One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation. When I was learning to cook my mother taught me that preparation was the key ingredient in cooking.

A tenuous link perhaps, but how many times have we gone into meetings, interviews or presentations where we are unprepared because we did not take the time to research, practice or prepare? It’s like expecting to be able to cook a Michelin-starred recipe without the right ingredients, practice or equipment! When you think about how much time is put into creating those incredible dishes by famous chefs, the amount of hours spent practicing, adjusting and preparing is massive.

I am often asked by clients seeking a new role how to become more self-confident.

My answer is documenting achievements by writing them out. Remember the different situations, challenges and steps you took to resolve the problem and drive the required results. It may help to review your past appraisals or look at statements on your CV to help get you started.

It takes time, but the outcome is worth the preparation. Clients who take the time to systematically work through their achievements are always surprised by how much better they feel. Why? Because when we do a job we forget the process and the problems encountered along the way, so by going back and highlighting those achievements you feel more self-confident. You’ll be more prepared the next time your manager asks you to ‘think on your feet’ and present to the team. You are one step ahead because you took the time to do the background work.

This quote by Confucius summarises it beautifully:

‘Success depends upon previous preparation and without such preparation there is sure to be failure’

As we move into June, think about the last time you were fully prepared for that presentation, interview or introducing yourself at a networking workshop, and remember how confident it made you feel.

If you’re looking to prepare better or increase your self-confidence, read my book Cooking Up Success, or get in touch.