Future ACES is a nonprofit organization that runs a weekend conference for young teens to enhance their confidence, shape their character and develop their leadership skills.
I’m delighted to speak to the students each year about how to develop their public speaking skills. I’ve spoken seven times over the past nine years. It’s challenging speaking to teens – especially when my usuall audience is composed of mangers, professionals and executives. Talking to the teens has made me a better presenter because I had to adapt my style to be more flexible and interactive.
Speaking at Future ACES is rewarding becuase I’m impressed with the good work that they do for students – and I’m glad to contribute to the betterment of our future leaders.
These teens come from a mix of cultural, racial and economic backgrounds.
As an instructor it’s my responsibility to teach and inspire them. Yet, I leave with an renewed sence of motivation every time. It’s curious how helping others can pay us back with renewed motivation.
You can not succeed until you posses the confidence to succeed. You must believe in yourself. (Yes I know that sounds cliché but it is true.)
You need the confidence to sign up. You need the confidence to drive yourself to prepare. You must have the confidence to believe that you can win. You must have the confidence to compete when family and friends doubt you. You must have the confidence to believe that you belong in the room with the other contenders. You must have the confidence to fail and get up again. You must have the confidence to work past the pain that screams stop.
Business, sports, or even social venues the same analogies apply.
Just think of all the scary things you would attempt if only you believed that you would succeed.
If you want to succeed, you need to find more confidence.
What can you do to feel more confident?
First, give yourself permission to have doubts. That is normal. A person who has no self doubts might be insane. But, your clients and competitors don’t need to hear your inner voice.
Second, give yourself permission to strut even when you might not feel that confident. If you look confident – people will believe you are confident and treat you accordingly.
Third, build small wins that make you feel good. Keep a record of those successes to boost your confidence because confidence builds on confidence. You don’t go from zero to 100 in one step. It’s a series of steps and wins over time that build your confidence.
Fourth, be willing to fail. Don’t bet the farm on long shots. Instead take small risks that test your abilities as compared to the competition. Enjoy the wins and learn from the failures. The failures also prepare you for the uncertainty of long term success. You need the failures to teach you to heal quickly.
I believe that your realistic appreciation of failure can be your biggest boost to self confidence.
The more self confidence that you feel the more you will push yourself. The result of that will be two things – more failures and more success.
If you are willing to live with that mix of results the better for you.
I’ve always found this song from Queen uplifting. Curious that one supporter of the Hamilton Around the Bay 30k Race played this every year for the runners.
It scares me just to watch this video of these teenagers rappelling down the side of this waterfall – and it looks incredibly exciting.