Confidence is a powerful and effective tool for success. Unfortunately, many of us struggle finding it, let alone nurturing to help it grow. Through my career, I have learned how to embrace confidence – adapting to change and taking challenges in stride. In 2015, I wrote a book on the power of confidence for a more successful life, The Pillars of Confidence.
The idea was born from my experience volunteering as a big sister with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. It was such an impact to meet these young children, particularly my “little sister,” a 12-year-old girl with no self-esteem or confidence. I was immediately struck by her insecurities. I, too, had tons of self-esteem issues growing up. So, when did that change?
What happened to me?
It struck me that confidence needs to be nourished and developed and that we don’t often consider it to be something we can control. How could I help this little girl embrace who she was? I wanted to be a resource for her, to help her know how bright and unique she really was. I went to a bookstore to search for tips and tricks to help boost her confidence, but I was never able to find a clear message. There seemed to be no straightforward ways to increase confidence. Sparked from that relationship, and my frustration at the lack of resources available, I began to reflect.
How did I find my confidence?
I realized I could attribute my confident nature to three categories – and that’s where my concept for The Pillars of Confidence was born. Everyone can control their level of confidence, and it starts with knowing the foundational pillars: your core values, your inner voice and your outer brand. Knowing where you are succeeding and where you are lacking is a significant part of understanding the path to a more confident you. Stop being critical and start embracing yourself in a positive way.
When you decide to be confident, you are.
Sometimes, confidence can still fail you. Knowing how to fight through those moments of insecurity is just as important as knowing how to foster a more confident you.
In times when I haven’t been my most confident, just portraying an air of confidence has helped to open doors. For me, “fake it till you make it” has been a life-enhancing mantra that overpowers even the worst cases of Impostor Syndrome. You have to portray the direction you want to go until you can catch up to it. Challenge your insecurities. Being able to confidently present yourself in leadership settings will open doors and foster growth and opportunity in so many ways.
Take control of your inner voice, know your core values, and be strong in your outer brand. Be a confident YOU – it can be learned.
About Tamra Gaines
Tamra Gaines, CMM is Vice President of Experiences and Events for a trade association of credit unions. She has almost three decades experience in the meetings and hospitality industry currently serving on the board of VisitMcKinney, in McKinney, Texas. Tamra can often be found speaking on topics that motivate and inspire others. She can be reached at Tamra (at) TamraGaines.com or tamragaines.com.