During the last few weeks, I rode with my 18-year-old son as he practiced the drive to St. Mary’s University. We are delighted he decided to attend his studies here in San Antonio. However, the school is about 26 miles from our home, and he needs to drive on highways to get there.
So … yes … as parents, we are a bit nervous.
A New Start
As I speak to Aaron about university life, he is ready to go …
“I’m ready to get started! This is exciting! I’m confident I will do well.”
I remind him he must maintain a 3.0 or above to keep his scholarship, and he responds …
“Dad, that will get done!”
To be transparent, I barely cleared a 3.0 during my undergraduate studies, so I have some reason to be concerned. Of course, it’s unfair to make this comparison with my son, as he performed well in a college-prep Catholic high school.
I share this story with you because it exemplifies the importance of confidence.
Here are situations where confidence is lacking …
- “I’m not going to apply for that new position because I do not have the experience. Honestly, I am not ready for rejection.”
- “I was asked by my boss to make a presentation to the executive team, but I am scared I might make a mistake. I’ve never been a good public speaker, so it’s best if someone else makes this presentation.”
- “There is an opportunity at our church to lead a ministry, but I don’t have the time. I’m also not interested in having to organize meetings. With my luck, people will quit, and I will have to do most of the work.”
Do it Anyway
There is a general tendency, by most people, to avoid challenging situations. It’s far easier to pass up on something difficult to do rather than to go for it.
I agree that we must be careful regarding how much work we assume. However, if we are constantly doing the bare minimum, it won’t be long before we are at the back of the line.
To build confidence, my recommendation is to look for opportunities to lead, whether in the workplace or personal situations. When we lead a group, our mindset changes.
We are no longer thinking about what is not possible … rather, we stretch our minds and efforts to make things happen.
The next time there is an opportunity to lead, step up and take the role. You might lack some of the skills needed, but you can learn on the job. You will soon discover that confidence is one of the most important attributes of a great leader.
During one of the drives with my son, he talked about what he wanted to do when he graduated, and he even talked about the possibility of pursuing a doctorate.
This is yet another great leadership quality … act as if there is no doubt in your mind that you will succeed.