How to Tip the Confidence Scale in Your Direction

Live in your hopes and not in your fears.”
– Johnny Majors


Did you know that while statistically 90% of startups fail, the 10% that succeed all seem to have one major thing in common? An overconfident leader.


The term overconfident though seems to have a lot of negative connotations associated with it.  We tend to regard these sorts of people perhaps as egocentric.  Larger than life. Too sure of themselves. Too arrogant or just plain uncomfortable to be around.  I’m sure many would agree.


But let’s look at it another way. Yes, some – but not all – overconfident people may be like that, but most are not.  In fact, some are among the most down to earth and generous people I’ve met.


From a practical and pragmatic viewpoint, think of confidence as a scale. In order to tip the scale to your advantage you need to take the primary characteristics that breed success, hone them, and translate them into terms and actions that can be implemented at the small business level.


There are two primary requisites: Do no harm, and make sure your vision serves they greater good, and not your own self-interest.



  1. Overconfident leaders do not accept failure as an option. That’s not to say, they never fail.  Realistically we all know nothing is either black or white, and have learned to use failure as a stepping stone to success.  The difference is, that the overly confident don’t take it personally and don’t let it get them down. They focus on the ‘big picture.’ To achieve it, failure is not an option, in the same sense that there are no ‘almost’ wins.
  2. Overconfident leaders dream big. They believe Les Brown’s quote ‘“Shoot for the moon, because even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”  I believe that too. A big dream, thoughtfully executed may indeed fail, but if it does, it will take you a greater distance toward your goal.  If you think small, you’ll barely leave the ground.
  3. Overconfident leaders don’t take their eyes off the prize. They’re not deterred by those who say their goals are unreachable or by boulders that might be in their path.  Never say you haven’t the time to work on your goals because there are too many distractions. There will always be distractions and detractors. Maintain focus and persevere. At the same time, build time into your day to spend with employees and clients. Their success is vital for your own.
  4. Overconfident leaders, accept responsibility for both their successes and their failures Both inspire them to learn more and do more. I hope everyone challenges themselves to learn  something new every day.
  5. Overconfident people are comfortable being uncomfortable. While most of us find security in maintaining the status quo, they appear to embrace insecurity and aren’t afraid to live life without a safety net. That’s difficult for most of us. In terms of small business, we must learn to calculate risk wisely because although we have more to win we also have more to lose. I would encourage you to test your wings. But start in safer harbors before venturing out to sea.


I don’t believe anyone is born with a confidence gene, or that anyone can maintain a high degree of self-confidence 24/7; but there are easy things we can practice doing that will increase our confidence levels exponentially.


Try a few of these tips regularly and I bet they’ll help bolster your confidence level and help you it for longer periods of time.  Simple things like smiling more, practicing positive self-talk, standing tall, taking care of yourself physically and mentally, surrounding yourself with confident people, and making time in your day for activities you enjoy, can actually build self-confidence to the point where it actually becomes you.


Let me know how you do.



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