I was posting an on line article last week and had to narrow my photo selections down to three. My sister's husband happened to be the only one around while I was debating - which great photos to leave out? I asked his opinion, and he was exceedingly helpful. He looked through the choices carefully, was quiet for a moment, then said with finality - "This is the better one out of these two, and drop that one."
I have always admired people who can make decisions and state their case with such certainty. Even when the consequences are minimal, I tend to second guess myself, play both sides in my head, or get caught up in the paralyzing whirlpool of "what if...?"
When you speak with conviction people listen. When you perform with conviction people take notice, even if you're not that good. You also feed confidence to yourself by presenting a confident facade. It is important to maintain humility and an open mind, but a detriment to be bogged down by what ifs and self-doubts.
Spend a day noticing how often people say, "Hmm, well, I don't know, maybe, could be, I can see that, I suppose." How often do people just say, "Yes. No. the blue one." ? Decisiveness is a rare commodity.
Through much of my life I have found myself deferring to others who present themselves with confidence and conviction. When someone speaks with authority, I tend to imagine that they must be righter than I am, since I'm often uncertain. Experience has taught me, though, that those who speak with authority are sometimes (often?) wrong.
This stunned me at first. How can they bear to be so wrong when they were so sure of themselves? The answer for good people is that they just say, "oops! My bad." They apologize, if necessary, adapt, adjust, and move on. Just because you might be wrong doesn't mean you shouldn't approach something with courage and certainty. It lends power to your cause and your own spirit, so your attitude itself may lead to the success of your endeavor. If not, so be it. But if you always hang back and defer to others who appear more certain than you, you may miss out on presenting the best alternative - which could be your own.