Photo by DebAnne70 on Flickr

I am certain that you are a fairly to very confident person—how could you do what you do without confidence? However, I wonder whether you are using a bold, confidence to your best advantage. Today, I will start with three questions for you.

  1. Can you say to me with confidence “I am really good at what I do!”?
  2. Can you declare it with anyone?
  3. Would you do so with humility?

If you answered yes to all three, you have a power that you may or may not be using.

Confidence is both what you say to yourself and the feeling that goes with it. Often I work with someone for whom their confidence is waivering a bit. We identify the words of their inner voice, the current words and the threads through to an early voice. Of course, most people are easiest to report the external words that trigger a question in confidence or confirmation of confidence. While that internal and external messaging has impact, the real power is in the feeling—the one you feel and the one that lands in the other person.

Why mention humility? What do I mean? When I tell my clients and prospects “I am really good at what I do,” if I do so with humility, I set aside a sense of “specialness.” OK, I admit that I’m not perfect at the humility part. Sometimes, my ego pops into my head with “I’m really good, and I should get noticed for it.” Whats the problem? The problem is that, in most cases, an egoic underpinning infects the feeling transmitted. The feeling is what you most leave behind.

Even our subtle desire for specialness gets in the way. When challenged or threatened by a competitor or when I want to impress someone, my ego shows up in a thought or feeling (followed by a feeling or thought, respectively). So, my words may be humble, but my insides say “I’m really darn good!” And in that instant if I listen to myself closely, I can hear the fearful ego. The fear tries to assure me that it’s taking care of me, but I know from experience that it eventually hurts me.

When I was driving home last night from the airport, I saw the huge harvest moon ahead of me. And the image struck me as perfect for this topic. The face of the moon seemed confident and bold, yet humble, not trying to impress me in any way. And, the power of the moon is quiet and bold.

Take a minute right now and jot down five capabilities about which you have tremendous confidence. Tuck that self-recognition under your arm as you enter each meeting or conversation today. See if you can be boldly confident with humility as you prepare for and engage in your day.