As millennials looking to remain visible, the subject of confidence forms a major part of visibility and the basis of our personal and career development. Confidence or the lack of it thereof can affect our growth positively or negatively.
As we invest in our personal development, confidence is one of the critical qualities or skills we need to nurture.
Mastering confidence provides vast benefits and ultimately helps you to maximize your skillset and increase your earning potential.
As a young professional, business leader or business owner, being able to deliver excellent pitches, presentations and suggestions to management, clients and investors is a test of your confidence.
One of the ways by which we can develop our confidence is to read and learn from self-help books that speak to the topic. One of the books that have come in handy in my quest to develop my confidence is “7 Secrets to Greater Confidence” by Ghanaian Author, Selorm Dey published by Buabeng Communications.
As a Chartered Accountant with many years of experience in the Auditing and Finance industry, Selorm shares his thoughts on confidence. He shares his experiences, lessons and other defining moments that helped him to develop his confidence and positioned him for career growth and leadership opportunities.
In “7 Secrets to Greater Confidence”, Selorm expertly employs anecdotes, concepts, biblical principles, theories and other valuable insights that have proven to be beneficial in his journey.
Perhaps the most pivotal moment for him was a story he shared in his introduction. As a young undergraduate at the University of Ghana, Selorm developed a keen interest in student politics and decided to vie for the position of Hall President. As characteristic of politics, aspirants were expected to prove their leadership abilities when given the mandate. Developing an effective campaign strategy meant embarking on intense door-to-door campaigns, distributing fliers, granting radio interviews and developing a manifesto that would appeal to the university body amongst other things, all in a bid to win the minds of the electorates.
Selorm recounts that his inability to be assertive and employ effective public speaking skills cost him the opportunity to become the Hall President. This experience taught him the pivotal role confidence plays in achieving success. This journey helped him to discover seven proponents to building confidence.
The 121-paged yet to be launched book is explained in thirteen chapters and divided into three parts. In part 1, he unravels the concept of confidence and demystifies certain notions and misconceptions, analyses and evaluates the cultural perceptions and other internal and environmental factors that contribute to a person’s confidence. He also expounds the benefits of building confidence.
In part 2, Selorm shares the seven principles that have helped him develop this singular trait and propelled him to success in leadership. Confidence he believes goes in tandem with leadership and other relevant skills.
Part 3, talks about the concept of overconfidence and the underlying pros and cons of it.
In order to build greater confidence, Selorm explains that we need to conduct an assessment of various aspects of our lives including physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual aspects of our lives. These avenues he believes remain opportunities for growth and positive change. The seven secrets/principles are as follows:
- Emancipation (Self-esteem)
Our level of self-esteem contributes greatly to our level of confidence. A high level of self-esteem leads to self-acceptance which helps in pursuing our goals and purpose in life. Having a low self-esteem or vice versa can be largely dependent of how we think of ourselves, our abilities and shortfalls. Being confident means we need to accept ourselves, leverage on our strengths and work on our flaws.
In this chapter, Selorm makes reference to various stories including the story of Niccolo Paganini, the world’s most celebrated violin virtuoso who managed to deliver one of best performances in his lifetime though he went on stage with the wrong violin. Niccolo may not have achieved this feat if he hadn’t committed to personal growth.
He also talks about Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers which propounds the 10,000 rule which states that if you commit 10,000 hours of planned practice in an area of discipline, you are likely to achieve mastery in that discipline. Self-improvement or personal development is the second secret Selorm shares on building greater confidence.
He notes that building a particular skillset requires continuous learning and improvement. For example, developing effective communication skills involves building your public speaking skills. He believes that the quest for personal growth facilitates a paradigm shift from mediocrity to excellence.
- Eyes on the prize (Goals)
Goal setting is another principle Selorm talks about. He notes that goal-setting does not only boost our confidence but leads to a sense of fulfilment in achieving our dreams and goals. In this chapter, he shares how he was able to land an opportunity with one of the big four accountancy firms and global recruitment giants.
He was able to achieve this because he remained focused. He was prepared to put in the work to achieve this feat. Being able to land this helped him build more confidence and positioned him for other opportunities. Nonetheless, he explains that one critical feature of goal-setting is to make it SMART; Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time bound.
- Branding (Personal Grooming)
Personal branding is one of the key ways to building our confidence. People form an impression of someone based on the first encounter with them. A good or wrong first impression in professional, business or social circles form the basis for achieving success.
Personal branding or personal grooming goes beyond our looks or appearance. It encompasses style, appearance, grooming, personality, etiquette among others. Building a personal brand helps you to nurture a unique identity and personality that helps you to build confidence and captivate your audience.
- Sculpting (Health and Fitness)
For millennials, health and wellness has become a very important subject for us. Living a healthy lifestyle is necessary to create the work-life balance we want. Our health is our wealth. The poor state of our health can take a toll on our confidence and erode our self-esteem. Without good health, we will not be able to pursue our goals. We invest a lot into fitness in order to stay active and healthy. Keeping fit boosts your confidence and helps you to reap many benefits.
- Creating a balance (Social life)
Creating an optimum work-life balance also contributes to our confidence. Having an active social life and other engagements outside the world of work provides an avenue to rejuvenate and network with others. Nurturing your talents through social clubs provides a platform to sharpen your skills provides the opportunity to sharpen your skills for career and business success and build long-lasting relationships with others.
- Inside Out (Spirituality)
Here, he expounds some relevant biblical references that form the basis of being courageous and confident and how we can leverage on that in our lives.
Building confidence is a life-transforming journey we all have to embark on in order to achieve personal development. Harnessing this skill requires a deliberate application of these principles and dedication, commitment and the resolve to build greater confidence. Reading this book over the past few weeks has helped me identify the misconceptions I have always had about confidence and the principles I can use to build confidence and transform my personal and career growth. I believe this book will help individuals who want to build their confidence and position themselves for various opportunities.
The launch of 7 Secrets to Greater Confidence will be held on Saturday, 3rd October, 2020 at the Christ the King Hall, Accra. Time is 3.30pm.For enquiries, please call: 0244887282 or 0263778282
>>>Nana Akua Frimpomaa Amofa is a Writer and Creative Lead of Scripted Impressions, a creative consulting agency that helps individuals and brands tell their stories. She works as Senior Editor at El-Evangel Publications. Her work involves content development, strategy and review of publications. She’s also part of the review team of My Story Magazine, an entrepreneurial resource magazine. Connect with Nana Akua via Instagram/Twitter: @missamofa, LinkedIn: Nana Akua Frimpomaa Amofa, Email: [email protected]