Think of a person you admire, look up to, or perhaps are even a little jealous of, someone you would consider successful, generally positive, or a good role model. That individual does what they do with apparent ease and confidence, from just walking down the hall, interacting with others, or being the center of attention. They are admirable and affable, but not quite arrogant. Picture your favorite sports figure – when they have all eyes on them, if they are relaxed, confident, just shy of cocky, they usually score. In the game of life, from the playing field to the boardroom, and yes, even the bedside, the likelihood of success increases with confidence.
This is a real-life translation of positive psychology at work. The opposite is also true: worrying about failure, stressing about things out of your control, especially during a critical performance period, will all increase the odds of your worst fears becoming a reality. This essential element of swagger, confidence, is also an extremely attractive quality. Once you see yourself as “it,” whatever your “it” is: leader, champion, heroic caregiver, etc., so will everyone else. Picture a large circle and a small circle that touch and barely overlap. The large circle is competence; the small one is confidence; the overlap is the sweet spot. Every task or interaction, from those thought to be private, to those with a crowd of observers, needs to display confidence; being competent is not enough.
It is true that not everyone who appears confident and optimistic always feels that way inside, but they employ simple effective techniques that help them portray that image. Over the course of time, it truly becomes part of their personality. There is wisdom in the old saying: “fake it until you make it.”