No one knows everything. Seems unlikely sometimes though right? There is always those few people who are so confident in everything they do. They just shine confidence. Nothing seems to phase them. Meanwhile you sit in the corner afraid to speak up. You just lack self-confidence.  If only you could be just like them. What if I told you there were a few things you could do.People often lack confidence because they can’t pinpoint what they do well. They attribute their success to luck or being in the right place at the right time. That’s just not true. Take a close look at what you really do well. If need be ask friends and colleagues for specifics so you have a clear picture of your strengths.

Give yourself permission to let go of the quest for perfectionism and know that you alone are in control of that unrealistic expectation. Just be yourself. I currently have blue and purple hair, I tend to stumble over my words, I make mistakes, and yet I think I am pretty successful.

It’s ok to be scared. Embrace the fear you are feeling. Confident people try to do something that scares them every week. They know fear is simply their mind’s way of telling them they’re stretching out of their comfort zone.

Build on the skills you have. When you feel confident in one area that will boost your confidence in other areas. Take it one thing at a time. If you are afraid to network, try scheduling one on one meetings until you build your confidence. If you can talk to people one on one, working the room in a networking situation is essentially the same thing just a larger group.

Set achievable goals. Each time you reach a milestone, you will boost your confidence. Little victories can be very inspiring. Stop having the conversation in your head that you can’t do this. That just leads to more negativity. Start out small and work towards larger goals.

Try and remember that while it appears that some know everything that is simply not true.  Have you ever heard the saying, “Fake it till you make it?” Perhaps they are just better at putting on an act. If you continue to work on yourself, you can be as confident as them.

Originally published in the Democrat & Chronicle on July 22nd, 2015.