When I am interviewing potential employees, one of the traits that I look for is confidence. I'm not referring to hubris or arrogance, but someone who understands their ability and is not afraid to use it.
With the college football season just starting, it reminds me of a revealing story my good friend Lou Holtz told me when I helped bring him in to coach the University of Minnesota football team back in 1984.
"I was at a convention just after taking the job at North Carolina State," Lou said, "and I was talking to Wayne Hardin, who was coach at Temple."
Hardin asked, "Lou, do you think you're the best coach in the country?"
Lou answered, "No way. I'm not even in the top ten."
"Well," Hardin said, "North Carolina State hired you because they think you are. If you don't act like you are, you shouldn't even be coaching."
Joel Hawksley | The Grand Rapids Press
Confidence doesn't come naturally to most people. Even the most successful people have struggled with it in their careers. The good news is that you can develop confidence, just like any muscle or character trait, if you're willing to work hard. The better news: These tips can help you strengthen your confidence. Here's what to try:
One of the greatest violinists of all time was Nicolo Paganini. Born in 1782, he had a long illustrious career before his death in 1840. One day as Paganini was about to perform before a packed opera house, he suddenly realized that he had walked out on the stage with a strange violin in his hands - not his own treasured instrument made by the master violin maker Guarneri.
Panic-stricken, but realizing that he had no other choice, he began to play with all the skill he possessed. Everyone agreed afterward that he gave the performance of his life. When he was finished, the audience gave him a standing ovation.
In his dressing room after the concert, when he was praised for his superlative performance, Paganini replied, "Today, I learned the most important lesson of my entire career. Before today I thought the music was in the violin. Today I learned that the music is in me."
Mackay's Moral: Your mind is your most powerful ally in developing confidence.