes from small wins that occur repeatedly, with each small step moving you closer to the big goal.
• Blaming someone else. Confidence rests on taking responsibility for one’s own behavior. Even in difficult circumstances, we have choices about how to respond to adversity. When the blame game is carried out within companies, everyone loses confidence, including external stakeholders. Confidence is the art of moving on.
Adapted from “Overcome the Eight Barriers to Confidence” by Rosabeth Moss Kanter.