Here’s what you need to do if you’re lacking confidence10 Apr 2015
It’s no secret that a lack of self-assuredness can work against you in business.
There’s a good chance you’ve had one or two world-class ideas that could really help the company you work for. Yet you’ve always shied away from voicing your perspective. So, that risky-but-effective business plan you devised over the weekend will never be heard.
You’re smart, ambitious and creative, but it’s possible you may be suffering from a lack of confidence. If this is the case, it’s essential for you to teach yourself how to be self-assured. Can such an attitude be learned? Of course – it simply requires the correct approach.
There’s a difference between self esteem and confidence.
Is confidence a career-booster
Dr Reza Hasmath, of the University of Melbourne’s School of Social and Political Sciences, led a research initiative to determine how confidence impacts success in the workplace.
Dr Hasmath and her team conducted 100 interviews with corporate professionals from Melbourne, New York and Toronto. Afterward, she discovered that self-assuredness is a key characteristic leaders look for when considering individuals for promotions.
“The findings imply that we should stress confidence-building activities at an early age. Such activities should be strongly encouraged both in formal schooling and within the family unit,” said Dr Hasmath.
Build self esteem before building confidence
Wait, aren’t self-esteem and confidence one in the same? Not according to Dieter Pauwels, a life coach who spoke with What Matters Most. He maintained that a person’s self esteem is defined by how healthy of a relationship they have with themselves and other people. In contrast, confidence is a person’s “ability to express a certain skill successfully”.
Self esteem comes from within, according to Mr Pauwels. From his perspective, if you do not accept yourself without guilt or judgement, your relationships, both in and outside of business, will fail. Most importantly, you will have a much more difficult time carrying yourself in a confident manner.
How can confidence be learned?
Based on Mr Pauwels conclusions, you have to focus on what makes you different. Yes, it may sound cliche, but he brought up a really good point in the interview: That there is literally no one else in the world like you. Within the workplace, you bring something exclusive from everything else.
When learning confidence, consistently remind yourself that your singularity is an asset. From there, logically support your ideas and actions. Why did you make a certain decision? How did you justify it to yourself? Asking these questions can be a powerful internal tool in helping you achieve high confidence.