Columnists Features

Confidence: Secret ingredient of preparation

TIONE NDHLOVU
HAVE you ever been so sure that you are prepared to do or say something, only to feel not ready?
Or have you felt your legs freeze when faced with the task of actually doing it? It is rather an embarrassing thing and most of us who have gone through it dread even to recall such incidents.
Yet I have heard people quote the statement ‘luck is when opportunity meets preparation’ so much that sometimes I actually wonder if I am just not the ‘lucky’ one or they have just never even encountered such a thing before.
I simply don’t think taking advantage of an opportunity is about preparation. However, I think it’s more about confidence.
Why do I say so? Because no matter how prepared you are, as long you are not confident about the knowledge and information you have acquired, that preparation amounts to nothing.
I remember the very first time I was called to give a lecture to a group of students, I stood before them so nervous that I started talking about how qualified I was to be their tutor.
Truth is that I had prepared, in fact I had started preparing days before, and since I am fervent about teaching, technically I had been ready from the time I knew I wanted to lecture.
every day I would not only picture myself in front of students, but would talk to myself in the mirror pretending to be teaching a group.
The thing is that I knew I could teach, but on that day something went wrong and I could not understand. I now have an explanation for it.
At that moment, because I was in front of students, mature students for that matter, I suddenly developed cold feet.
My confidence went straight out of the window and suddenly I thought “all these people must know much more than me”. I mean, these were persons who held senior management positions.
That thought alone threw me off balance, that I doubted my capability to deliver, and this is one lesson everyone should learn.
Whatever the field, you have to realise that to prepare alone is not enough.
You have to be confident and that means knowing that whoever is listening to you needs your information. They do not know and they want to learn from you.
Why else would they give you audience, if not to hear what you have to say?
Be it in an interview, a performance, a presentation; whatever it is.
The reason you are there is that people are interested in hearing from you.
You just have to show them that you know what you are talking about.
People need the information you have. In fact if you do not give it to them, they might die.
That is why Jesus, even after being mocked about how he could not tell the teachers of the law anything because he came from an insignificant part of society, he still had the audacity to call them a brood of vipers.
He knew that they needed the information, every day he would prepare, in prayer, but he had to have the buoyancy to say it, to do it.
Therefore, do not be apologetic, friend. The thoughts you have are solutions to the problems Zambia has, and just because they are different and have never been thought about, that does not make them wrong or irrelevant.
They are important, they are brilliant and people need to hear them.
Be confident, square your shoulders, straighten your poise, look people in the face and speak.
This is the secret ingredient of preparation.
The author is the owner of Enoit Consultancy, a writer, trainer and consultant in image, career and personal development.



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