Growing up as an only child did not prepare me for the dynamics of parenting multiple children. Sibling bantering was alive and well in our household on a daily basis. As a young mom, I remember my oldest son Jordan constantly doing what he did best – unmercifully teasing his younger sister Heather. He wasn’t belittling or bullying her; he was doing what siblings do; he was trying to get her goat.
It worked. Heather broke down and started crying…every…single…time. This was a constant loop she found herself in; she was teased, she got her feelings hurt, she cried. I wanted her to fight back and toughen up. I almost wished she had punched him in the face; spoiler alert – she ends up doing one better, read till the end.
Baseballs and Eggs
One day I lost it. I snapped. I was tired not so much of the incessant baiting but of seeing Heather wither away losing all confidence in herself. I grabbed her by the shoulders and took her into the kitchen. I had a baseball in one hand and an egg in the other. I violently dropped the baseball down, and it did what baseballs are designed to do – it bounced and bounced then it rolled across two rooms.
The egg didn’t fare as well. I dropped it and as expected; it splattered – all over the floor. I spoke pretty strongly to Heather and said, “Look, young lady, you have a choice to make. What do you want to be in life, do you want to be a baseball that hits the ground and keeps on going, or do you want to be an egg that falls apart and splatters all over the place?”
I’m asking you the same question, “What do you want to be, a baseball or an egg?”
Baseballs are the epitome of confidence. They are built to withstand tremendous pressure; it’s in their makeup to bounce back regardless of what whacks them.
Enough books have been written on confidence to fill multiple libraries; it’s a subject people make more complex than it actually is. When broken down, confidence is uncomplicated; it’s simply knowing who you are and having the ability to figure things out. Essentially, confidence is a leadership trait that can be developed and is a close friend of highly successful people.
“Real confidence is simply having the ability to genuinely express who we truly are and to pursue things that we truly desire.” – Brendon Burchard
Have you ever watched a truly confident person enter a room? They project a commanding presence and exude composure and self-assurance. Standing out in a crowd, they possess a rich mixture of conviction, poise, and authenticity. When they speak, people listen. Some would call this executive presence. People with executive presence radiate confidence.
So how do you build confidence?
1. Set a Strong Intention
Choice is a superpower. You build confidence by choosing to set a strong intention. Every day you get to decide how you want to show up in life. Setting strong intentions establishes the tone for who you are and what you want to accomplish. It takes courage to decide to grow your confidence muscles; be intentional about your decision and then take steps forward each day.
Key to setting and sustaining strong intentions:
- Look deep inside. Know who you are and then choose what type of energy you want to project to yourself and to others. Do you want to be encouraging, vibrant, empowered, motivated or inspired? Decide to show up with powerful energy every single day. Your energy will soon become self-sustaining and define you.
2. Develop Composure
Composure is a powerful character trait and one that epitomizes confident people. Regardless of what is going on around them, confident people remain calm and are in control of their emotions. Not only do they know how to manage their emotions, they also have the pulse of others and whatever situation they find themselves in. They excel at maneuvering through unpredictable situations and remain cool under pressure.
Key to developing composure:
- Choose one element of emotional intelligence a month and focus on enhancing it. Self-awareness is a great place to start. Add the other skills monthly: self-regulation, social awareness, and relationship management.
3. Build Your Skill Sets
There is a tight-knit relationship between confidence and competency skills. Strengthening your skill sets positions you head and shoulders above the crowd. Developing your competencies will always boost your confidence. This is important because people read your confidence as a sign of your competence. The stronger you feel about your skill sets, the more confidence you will project.
Key to building strong skill sets:
- Make an honest assessment of your skills in each of the following areas: soft skills, critical thinking skills, and industry skills. Look to fill gaps in areas you can improve upon.
4. Be Decisive
Can you think of a strong leader whom you admire that is wishy-washy; always indecisive and not able to make strong decisions? It’s not a leader I’d like to be or one I’d follow. Confident people convey purpose and direction. When faced with difficult decisions, they gather as much information as possible then make sound judgments based on their heart, their head, and their gut. They don’t dawdle, waiting until everything is perfect to make a move – they take action and plot their course.
Key to being decisive:
- Recognize when you hesitate to make decisions. Is the fundamental cause fear, perfectionism, or anxiety. Identify the root cause and ask yourself, what is it costing you to be indecisive? Know that you are capable to make solid decisions and move past your obstacles.
Find Your Own “Inner” Baseball
I’m happy to report that Heather is a very strong-willed, assertive adult today that truly projects the confidence and resiliency of a baseball. She decided early in life that she didn’t want to be an egg and took my words to heart, or mouth.
One day, shortly after the baseball and egg episode, I heard shouting coming out of Jordan’s room. This time it wasn’t Heather crying; it was Jordan. He was screaming, “Mom, Heather just bit me in the butt!” Knowing Jordan would be just fine it was all I could do not to laugh. Inwardly I was like, “Way to Go Heath!” She ditched her egg mentality and found her “inner” baseball.
You don’t have to bite anyone in the butt to become a baseball and elevate your confidence levels. Start by deciding to increase your confidence then add the ingredients of skills, composure, and decisiveness. No doubt you too will find your “inner” baseball and pursue the things you truly desire.
Rita helps her clients:
• Embrace their true potential
• Change their limiting beliefs/thoughts
• Create Purpose
• Live Empowered, Confident, and Successful Lives
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