As a leader, your confidence will take a hit at many times throughout your career. You will feel especially vulnerable early on in your career.
When that happens, use these ideas to give your confidence a boost:
Look at past success
The best source for building your confidence is your past. Survey your entire life for successes. It doesn’t matter if those successes are in a completely different area of your life than where you are now searching for confidence. Review the times you have succeeded. Times you are proud. Times you achieved. Make a list of those accomplishments, and keep it where you can easily review it at any time. Just reading the list will buoy your confidence. After all, if you have succeeded in the past, you can (and will) succeed again.
Recognize your strengths
You will always be more confident when you accurately realize – and honor – where you excel. Make another list of those strengths, and review it regularly. If you don’t know your strengths, ask for feedback from those who know you well. Review the common elements of your past successes to look for clues. Think about the things that come easy to you, and add those to the list. When you are feeling overwhelmed or discouraged, pull out the list to remind yourself of all the things that you do well.
Build your competence
If you want to build your confidence, learn more and gain additional skills. Read a book, take a class, get a coach or any other action that promotes your growth and development. Practice until you have mastered the new skills. With each skill you gain and bit of information you learn, you become more competent and that, in turn, boosts your confidence.
Make the mental transfer
Ask yourself “If I have been successful before, is there any reason to think I can’t be successful in the future?” The answer is usually “No!” Negative self-talk erodes your confidence and can keep you from trying new things. When you notice negative thoughts and doubts creeping in, take control of your thoughts by redirecting them to focus on what you do well and to plan how you will succeed.
In the end, you must take action. If you don’t take risks, challenge yourself and work to succeed, you can’t maintain your confidence. BUT, as you learn, try and succeed, you create a momentum that further reinforces your confidence.
Even if you weren’t born with a ton of confidence, take those steps when you are feeling weak, discouraged or out of your element to give yourself the confidence boost you need to move forward and succeed.
Check out this quick video for more insight: