Confidence in Speaking and American Idol

Melinda Doolittle is a terrific singer – but she didn’t believe it when she was on American Idol last week. I hope she does now.

Most of the American Idol tryouts in these first weeks are terrible – filled with overblown acts who have too MUCH confidence, or feigned confidence. And little talent. How refreshing to see Melinda.

I hunch she will grow quickly from backup singer to frontliner – and if not, her lack of confidence could be the only thing that will hold her back.

In my experience in speaking, I have seen hundreds of people hold themselves back – not believing they are good communicators. Maxwell Maltz found in Psychocybernetics that we ALL undermine ourselves, and I find that to be experientially true in observing many thousands of people under pressure. We are all better than we think we are, and would do well to show it.

Confidence is internalized from gaining skills with practice and feedback. And believing what we see. In the meantime, the “Act as if” principle is well served. William James said, “Do the act and the attitude will follow.”

I’ve found that to be absolutely true. And I very much hope Melinda Doolittle will ‘act as if’ until she can actually see how talented she is – her MySpace page indicates she will.

3 comments on “Confidence in Speaking and American Idol

  1. Good news for you Melinda Doolittle fans! She’s set to release her debut album titled, Coming Back to You on Hi-Fi Recordings in January 09. Produced by Grammy-nominated producer Mike Mangini (Joss Stone, Run DMC, The Jonas Brothers), Coming Back to You was recorded with a team of live musicians in Nashville and New York City.
    The first single, “It’s Your Love” will be released to radio in October.
    “Keep yourself updated with Melinda’s career at is a web site owned by Melinda Doolittle. Melinda’s Backups™ is a non-profit supportive association inspired by Melinda and authorized by her to operate this web site on behalf of her fans.