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Confidence is one of the traits most people wish they could have, yet struggle to develop. How does one achieve this elusive quality?

While working as substance abuse and rehabilitation counselor, I found that the key to my clients’ success came from their own behavior and attitudes, not their skill set.

When I was doing this work I wasn’t trying to teach people things they didn’t already know. Instead, I was teaching them how to learn.

I started by listening

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Listening to what my clients wanted and needed to become “their best self,” and then teaching them how to develop the skills to accomplish those goals.

I began by asking simple questions, but soon I was listening as well as I was talking.

I didn’t just listen, I tried to understand what was going on inside my clients’ minds, using the dialogue my mind was already forming.

Once I understood, I could figure out what was next in the learning process, and help them make their way to success.

Confidence, I realized, didn’t come from the skills or abilities people had, but from how they used them.

If you’re trying to develop new skills and need some ideas on how to do so, here are a few ideas:

Develop a library of information

If you’re unsure about a specific skill, consider getting some help from a book, seminar, or other education, but don’t let the information you receive run you.

Put in the work and let the knowledge and skill you’re learning take care of themselves.

If you need help in making the transition from reader to the learner, check out The Reading Solution and learn how to take your next steps from the comfort of your home.

Talk about your weaknesses with others

Developing your confidence takes work, so don’t worry about being too bold or too informal with others, but instead discuss what you struggle with and ask for help.

By bringing the conversation to others’ terms, they can help you work through your fears and limitations.

In one of my earlier blog posts, The Best Use of Self-Esteem in Business and Life, I described this approach in detail, and it still has powerful lessons for me today.

It’s easy to become an overachiever or perfectionist when you want to become confident, but don’t let those things prevent you from trying.

Ask for the help you need to develop your confidence, and the skills to be successful.

Help others

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Give back. Don’t just donate money; help your community.

Find volunteer opportunities that are meaningful to you, and give your time and energy to make a difference in other people’s lives.

Take on a new challenge to learn a new skill, or share your life lessons with someone who needs to learn from them. Volunteer or take on the responsibility of giving someone else the boost they need.

This kind of support is important for helping us develop our confidence, but it’s even more important for promoting it.

Don’t take for granted the individuals in your life; support them in every way you can.

Don’t put limits on what you can accomplish

Even with all the skills and knowledge, we gain in life, we can always learn new skills and sharpen others, helping us become stronger and wiser.

Many people learn to drive, for example, by watching a video, and it doesn’t take long before they’re trying to drive by themselves.

Knowledge is empowering, and confidence can empower others.

While you can develop confidence in yourself, you can also inspire and empower those around you.

Show your children how to speak their minds, not just what to say, and see how empowering that can be for them.

Use your social media to inspire others, and encourage others to be the best they can be.

The more you can do to support confidence in others, the more confident you’ll be.

I promise it works, so if you’re interested, I urge you to give confidence a try. You won’t regret it!

What are the different types of jobs that build confidence?

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Let’s take a look at some of the jobs that build confidence and allow you to make a positive impact:

1. Marketing & Sales

Whether it’s a hospitality job or a sales job, it will require you to build a relationship with your customers.

If you do this well, the customer will learn to trust your judgment and trust your products and services, so it makes for a very comfortable environment to sell in.

If you can offer a great product at an affordable price, your customers will forgive your occasional sales mistakes.

2. HR

Many businesses don’t find themselves in need of recruiters or HR personnel all that often, but for those who do, the job is filled with opportunities to build a relationship with your employees, while developing the confidence to keep your staff happy and engaged.

You’ll likely be working with people every day, so this job will allow you to engage with other people and learn more about them.

You can learn more about your employees’ families, and where they’re from, and learn more about their hobbies.

So, in some sense, you’re building their confidence as you build your own.

3. Customer service

Whether it’s a hospitality job or a sales job, there’s nothing more stressful than dealing with an irate customer who just doesn’t understand that you’re doing the best you can to solve their problem.

The positive side of dealing with difficult customers is that you gain more confidence in your ability to solve their problems.

If you handle a difficult customer well, you gain the confidence that you can deal with anyone, no matter how difficult they may be.

4. IT

This is a job that most businesses have to deal with from time to time, and it’s important to be able to handle these situations properly while gaining the confidence that you have the skills to do so.

A job that builds confidence in this area is that you have to be tech-savvy and able to solve problems on the fly.

It can be stressful, but when you’ve dealt with the technical difficulties that have come up, you will gain the confidence to do so in the future.

These are only a few examples of the different types of jobs that build confidence.

The more you understand about the types of jobs that build confidence, the more you’ll be able to choose the right ones for you.