One of my best friends admits that sometimes she tells us facts which she isn’t 100% sure are true (you know who you are!!), but she says if you “say it with confidence” most of the time people will automatically believe you.
I…on the other hand…do not have this skill. Instead, I tend to preface everything thing I say with “I am not really sure but…”, “I’m probably not right, but” or “Shoot me down if I’m wrong…”. I like to think this makes me a very open minded and honest person…after all, I want to be humble, accepting of other people’s opinions/ideas and authentic about who I am. I know I have a terrible memory, so there is actually a high likelihood I might be wrong…
Which is all well and good but, quite frankly, at work I’ve noticed this can get me into a lot of trouble. I’ve noticed how other people always seem to be crystal clear about their thoughts and ideas. I wonder why I’m doubting myself when everyone else seems so sure. And then it suddenly occurred to me that maybe, all they are doing is simply “saying it with confidence”…so I believe them.
The thing is, why open yourself up unnecessarily to people questioning your ideas and opinions? In my case, usually the things I am talking about are things (at work at least, outside of work..hmm..lets just say you wouldn’t want me on your Trivia team) I have researched heavily, or have gained knowledge from my experience. I have thought it through and come up with a strategy or thought. So…I don’t need to preface what I am saying with all the question marks, infact, it is doing me damage.
I think I do it because deep down, I have a fear of failure, a fear of looking silly, a fear that maybe I’m a crazy imposter and soon everyone will figure out that I ain’t really got what it takes. But actually all I am doing, is making other people doubt my opinion. Making them question my decisions…after all, why wouldn’t they when it appears I am questioning them myself!?
So…this week I am going to practice saying it with confidence. If I’m 95% sure, I need to back myself. And if someone else thinks differently, or challenges me on my direction, that’s OK…I can explain my decision making if I need to and I still reserve the right to be open minded and change my decision if I get new information.
Of course, you can’t really use this strategy if you really don’t know what your talking about. My friend…gets away with slightly faking her facts sometimes, mostly because usually, she is pretty spot on. So if she thinks something is true (even if she can’t actually remember whether it is correct or not), she backs herself that it is probably right.
Confidence…I’m going to fake it till I make it.