There are times when we all struggle with self-confidence. We don’t fully trust our abilities. Whether it’s the first day on the job, adjusting to a promotion or new position, tackling a new project, or just trying to learn a new process or system to the same job we’ve held for the last 10 years we have those moments of self-doubt. It isn’t uncommon to go into panic mode when something is new, unfamiliar, and completely out of our comfort zone.
We have heard and read countless comments from our class participants that began with… “I have felt overwhelmed since I took this leadership role…” “I don’t know how to start…” “I’m not sure how to…”
Keep in mind that someone had confidence in your abilities in order to trust you with a new task or to select you for a promotion. They see what you are capable of and they are confident in your ability to succeed. You need to also believe in yourself. It’s important that at those moments of self-doubt we recognize the thought process we are having of second-guessing ourselves and interrupt that process. We owe it to ourselves to push forward and remain self-confident as we continue our professional journey.
· Begin improving your self-confidence by educating yourself in your weaknesses. Spend the time necessary to read, go to class, join a group, find a mentor, etc. so you feel confident in your areas of weakness. At the same time learn everything there is to know about your job. Put yourself in positions to practice your areas of weakness. The more experience you get, the more confident you will be.
· Get rid of the negative voices in your head. Ian has written about this in the past and it couldn’t be more true. Don’t allow negative self-talk. Someone trusted your abilities enough to give you the project or the promotion so trust yourself enough to be successful at it. It’s difficult to be confident when you are telling yourself you aren’t good enough. Believe in yourself!
· Give yourself credit for your successes – past and present. Make a list of your accomplishments and keep it in a place you can refer to. Add to the list as often as possible. Even small successes count! Accomplishing things you didn’t think possible can be a great boost to your confidence!
· Don’t compare yourself to others. Everyone brings in unique experiences and skill sets. You fit into the big picture and have great value to add to your position, your organization, to your employees and to the customers you serve. Allow yourself the pride in what you have to offer.
· Keep a positive attitude. Everyday won’t be an easy day. Challenges will be thrown your way in the form of customers, employees, task, policies, etc. Find the positive in your situation and build on that. Those challenges will give you opportunities to grow both personally and professionally and through that growth you will develop confidence.
When you feel self-confident on the inside you project self-confidence on the outside. This confidence overcomes obstacles and promotes continued success in life – whether it be in your personal or professional life.