Yes! Then this learning note is for you! It will provide you with some great tips for helping you understand yourself more and create more confidence in all areas of your life.
Key Learning Prompts
- building confidence takes deliberate practice
- getting feedback from friends, family and colleagues can provide you with some awesome surprises
- ‘great at’ lists create a foundation for your confidence
- writing and reflecting helps to embed new learnings about yourself and strengthen confidence further
- low confidence can lead to poor life and career choices so its impact needs to be managed just like any other ‘project’ risk
Warning! Low confidence can lead to poor career choices!
The Story – my clients and my own
I can pinpoint with minute accuracy when low confidence led me to make poor career and life choices:
- 2006 – I was in a crap role with a bully boss and I was offered a Test Manager role on a single project. I didn’t take it because it didn’t fit with my view of being strong at working across multiple projects vs one. I should have taken the role and saved myself another 12 months of bullying.
- 2008 – I lost confidence from the previously mentioned role and began making very reactive decisions about my job and also who to date. I felt like I ‘couldn’t progress’, or I needed a relationship to ‘make me feel better/complete’. These internal mantras meant I kept myself down and limited my choices.
- 2013 – I left a great role because I was sick of the office politics because I didn’t think I could ‘take it’. I really just needed a holiday but the mantra of ‘I cant take it any more’ led me making a not great career choice to start a contract role that was then suddenly cut short (Don’t worry, I was working in a new role 2 weeks later but that’s another story).
Being deliberate about maintaining your confidence is essential to a successful and enjoyable career. Bad choices can snowball and are easily made when our confidence ebbing.
Maximising Your Confidence
I work with my clients to help re-set and re-build their confidence. Some clients have this as one of their 3 month goals and others have this as set of supporting actions to make a goal easier to achieve.
The Four Steps !
A great confidence building suite of actions is to complete the following over a fortnight:
(1) List 30 things you do well – (can be anything)
(2) List 6 things you are GREAT AT!
(3) Write as much as as possible about WHY you are great at these 6 things
(4) Ask at least 2 past colleagues and 3 friends or family to describe what you are great at and then create a list, noting which attributes come up more than once
Follow up activity
Read through these lists each morning for 30 days and I’ll guarantee you’ll feel so much more positive and energised. Your confidence and belief in yourself will improve and you might even start noticing more things to add to your lists.
One Final Tip – Decision Making and Confidence
If you know you’re low on confidence then consider how it may impact any important decisions you have coming up. Write these impacts down and then work out (and write down) ways to limit the impact.
This will help save you from making a decision in the following way :
The options available to me are based on what I think of myself,
if I think of myself as a poor candidate for a new role
then I will find 10 reasons why I should apply for a lower paid, lower status position but
if I think of myself as THE BEST CANDIDATE EVER!!
then I will apply for an even more senior position.
Same person, confidence is the only difference and the impact is HUGE!
You’re awesome and I 100% believe that what you want is the right thing for you!!
Go for it!!
Now, I’d love to hear from you….
What makes you confident at work?