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  • Dr. V. Brooks Dunbar

Think you have confidence? Show your work with these 4 tips

Updated: Apr 22, 2019

Confidence and competence are not equals. Confidence requires initial action and ongoing resilience before competence enters the equation.


Confidence is an actionable skill. It is not something you sit on or wait for. It takes action and strategic reaction to build confidence. Confidence in action is exhibited through beliefs and behavior. Begin to build confidence by putting in the work and consciously pushing aside any trepidation about the outcome.


Start to move forward by putting the internal and external confidence building systems and supportive people in place who create necessary optimism and help build the courage to take actions when the skills of self-confidence are not yet in place.


I heard broadcast journalist and producer Soledad O’Brien refer to this as “Fake it until you make it.” I prefer to call it borrow it until you make it. That is, lean on others’ examples and borrow successful practices until you can create and develop your own.  

In a previous post in this series, I gave four tips to help individuals close the competence to confidence loop. They are:


(1) ACTION: Take action to gain access and ownership. Decide to act when you are more than 50% towards your goal. Act to gain access into the discussion room and to move to the head of the decision-making hierarchy,


(2) PERFORMANCE: Invest in personal and professional development, building hard and soft skills that will allow you to continue to grow, adapt, and reach your fullest potential,


(3) RESILIENCE: Accept failure in order to build resilience across ever-changing environments and situations, and


(4) SUCCESS: Take time to acknowledge and celebrate life and success.

When self-confidence is not yet in place, borrow until you make it. That is, lean on others’ examples and borrow successful practices until you can create and develop your own. 

How to Develop Confidence with Action


Action is the most critical step and the one step to which the others are dependent. Action is also critical for gaining access to the (1) skills, (2) resources, and (3) relationships you need to move closer to your goals. 


Skill development includes personal development. Don’t wait for others to define your personal strengths and challenges. If your employer, professional association, or memberships aren’t offering, then self-fund professional development opportunities. I recommend personality assessments, interpersonal relations and communications training, and social skill development.


Resources include gaining access to education, materials, products, and communities of practice that support your field(s) of interest. Use best practices, benchmarks, and research to become an expert in your field and customize these resources to better service your niche market and help distinguish yourself as an influencer.


Strategic relationships emerge and more doors begin to open when your actions demonstrate your level of professionalism, expertise, and service to the industry. It is up to you to develop strategic relationships that expand your business presence, marketability, and profitability.  Remember, people prefer to do business with people they like.


Relational Confidence Survey: Take the survey HERE  

The Center For Confidence, LLC is currently conducting a survey to better understand if individuals are confident that their career relationships are moving them closer to their goals.


Dr. V Brooks Dunbar

Facebook: @DrVBrooksDunbar

@TheCenterForConfidence

Twitter: @DrVDunbar

@cent4confidence

Instagram: @DrVDunbar


#CenterForConfidence #Competence #Business #Leadership #HerConfidence #ConfidenceZones #UnapologeticDecision #NeverSecondGuess #NoRoomForDoubt

#relationalconfidence #HerConfidence #Entrepreneurship


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