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The Search for Self-Confidence, Motivation & Ambition



Employers diligently seek job candidates who are self-confident, motivated, and ambitious. At the same time, employers engage consultants, trainers, executive coaches, speakers, and countless methodologies to inspire and instill their employees with self-confidence, motivation, and ambition. The best of these efforts generally creates a short-term burst of energy and enthusiasm that dies off far too quickly for the time and money invested in it. The efforts are undoubtedly sincere. The programs are usually well-designed and delivered by knowledgeable professionals. Still, the results are not the solution that was expected. Perhaps, it is necessary to look a bit deeper at the foundation of self-confidence, motivation, and ambition.


To explore this, it is helpful to contrast the perspectives of two prospective basketball players, one who is seven feet tall and another who is five feet tall, with each having similar knowledge and experience in the game. The seven-footer’s confidence in their ability to excel at basketball is probably at a high level. The five-footer’s confidence is certainly much less so. A similar difference in motivation is likely, which will only grow as actual game time experience confirms the advantage of height. This difference will be echoed in each player’s level of ambition in terms of their future in basketball.


If the two individuals were presented with the opportunity to go spelunking (cave exploration), it is likely that the five-footer will have a much larger smile in anticipation of crawling through small spaces than the seven-footer. What was an advantage in basketball is a disadvantage in the small confines of cave tunnels. It is this obvious disadvantage that torpedoes the seven-footer’s self-confidence and cascades with similar results through their ambition and motivation in the world of spelunking.


If the example was based on golf rather than basketball, the impact on the players’ self-confidence, motivation, and ambition becomes less clear. Height is not a clear advantage in golf, and in fact, it can present its own problems. Neither is short an advantage. The only true reference to self-confidence, motivation, and ambition is the history of successes or failures in playing golf. There is no basis for projecting these attitudes into the probable future performance in golf. This produces a conundrum. The possession of self-confidence, motivation, and ambition at the outset of an endeavor is definitely desirable, but it cannot be summoned arbitrarily without some foundation.


The same situation exists in jobs, particularly new jobs. Without a history of success in a certain job, where do self-confidence, motivation, and ambition come from? The source is within the person, not in any history. They come from the inherent hard-wired personality traits and cognitive abilities that are in each person. Regardless of the job or the situation, these are the foundation of each individual’s performance in that job. BestWork translates the DATA metrics of the strengths and abilities into the performance characteristics needed for any specific job. It is possible for anyone to see what jobs are favored by their strengths and which are not.


When the strengths and abilities match the ones needed for a job, the individual has a reason to feel self-confident and motivated in performing that job. This becomes the starting point for their ambition. As they accomplish objectives and achieve success, these experiences build their knowledge and skills, contributing to even greater levels of self-confidence, motivation, and ambition. Without realizing exactly what their unique set of strengths and abilities are and understanding how they match up with different types of jobs, talented individuals rarely achieve their potential.

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