What is the “confidence capability”?

What is confidence? We tend to think of it as a personality trait or an emotional response, but my experience is that it isn’t as passive or reactive as that. Real confidence is a capability, and when you know how to create that capability for yourself, you can have it in endless supply.

What you can achieve when you have confidence

When you have confidence as a daily resource, you can learn anything, respond to anything, adjust to anything, and achieve anything.

Confidence is the ability to transform fear into focused and relaxed thinking, communication, and action. It turns dangers into opportunities, obstacles into innovations, weaknesses into advantages, and setbacks into breakthroughs.

Many people assume, then, that entrepreneurs must be confident just to get by. That’s true, and it’s also true that as your business and the size of your opportunities grow, your confidence needs to grow along with them. Even successful entrepreneurs can experience crises of confidence where they feel overwhelmed and unable to make decisions or take action.

The main reason you lose confidence

Contrary to popular belief, the biggest obstacle to confidence is not unfavorable circumstances, but rather bad measurement: comparing yourself to others or against some perfect ideal instead of working with the actual material you have at hand—your unique advantages, situation, and experience.

With confidence on your side, the biggest external setbacks can offer the biggest opportunities for positive transformation, even leading to leaps forward in profitability and productivity, if you’re in the mental state to be able to deal with them creatively.

The purpose of generating your own confidence, then, is to put your mind into a productive state so you can see the possibilities at hand and create strategies to take advantage of them.

How you can improve your confidence every day

Here’s one simple strategy for making confidence a regular part of your day: For the next 21 days, at the end of each day, simply write down three wins for the day. They can be anything you achieved that day or anything that felt like a win to you.

Then write down three wins you’d like to have tomorrow. The purpose of this is to set up the game so you’re always winning. Do it even if it seems difficult or trivial at first.

After a few days, you’ll notice that your mind is looking for wins to add to the list. The simple act of looking for the positive will change your mindset so that you focus on progress rather than everything that’s not ideal yet. Once you get on a roll with this, there’s a natural tendency to want to keep your “win streak” going.

If you have an iPhone or iPad, we have a free app that makes it easy to record and save your daily wins called just that: WinStreak.

When you focus on constantly protecting and increasing your confidence, everything else becomes easier because you’ve made the foundation for all your other successes more solid and predictable. You have the best access to all your talents and resources, which lets you achieve dramatically bigger and better results, and allows you to keep moving forward and inspiring confidence in others even in the midst of change and upheaval.

Have you been on a win streak? Tell us in the comments how it’s going!






5 responses to “What is the “confidence capability”?”

  1. Scott Bodiford Avatar
    Scott Bodiford

    Another great article. Love reading the information that you put out.

    Scott Bodiford

  2. Rebecca Scheuler Avatar

    Dan – great post! I attended team tools at the Chicago offices in October. When I got back to our offices, I implemented a WIN wall for our team. We’re all posting daily WINs and building morale and confidence along the way. Thank You.

  3. nilan Avatar


    I’m on it. I’ll tell you how it went




  4. Don R Campbell Avatar


    When you first shared the “#1 Job is to Protect Your Confidence” theory almost 20 years ago, I didn’t immediate get just how important this is. It seemed almost a throw away within your great program.

    However, this long after, I am here to profess that it is THE best and most effective concept that you have developed. Without learning this, there is simply no way that I would be where I am today in business.


  5. Dan Sullivan Avatar

    Great to hear from you, Don—and thanks for the resounding endorsement for confidence and its role in your success. Confidence gives you clarity, and when you’re clear, you’re always able to move forward more quickly and steadily. All the best!

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