Confidence: Anticipating and Avoiding Problems

Is confidence the reason why the most successful people I know are so good at anticipating what’s going to happen?

While I doubt that there is a direct correlation, I firmly believe that confidence aids a person’s ability to anticipate what’s going to happen.

Confidence and time

People who are at the consistently-confident end of the confidence spectrum sense that time is on their side.

They rarely, if ever, feel compelled to act quickly. That’s because they don’t languish in the emotions of fear, anxiety and scarcity. Instead they quickly set these emotions aside for a more reasoned, objective approach to the situation they’re facing.

This concept of time is an essential element in being able to anticipate actions and reactions of others.

Anticipation and time

In order to be able to anticipate how someone is going to act or respond we need time to not only observe their behaviors, but to convert these observations into plans that anticipate and effectively deal with them. Here’s an example:


I’m on the program committee for a group of business people. All of the members of this group are committed to enriching the lives of others. Consequently when I contact them asking if they’d be willing to do a program, they respond “Of course!”

Later they wonder “What am I going to talk about?” This dilemma surfaced when I contacted them for a title and brief description of the program. Once I discovered this gap between their willingness to help and the absence of an idea as to specific content, I was able to take action to solve the problem.

Now, when I contact one of the members asking them to present a program, I have a couple of ideas based on my knowledge of their strengths, interests and successes. By anticipating their response and the dilemma they typically face, I’m able to streamline the process for both of us.

Saving time and energy

Confident people feel that they have more time than those with less confidence. Since they refuse to be slaves to the urgent, confident people have time to reflect on what they’re seeing. Their reflections help them anticipate situations more effectively which enables them to expend less time and energy in producing the desired result. Time is the link between confidence and anticipation I alluded to in the opening.

For you

The next time that you feel time pressure, remind yourself that this is precisely the time that you need to pause, take a deep breath and reflect on the situation and how you got there.

This simple process will help you realize how much of what you’re experiencing is of your own creation. It’ll also help you understand how you can avoid creating this problem for yourself in the future.

The more frequently that you follow this pause, breathe, reflect process, the more automatic the thought process becomes. As you find that you’re facing fewer and fewer problems of your own creation, you’ll become more confident in your ability to deal with anything you face…in an unhurried, less stressful way than you previously experienced.

For our kids

When you find your kids feeling stressed, share with them this pause, breathe, reflect process. They too will find that they automatically default to this thought process when they see how successful it is.

In all likelihood this process will become automatic for them more quickly than it does for you because kids have fewer old habits to overcome. Regardless, you and they will enjoy greater confidence and less stress by being to anticipate and prepare for the actions and reactions of others.

If you’d like to enjoy great confidence, check out our Confidence Self-Study programs.

If you’d like to enrich the lives of others by teaching them to be more confident, check out our Teaching Confidence Instructor Certification program.

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