ORLANDO, Fla. – On a scale from one to 10, how confident are you?
Ninety-three percent of people believe self-confidence is key to professional success. Yet, 85 percent of people struggle with confidence issues.
Can you learn confidence? Can it be taught in your 20s, 30s, and even 50s?
The answer is, it’s never too late. Just take it one small step at a time.
Associate Professor Leilani Carver Madalon, Ph.D., at Maryville University, explained what her students really want in her ted talks.
“I asked my students, what do you want to learn every semester? And over and over and over, I heard, I want to be more confident,” said Madalon.
She uses a simple approach that anyone anywhere can try.
“What I found is to increase your confidence, you have to take small risks that are outside of your comfort zone,” Madalon said.
Think of it as building a confidence wall.
“So, you take a small risk, it goes well. You add a brick, you take another small risk, and it goes well. You add a brick, you take a small risk. It doesn’t go well. You don’t die, you survive. And then you add another book. But it has to be outside of your comfort zone,” Madalon said.
Some simple ways to build your professional confidence wall are going to networking events, teaching yourself tech, whether it’s the latest chat AI or how to create an effective TikTok, and interviewing for a job you think you’re not qualified for.
“If you qualify for 50 to 60 percent of that job, you should be applying. Over time it creates this wall of confidence and you become more comfortable with different situations.,” she said.
Most importantly, remember, how you talk to yourself matters.
“I think the most important person you communicate with is yourself. What you say to yourself matters hugely. We have this little voice in our heads. So, if your voice in your head says, wow, that was really stupid, I can’t believe you said that. You literally have to correct it and say, no, everybody says something stupid. Or everybody does something stupid. I’m human,” Madalon said.
To combat negative thoughts, spend a few minutes each day saying mantras to help you create a powerful image.
“Those things over time make a huge difference in your confidence and who you are,” Madalon said.
Building up your confidence can pay off in all life aspects. People with low self-esteem earned an average of eight thousand dollars less per year than people with high self-confidence. A big reminder that investing in your self-esteem will pay off in more ways than one.