Actress Katy Perry has said, “If you’re presenting yourself with confidence, you can pull off pretty much anything.”  Mark Twain said, “All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence…then success is sure.”  Rosalynn Carter, former First Lady, takes it one step farther by saying, “…You have to have confidence in your ability and then be tough enough to follow through.”

Leaders from all walks of life seem to agree — confidence is an essential ingredient of success.  To help you become more confident, here are 12 things NOT to do:

  1. Don’t make excuses.  Confident people believe they can make things happen.  They share a common trait…self efficacy.
  2. Don’t quit.  The word “quit” is not in the dictionary of confident people. Confident people try and keep trying and try some more because confident people see failures and problems as obstacles to overcome, not impenetrable barriers to success.  They don’t, however, keep trying the same thing over and over again…they keep trying to figure out what and why something went wrong and then how to fix it.
  3. Don’t wait for permission to act.  Confident people see what needs doing and do it. Instead of asking, “Can I?” or “Should I?” confident people ask, “Why wouldn’t I?”
  4. Don’t seek attention. Confident people are masters of attention diffusion.  They don’t crave approval or praise for themselves because they believe in their own self worth inside themselves. Confident people also shift focus off themselves to the people who have helped them accomplish what they have.
  5. Don’t need constant praise.  Confident people have their own barometer.  They know that dependence on praise from others isn’t confidence at all…it’s narcissism.  And they also know that however well they perform, there will always be someone out there who will outperform and/or criticize them.
  6. Don’t put things off.  Confident people don’t procrastinate or sit around waiting for the right time or circumstances.  They know that today is the only day that matters.
  7. Don’t pass judgment.  Confident people know that everyone has something to offer regardless of what that something is.  They know they don’t have to degrade or condescend another person to feel good about themselves.
  8. Don’t avoid conflict.  Confident people see conflict as an ever-present constant and as something to manage effectively, not as something to be pushed under the rug.
  9. Don’t let lack of resources get in their way.  Confident people either find a way to get what they want/need or else they figure out how to do without it.
  10. Don’t allow themselves to feel too comfortable.  Confident people know that a little discomfort is a good thing.  Feeling comfortable is likely to lead to complacency which leads to stagnation.  Feeling a little discomfort leads to pushing beyond their comfort zone and stretching their skills and boundaries in order to reach new levels of proficiencies and new goals.