There are two types of confidence we all want to find:
Situational confidence is when you are considering your specific abilities in a narrowly defined context, such as doing a presentation, meeting new people at a party, or going to an interview. These are about what you are doing, not who you are.
Self-confidence is the trust and belief you have in your judgements and abilities.
We need both to progress and enjoy ourselves in life, but how do we go about it?
Situational confidence is at the heart of Toastmasters. It’s when regardless of your speaking skills, your background or your past experiences, you can improve your speaking. This is because situational confidence is best enhanced by competence.
It’s very difficult to feel confident doing something when you haven’t yet grasped the technical skills necessary to achieve it. But situational confidence is not an on or off switch. It’s very much a spectrum.
The advantage of this is that wherever your starting position, as long as you are in an environment that is conducive to learning, and are given the framework to guide you, it opens up the most important contributor to situational confidence…
Competence is the by-product of practice. Situational confidence is therefore focused around working on the foundations, the basics, the steps you can take to keep putting one foot in front of the other and growing in your skills and your experience.
The benefits of developing situation confidence is that it lends itself to improving self-confidence too.
As you become more proficient with your speaking, you perform more tasks, receive constructive feedback, and continue practicing, you gain more evidence of your abilities.
The more evidence you have to show for your abilities the more you begin to believe you can do bigger and greater things. This is why Toastmasters may have the outcome of improving your speaking skills, but the radiant consequences of this is you build your own self-confidence.
Of course there are many other practices, coaching, mentoring and self-help techniques you can use to accelerate this process, but at its core they are on the same track.
If you would like to build situational and self-confidence, focus on one skill, get the basics, practice, reflect and seek guidance from those more experienced than yourself, and all the pieces will start to fall into place.
Keep an eye out for future informative and educational posts from Danny Greeves in the future.