Tuesday, 18 November 2008

ConfidenceIt’s all in the mind

When referring to the current economic challenges, Niall Ferguson, the journalist and prolific author who specializes in financial and economic history tells us that “Fifty percent of the problem is confidence.” When I heard him say that on the BBC, I decided to further investigate by interviewing a couple of City Fund Managers and analysts. Each of the individuals I spoke to concurred with Mr. Ferguson’s take. In fact, some of them believe that it's much higher than 50%!

So, I thought to myself, if what Ferguson and other economic experts are saying about confidence is accurate, we can fix that… can’t we? A healthy self-confidence is pivotal when making any important decision. It enables us to be passionate, resolute and focused. So what happens when our confidence becomes weakened, or eroded? Or more importantly, what do we need to do when we’re able to recognise those debilitating feelings?

A lack of self-confidence is often brought on by unhelpful thoughts, thoughts that often are not verifiable. Contemporary psychologists call that kind of thinking, catastrophizing. So, if we can better manage our emotions, can we better manage ourselves in business? The answer is an unequivocal yes, of course we can. Daniel Goleman’s books on EQ (Emotional Intelligence) are perfect foils for those of you who are feeling a little less steady on your feet. Having used EQ in my personal life and my coaching practice since its inception about 20 years ago, I can attest to the positive effect it has on people. It teaches us how to manage our emotions, in effect, to transcend them. EQ is one of the most helpful ways we can prevent ourselves being at the mercy of those negative feelings.

As Steve Forbes, editor-in-chief of business magazine Forbes and former U.S Presidential candidate said in a recent BBC interview - “Emotion is your enemy.”

1 comment:

Steve said...

I totally agree - although I sometimes think with this current situation, the confidence factor is even higher...more like 80%