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Confidence = Preparation + Courage

It always amazes me when I see someone on television holding a press conference ? a lawyer outside a courtroom, a businessperson at the launch of a new product. Reporters ask hardball questions. The answers are given with conviction, without hesitation. The person being questioned exhibits supreme confidence. Where does that confidence come from? How do they get it? What lessons are there for those of us who also have to face difficult circumstances and need that same, high level of confidence?

You may be facing a difficult task. It might be something very unpopular. It might be something confrontational. It could be something you have never done before or puts you or your business at risk. It could be that you will have to make a speech in public. It is easy, under those circumstances, to hyperventilate, have sweaty palms and jittery knees. Whether it is making a sales presentation, implementing a new project, interviewing a prospective employee, disciplining someone, or having an argument with a vendor it will go so much better if you are confident of success.

That confidence comes from knowing the outcome you want to achieve, being prepared and being courageous. It comes from the inner knowledge that you are ready for the task at hand - you have done your homework, you have practiced, and you have looked for external contingencies that might otherwise interfere with your success. Knowing you have the courage to overcome your fears and dive in to the troubled waters of difficult or unpopular tasks bolsters your confidence.

Being prepared and courageous makes it easy to be confident and take on that task so, before embarking on any new venture, create a list of all the steps necessary to become as well prepared as possible. Go over your action steps and work through them one by one. Your list might be something simple with few steps that take just a short outline or it might be complex requiring many pages of notes, instructions, trainings, many meetings and practice sessions before you have the confidence to get on that path of success. Then square up your shoulders, take a deep breath, and go out there with confidence.

Larry Galler coaches and consults with high-performance executives, professionals, and small businesses since 1993. He is the writer of the long-running (every Sunday since November 2001) business column, "Front Lines with Larry Galler" Sign up for his free newsletter at http://www.larrygaller.com

Email Larry larry@larrygaller.com for more information.

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