Confidence For Dummies®, 2nd Edition

Table of Contents

Confidence For Dummies®, 2nd Edition




About the Authors

Kate Burton (see ) is an international Neuro-linguistc Programming master coach who challenges individuals and organisations to create lives that are sustainable and fun. Her business career began in corporate advertising and marketing with Hewlett-Packard. Now, she works with leaders and managers across industries and cultures to enable them to work at their best. Kate loves to deliver custom-built coaching programmes that support people to boost their communication skills, motivation, self-awareness, and confidence. She believes that people all have unique talents, abilities, and core values; the skill is about honouring them to the full.

In addition to co-authoring Neuro-linguistic Programming For Dummies, Neuro-linguistic Programming Workbook For Dummies, and Confidence For Dummies, Kate is the author of Live Life, Love Work (published by Capstone, a John Wiley & Sons imprint). Her latest addition to the For Dummies personal development range is Coaching with NLP For Dummies.

Brinley N. Platts is a leading executive coach, researcher, and consultant to FTSE 100 companies. He is one of the UK’s leading authorities on CIO and IT executive careers and works with international companies on the integration of senior executive life and career goals. He is a behavioural scientist by training, and his passion is to enable large organisations to become places where ordinary decent people can grow and express their talents freely to the benefit of all stakeholders. He is a co-founder of the Bring YourSELF to Work campaign, which aims to release the pent-up talent and passion of today’s global workforce to create the better world we all desire and want our children to inherit.

Authors’ Acknowledgements

From Kate: The seeds for this book were sown long ago, so I’d like to acknowledge my teachers who got me curious about this elusive concept of confidence and Margaret who asked the powerful question I wanted to answer: ‘So where do you keep your confidence?’

Writing another book is like having another baby. It seems like a great idea until you are giving birth and then a joy when it’s safely delivered. My special thanks go to my writing partner Brinley who adopted this concept with me. To all my family and friends I appreciate your continual love and support. Bob – you’re a star.

To my clients, colleagues and coaches, thank you for the stories, inspiration and support. To Dan, Kathleen, Sam, and Jason plus all at Wiley, thank you for your cool, calm confidence over the hurdles.

Now it’s over to you the reader to make this book really work for you. Please take the baby now and run with it!

From Brinley: After a long and relatively conventional business career it is an amazing thing to reconnect with the passions and drivers of my youth and find them all as fresh as they were in the 1970s and bursting for their opportunity to be fully expressed in the world. This has been my experience over the last 4–5 years and I am grateful to everyone who has played a part in my awakening.

My mission now is to be an awakener to anyone who feels there should be the opportunity for a full and rich life that integrates home and work and which doesn’t ‘cost the earth’.

My special thanks go to Kate for this opportunity to work with her, the Wiley publishing team, and to my wife Nicola, mother of our two young children. I also want to acknowledge my older children Loretta and Oliver for their wonderful inspiration and love over the last 20 years, and my parents who raised me to think for myself.

I encourage you, the reader, to take on your work in the world with a renewed confidence and sense of purpose. The world is changing and it needs to change further and faster. With your commitment we can make it happen.

Publisher’s Acknowledgements

We’re proud of this book; please send us your comments at . For other comments, please contact our Customer Care Department within the U.S. at 877-762-2974, outside the U.S. at 317-572-3993, or fax 317-572-4002.

Some of the people who helped bring this book to market include the following:

Acquisitions, Editorial, and Vertical Websites

Project Editor: Steven Edwards

(Previous Edition: Daniel Mersey)

Commissioning Editor: Kerry Laundon

Assistant Editor: Ben Kemble

Development Editor: Charlie Wilson

Proofreader: Kim Vernon

Production Manager: Daniel Mersey

Publisher: David Palmer

Cover Photos: © iStock / Sean Nel

Cartoons: Rich Tennant ()

Composition Services

Project Coordinator: Kristie Rees

Layout and Graphics: Melanee Habig

Proofreaders: Lauren Mandelbaum, Dwight Ramsey

Indexer: Sharon Shock

Publishing and Editorial for Consumer Dummies

Kathleen Nebenhaus, Vice President and Executive Publisher

Kristin Ferguson-Wagstaffe, Product Development Director

Ensley Eikenburg, Associate Publisher, Travel

Kelly Regan, Editorial Director, Travel

Publishing for Technology Dummies

Andy Cummings, Vice President and Publisher

Composition Services

Debbie Stailey, Director of Composition Services


Confidence is one of those odd things in life that turn out to be surprisingly difficult to tie down (beauty and quality belong to this strange, subjective group too). You may think that you know what it is, and you may feel certain that you can recognise it when you see it, but you may struggle to define exactly what ‘it’ is.

Confidence is an everyday experience, something you have quite often, except on those all-important occasions when it seems to leave you and you could really use more of it – whatever ‘it’ is. Whether you’re a mature business person or a school leaver, confidence has this annoying habit of disappearing unexpectedly. Yet when you really need to dig deep, you find you have amazing internal strength to draw on from your toughest life experiences. In this newly updated second edition of Confidence For Dummies, you can clear up the confusion around confidence, and particularly what you may refer to as self-confidence. You dispel a lot of the mystique around how you can develop and build your self-confidence; perhaps to an extent you feared would never be possible for you.

We’ve designed every chapter of this book to help you understand: where your personal confidence comes from, how you can generate an incredibly powerful type of confidence in your life on demand, and how you can do it more reliably with less stress. You will make the fastest progress by immediately putting what you discover into action, by trying out the advice and exercises as you go along, and thereby achieving the deep and lasting personal confidence you were born to enjoy.

Are you up for this? Let’s go.

About This Book

Type the word ‘confidence’ into an Internet search engine and you can expect over 50 million hits. That’s a lot of published material about something so natural. Those hits are also an indication of the breadth of the subject so, as you want to get straight to the heart of your confidence, we have been selective in Confidence For Dummies.

The task ahead of you is to build your confidence so that you can be more powerful, more engaging, and more at ease in every aspect of your life. These areas include your work and your private life (friends and family, romance, community, and so on). We steer clear of more complex explorations of personal development, except where they translate into immediate practical guidance.

You should be able to dip into this book for practical and rapid support on such everyday confidence problems as:

check.png Preparing for an important presentation or job interview.

check.png Asking the man or woman of your dreams to marry you.

check.png Picking up the phone to make that difficult call to an important new customer.

check.png Asking for the order, if you’re in sales.

check.png Picking yourself up quickly and appropriately after any setback.

check.png Connecting online with the wider world through tweets and blogs.

Conventions Used in This Book

To help you navigate through this book, we set up a few conventions:

check.png Italics are used for emphasis and to highlight new words or defined terms.

check.png Bold faced text indicates the key concept in a list.

check.png Monofont is used for web and email addresses.

What You’re Not to Read

Confidence For Dummies is primarily an action guide to building your confidence. In many places, this requires us to set the context you need to grasp the situation. In other places, we include material useful for your full understanding, but not essential for you to be able to take the action and get the benefit. Much as we want you to take all of it on board in time, we make it easy for you to identify those parts that you can leave for later.

When you’re short of time, or when you just want to stick with the essentials, you can skip over these sections:

check.png The text in the sidebars: The shaded boxes that appear here and there share personal stories and anecdotes, but they’re not integral to your taking action, and you can safely skip reading them if you’re not interested.

check.png The stuff on the copyright page: You’ll find nothing here of value unless you’re looking for legal notices and reprint information. If you are, then this is the place to look.

Foolish Assumptions

We make a few other assumptions about you. We assume that you’re a normal human being who wants to be happy and confident. You’re probably interested in becoming more effective in various parts of your life and in becoming more comfortable when you face demanding situations and people. Although you’re probably already acting confidently in many areas, you may lack the power and skills to perform the way you want to in some others.

This book is for you if you want to:

check.png Grow in the areas where you currently feel stuck.

check.png Become better at your job and get acknowledged for it.

check.png Feel less anxious and stressed about things you have to do.

check.png Step up to become a powerful leader in your work or community.

check.png Feel confident that no matter what life throws at you, you can find a way to deal with it.

How This Book Is Organised

The book is divided into five main sections, with each of these sections broken into chapters. The table of contents gives you details on each chapter.

Part I: Considering the Basics

In this part, we explain exactly what we mean by confidence and how it feels. You can evaluate how much confidence you have currently. You discover how to spot where your confidence is waxing or waning, in what areas of your life you need more confidence right now, and what is keeping you stuck.

Armed with all this insight, you can create your personal programme for the new super-confident version of you that you want to present to the world.

Part II: Gathering the Elements

Everyone would like to be more confident on occasion, but to take action, whether at work or socially, when you’re feeling anything but confident, requires motivation. In this part, you’re invited to connect with your main drivers in life, gain a better understanding of your deepest values, and leverage this information to get what you want.

You venture into the sometimes messy world of emotions and mood swings – including the extremes of ecstasy, anger, and despair. This part guides you to safe connection with your personal motivation.

Part III: Building Your Confident Self

In this part, you pull up your most confident self and reconnect with how you do it. You let go of perfectionism in pursuit of effectiveness, let go of unreal expectations to enjoy your experiences. You find out how to extend your comfort zone and become relaxed and focused in achieving whatever you want. You forge a link between your mind and body and realise that taking better care of yourself helps you maintain your self-confidence. You also discover how to project your confident self out into the world through your powerful voice. Best of all, you discover the Guaranteed Success Formula as a fool-proof approach for getting the results you really want.

Part IV: Engaging Other People

In this part of your journey to confidence, you get tips on putting your increased personal power to use at work and in your private life. You use what you know about building confidence to ensure that your approach to romantic relationships is successful, and you find out how to take the plunge into social media to form a powerful, confident online presence.

Part V: The Part of Tens

When you want a quick fix of inspiration to spur you into action or a reminder of what is important every day, you can find it here. The familiar Part of Tens gives you straight-talking confidence-boosting advice in bite-sized chunks.

Icons Used in This Book

Within each chapter you find the following icons pointing you to particular types of information that you may find immediately useful. Here is an explanation of what each icon stands for:

anecdote_blood.eps This icon brings your attention to a personal story you may find inspiring or useful.

Tip.eps The bull’s-eye highlights practical advice you can use to boost your confidence immediately.

trythis.eps This icon indicates an exercise you can use to broaden your understanding of yourself and your own confidence issues.

remember.eps Information to take note of and keep in mind as you apply your boosted confidence in the world is indicated with the finger and string.

warning_bomb.eps Text next to the Warning icon urges you to take special care of yourself in dealing with specific issues.

keyconcept2.eps This icon does what it says and gives you a clear definition of terms that may not be familiar to you.

Where to Go from Here

Although all the material in this book is relevant to developing your most confident version of yourself, you don’t have to read it cover to cover over any set period. You benefit most if you address first those sections that are most relevant to the areas of your life where you feel the need for more self-confidence most keenly. For example, if you’re feeling nervous about changes happening at work, or going to a party, say, go first to the chapters that deal with this; feel free to dip in where you need guidance and support right now.

After you read the book and are keen to take your levels of confidence and achievement to even higher levels, we recommend more personalised forms of development training and coaching. Take a look at the further guidance and resources we recommend at .

Part I

Considering the Basics


In this part . . .

From understanding what confidence is and how it feels to tackling unhelpful assumptions you make about yourself, the chapters in this part help you lay the foundations for your new, confident self. Armed with all kinds of insights into what you want for yourself, savour these chapters to design your own journey and set the milestones along the way.