8 TRUTHS every self-confident manager knows
How to trust yourself more and reach new levels of empowerment.No one likes being around insecure people, and even though they may not notice it at the beginning, people will quickly recognise a lack of confidence and start to distance themselves. Nobody wants to do business with or promote someone who doesn’t believe in themselves, which is obviously detrimental for your future career prospects and your role as a manager.
“Self-confidence instructs others on how to think about you.” ~ Brooke CastilloSelf-confidence is the belief in yourself and your abilities, and describes an internal state made up of what you think and feel about yourself. This state is changeable according to the situation you are in and your responses to events going on around you. It is not unusual to feel quite confident in some circumstances and less confident in others. It is also influenced by past events and how you remember them. A lack of self-confidence is often not related to a lack of ability, but much rather a result of focusing too much on unrealistic expectations or standards set by yourself or those around you. The path to low self-esteem is to repeatedly make a promise to yourself, and then break it. Low self-confidence is never caused by who someone is at their core. It is a skill and can therefore be learned. You can learn the ability to believe in yourself, so you can accomplish any task.
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t - you’re right.” ~ Henry FordA perfect example for the gap between what you believe you can or cannot do, is the person that plays basketball and normally scores well. However, when they are at the free-throw line, they choke and miss - quite obviously not due to their ball skill, but much rather due to a mental block. They allow self-doubt to sabotage their success.
1 - Use confident language and positive self-talkSay what you want to say in a firm, clear and respectful way so others are in no doubt about what you think, what concerns you, how you feel and what you want to happen. Use positive self-talk and affirmations to reprogram your thinking. “I am a confident and successful person”. We can be very generous and supportive towards others but often forget to be kind to ourselves. Monitor your self-talk and use “I can” and “I will” to overcome challenges and setbacks.
2 - Seek out positive experiences and peopleBeing socially connected and feeling you belong are very important factors of self-confidence, boost positive emotions, lower anxiety and broaden your attention to think creatively. You can give yourself encouraging experiences as a way of increasing self-confidence through frequent acts of kindness for others and saying warm words to build your ‘positive bank deposits’. Aim to spend ample time with people who like you for who you are, and surround yourself with positive individuals rather than those who constantly judge you.
3 - Focus on your achievementsIf you take time to think, you will realise that you have achieved so many things in your life. Make a list of these achievements (big and small) and remember what they mean to you. Regularly reflect on and add to your list, because focusing on these positives will make you feel great. Furthermore, a daily gratitude journal is another sure way to boost your self-esteem. Write down three good things that happened today, and how you can make them happen again.
4 - Practice self-acceptanceIt is reasonable to be critical of your behaviour and your attempt to change it, but without being critical of yourself. This attitude of self-acceptance helps maintain a healthy level of self-confidence. Use your signature and top supporting strengths in your every thought, word and action, and put a plan in place to address areas of weakness.
5 - Take responsible risksIf you regularly doubt yourself and keep listening to negative thoughts, you will not take risks. However, these responsible risks, whether small or big, are the stepping stones to realising your potential. Leaving your comfort zone to welcome challenges not only increases your wellbeing, but will leave you feeling fulfilled and motivated to try something new again soon.
6 - Remain open to continuous learningYour confidence determines how you deal with feedback. A person lacking in self-confidence who receives negative feedback about a project may think: “What else could I expect? I’m a failure - this proves it and I might as well leave.” On the contrary, a confident person who receives the same negative feedback may think: “I wonder where I went wrong? I’ll find out so that I can do better next time.” See challenges as opportunities to strive, thrive and flourish. Ask questions to broaden your knowledge instead of regarding it as a lack of knowledge.
7 – Identify specific goals and break them down into small stepsIf you decide that you want to change your behaviours to boost your self-confidence, it is best to identify some specific goals. It is necessary to make sure that they are manageable by breaking them down into small steps, or attempting a less ambitious change first. For example, in order to be able to speak up in team meetings, it may be easier to begin by expressing opinions more often with friends. Becoming comfortable with this can make the next step, contributing in a team meeting, easier.
8 – Make a commitmentAs mentioned earlier: the path to low self-esteem is to repeatedly make a promise to yourself, and then break it. The path back to feeling empowered is to make a promise to act, and then actually follow through. Reading this article should NOT be about information gathering, but much rather a promise to yourself that you are absolutely committed to boost your self-confidence, and to do anything in your power to achieve it. Commitment is the one key to true empowerment. Remember: your value isn’t dependent upon anything - your value is there because you are who you are. None of the causes of a lack of self-esteem are part of you at your core, which means that you can address them. Creating a sense of certainty that you can achieve whatever you set your mind to is powerful and life-changing. However, if you allow fear and doubt to control you, you will settle for less and underachieve. Don’t listen to others. Trust yourself. Listen to yourself. “Dare to make a difference!”
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