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Published:February 12th, 2008 15:18 EST
The X Factor in Your Success...Confidence

The X Factor in Your Success...Confidence

By Simon Bailey (Mentor/Columnist)

I was in Washington, D.C., enjoying a latte at the world's favorite coffee spot (Starbucks) and having a fascinating conversation with a friend mine, Lana Kim, who is a political refugee from Russia. She was telling me about her latest endeavor, writing a book. When I asked her why she hadn’t done it sooner she said, "I lacked confidence. I didn't believe that I could do it."

I put my grande chi latte down and listened as she revealed her story. Recognizing brilliance when I hear it, I knew I wanted to share her journey with you, my 10,000 avid Brilliant Carat readers. I realized I wouldn’t be able to do her story justice, so I asked Lana Kim to tell you in her own words. Let me introduce you to Lana Kim, a true Brillianaire (a person who has learned to release his or her brilliance and abundantly shares it with others).

I have struggled nearly 35 years to have confidence, a gleam of hope, a belief that I could be somebody and make my life count for something. Do I have confidence today? Do I believe in myself? Sometimes I do. Other times it’s there but MIA (missing in action).

My confidence was under attack from the time I was a child. I was teased by children in class, in school, and in the neighborhood. Kids called me "Chinese." I used to scream back at them that I was not Chinese; I was Russian like them. I wanted to be like everyone else. I am a third-generation Korean born and raised in Russia. My grandmother’s parents immigrated to the Island of Sakhalin to Czarist Russia between 1890 and 1899. The older I get, the more proud I am of my heritage because it was the foundation for becoming a confident human being who has grown over time.

When I came to America, I was a cleaning girl. I was 23 years old. Ten years later I was inducted into the “Hall of Fame” as a young stockbroker at PaineWebber. I owe this award to my dear friend and mentor, Don Culp. Don was an option trader on the floor of the Pacific Stock Exchange. Don Culp put through the order for my first stock trade, helped me build portfolios, explained how to analyze stocks, and left notes to cheer me up when times were tough. Today I have a number of designations including CFP (Certified Financial Planner) and RFC (Registered Financial Consultant), and I am completing a Master of Science in Financial Services. 

What I’ve learned is that confidence grows with you one day at a time, one encounter at a time. I work every day to boost my confidence by reading motivational books, listening to tapes, making new friends, and volunteering.

Thank you, Lana Kim, for Releasing Your Brilliance because you have now given others permission to recapture, reignite and re-enlist their confidence. 

According to my dictionary of etymology, the word confidence first appeared around 1400 and is directly related to the Latin word confidentia which means “to fully trust and be bold.” When you fully trust yourself, you develop thick skin and the ability to bounce back. When you are full of confidence in who you are and what you do, bold action is your personal stamp. Confidence is needed in abundance but unfortunately often runs in short supply. Antonyms for confidence are insecurity, self-doubt and diffidence (which means hesitancy). Bruce Jett said it best when he said, “You can determine how confident people are by listening to what they don’t say about themselves.”

Confidence is the voice that says, “I can, I shall, I will…live life to the fullest extent.” Confidence is living out loud. Confidence is the ability to walk in the opposite direction instead of following popular opinion. Confidence is your swagger. Confidence establishes your brand within the corporate mega-brand. Confidence is quiet power. When you know what you know, you don’t have to impress anyone. You understand how to just be.

Why would Microsoft make a bid to buy Yahoo? Confidence. Why would Richard Branson launch an airline called Virgin America? Confidence. Why would Cynthia Good launch Pink Magazine, one of the most talked about brand sensations targeting women in corporate America? It's confidence, my friend. Confidence is what enabled Eli Manning and the New York Giants of the National Football League to rise above the noise and the doubters to win the 2008 Super Bowl.

Here are five actionable steps you can take to increase your confidence:

1. Create a Strategic Life Plan with 90-day milestones that you regularly review with your personal board of directors. Your plan should take into consideration your dreams, hopes and desires. 

2. Find mentors who build you up rather than attempting to make you be more like them. 

3. Feed your belief and faith in a brilliant future and starve your doubts to death. How? By reading inspiring literature that expands your mind and enlarges your heart. 

4. Redesign your job description to reflect how you intend to add value to your team and your organization instead of waiting for management to come to you. 

5. Invest in Meditate on Your Brilliance, a two-ebook set that will show you how to combine the proven power of meditation and positive affirmations to reignite your life and brilliantly shine at work. For more information, click here: Meditate on Your Brilliance.

I love this quote by Joe Paterno, head football coach at Penn State University: "You need to play with supreme confidence or else you'll lose again, and then losing becomes a habit.” My brilliance corollary to that is, "Live life with bold confidence or else you'll defeat yourself again, and then self-defeat becomes a habit."

Simon Says…The "permission" and confidence to release your brilliance come from the inside, not the outside.

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