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Are Confident People More Productive?

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Hair ViVi


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    Posted: Jul 04 2016 at 5:37pm
Richard Petty, a psychology professor at Ohio State University has spent decades studying confidence. He defines confidence as this: the stuff that turns thoughts into action. Why? Because confidence first turns our thoughts into judgements about what we are capable of, and then transforms those judgements into actions.

Action is confidence’s essential ingredient because confidence is achievement-oriented. We like to see and feel productive things come from our ability to muster up the courage to make something happen.

As a result then, the natural result of under-confidence or insecurity is inaction. Think about the last time you did not speak up in a meeting or did not apply for a new position at work. Now, think about why you chose not to act. It was most likely your hesitancy was laced with a sense of under-confidence.

Confidence stirs in you the ability to act; productivity gives you the tools to act well. Confidence is linked to doing and productivity is about efficient, effective execution. Confidence is what turns thoughts into actions and it is this “action” side that relates to productivity. The natural consequence of under confidence or insecurity is inaction which often manifests itself as procrastination—the antithesis of productivity.

If you are not confident in your ability to take action to achieve a desired outcome you cannot be productive. It is our thoughts that drive the actions we take that produces results. If we take out confidence, or the stuff that turns thoughts into actions, we are missing the essential catalyst of the productivity equation.

Where do you go from here?

  • Confidence is a choice. It’s a choice you make to act or do or decide. Create an environment that supports you taking action. For example, make a list of tasks that can be completed in 15 minutes or less and when you feel the pull of procrastination, the natural byproduct of under confidence, just complete one item on your list. The action will beget more action.
  • Take small incremental steps towards your goals. Small steps prepare you to take more meaningful risks which will increase your confidence. For example, break the projects on your task list into small, discrete next action steps – the very next physical action step you need to take to move that project forward. Start each task with an action verb to anchor you into action.
  • Remember the growth mindset—a willingness to learn—this can be a confidence booster. For example, practice only reading your email once and making a decision on your next action step. Since you are practicing, there is no need to strive for perfection. If you don’t remember to use this strategy, there is no blame or shame. You are practicing and learning as you go.

Confident people are more productive. Productive people are more confident. Think about what you are going to do today to increase your confidence and productivity; then imagine all that’s possible for your career.

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Hair ViVi
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