By Paul Malone

fear, nervous

Do you have enough of it? Would you like more of it?

Imagine all the things you could accomplish in your life if you had an unlimited supply of it!

Confidence has been on my mind lately. So much so that I am leading a workshop on confidence at the Toastmasters District 76 Annual Conference on May 11.

My next few blog posts are going to be on the topic of confidence. I have read books, listened to podcasts and attended workshops in the last few months, and I feel that I have gained new insight into what it means to be confident.

I attended a Points of You workshop led by Edvard Vondra ( Mizue Aoki ( last weekend. The goal of the workshop was to use Points of You to help the attendees gain insight on how we can develop their own personal brands.

I had never heard of Points of You before. It was a completely new experience. To quote the Points of You website,

“Our tools use the language of today’s world – the powerful language of Photos, that inspires and provokes the mind.​”

We were asked to choose from a wide variety of provocative photos to represent our feelings, our deepest true feelings, to answer questions on what our strengths are, what others think our strengths are, how we can bridge the gap between these two points.

I found that before the questions were asked I was drawn to certain photos – photos that really made me explore my feelings about how I see myself, and how, if I am completely honest, others really see me.

The photos I was drawn to were all about fear and vulnerability. I realized that I struggle with confidence on a daily basis.

I also realized that this doesn’t have to be a weakness. My lack of confidence motivates me to prepare extensively before any speech, ensuring that I do a good job. Being honest about my lack of confidence shows others that they can overcome their own battles with self-doubt.

I have come to believe that any self-doubt you have can be used to your advantage.

  1. Self-doubt will ensure that you prepare well for any challenge that you undertake.
  2. A lack of confidence will let you know that something is important to you or not. If you are not worried about it, you don’t care about it.

So, confidence is a funny thing. You may not feel confident before you do whatever it is you want to do, but let that feeling guide you. Let that feeling force you to prepare fully in order to succeed. Then, after you have done it and succeeded at it, true confidence will follow.

Paul Malone

About the author

Certified World Class Speaking Coach, Paul Malone has lived in Japan for 20 years. He works with Japanese business leaders and startups to excel in their presentations and speeches in English.

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