As a young manager, I often hear that we need more young people in leadership positions. One reason is that they can inspire other young minds to climb up the corporate ladder at an early age and bring innovation. I do agree, but we also need to build confidence, for those of us already in managerial positions. Good for us, self-confidence is a skill one can build with enough experience and practice. Absolute self-confidence comes when you place value on things that cannot be taken away from you. Money, power, and status are associated with confidence. But you take them away briefly, and you’ll find yourself losing self-confidence fleeting. So what is authentic self-confidence and how to build confidence at work?
WHY DO YOU LACK SELF-CONFIDENCE
Authentic self-confidence comes from within. Ask yourself a few questions -
What do you live for?
What do you stand for?
What do you aspire to be?
Whatever the answer is, it defines you. It defines your core values, things you don’t want to compromise with. It’s the key to your self-confidence.
Only when you are truly confident that you can challenge in times of adversity. It doesn’t matter if you’re going to succeed or fail. As long as you have a strong ‘why’ that compels you to action, you’re on the right track. Here’s why: your confidence comes from your core values and beliefs.
Great leaders like Martin Luther King and Abraham Lincoln were all supremely self-confident because they were aided in their goals by their core values and strong beliefs. They knew what they want and did not accept anything less.
Self-doubt turns everything into a self-fulfilling prophecy. Sometimes things work, sometimes they don’t. But when you stick to the nagging self-doubt, you limit yourself to pathetic attempts at whatever it is that you’re doing. Leave your past behind, you may have failed once or twice or perhaps many times in the past. But it doesn’t mean that you’re going to fall flat on your face each and every time you make an attempt. Do you think Thomas Edison would have ever invented the light bulb if he didn’t keep trying?
Be more self-encouraging and self-supporting because authentic self-confidence comes from within. Confidence comes from intangible past accomplishments. It comes from knowing who you are, what you stand for, what you want and a clear-stated fact that you want nothing less. It comes from focusing on the solution and not the problem (your past failures). It comes from taking action and not assuming.
HOW TO BUILD SELF-CONFIDENCE
Practice: Self-confidence is about knowing your limits and how to push them. Focus on exposing yourself to different situations and pushing past your safe zone. Set out for new things and new adventures. Travel to different places, or maybe book yourself a vacation. Challenge yourself to meet new people. Open yourself to new experiences to see what you like and dislike.
There are moments when I lose my self-confidence. There are even moments when I confront myself and am able to build confidence at work. There are moments when I lose it again. But as my experience grows, all doubts disappear and I sense a feeling of power.
So, what do you think? Apart from the aforementioned tips to build confidence at work, are there any others you would like to propose? Share it in the comments.