I’ve never reposted before, but after reading Cherry Woodburn’s initial post in her “Confidence Chronicles” series, I knew it was time to repost this one. Cherry’s interview with Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter, career services entrepreneur and one of only 27 Master Resume Writers in the world, showcases the core importance of confidence to career success.
- experience for that job
- knowledge to lead a team
- years with the company to advance
- know-how to start my own business.”
Exactly, who says we aren’t good enough? Most of the time, we’re the guilty party.
Doubt is our enemy.
Negative self-talk is often riddled with self-doubt. We look at what others are achieving, compare ourselves, and question whether we have what it takes. We self-assess against standards that we invent before we know what the real expectations are.
Self-confidence is as much about being willing to explore an opportunity as it is about being able to execute an assignment. All too often, we worry about our ability to do a job before we understand what it is.
Doubt cannot be allowed to rule.
The antidote to doubt is reality. Not some “reality” you imagine but the reality that exists.
Start by looking around. Who is doing the work that you think you’re “not good enough” to do as well or better?
Look hard and long at those people. Watch exactly what they do and say. Pay attention to the actual results they produce. Examine their work closely. Find out what others are saying about it.
Then ask yourself, “Can I produce work like that or better?” My guess is that, in most cases, your answer will be, “Sure.”
If you’ve been reading my posts for a bit, you know that I spent many years as a commercial horse breeder. I knew nothing about it when I started.
Before I bought my farm, I had doubts about whether or not I could care for horses on my own since I’d had no knowledge or experience. The owner of the barn where I’d been boarding warned me, “You could kill those horses if you don’t feel ‘em right.” That rocked me.
Then I stopped to think about her and the other people I’d met who were in the horse business. I asked myself, “Is there any reason to believe that the people in this business are smarter than I am? Do I have good people to advise me when I have questions?” The answers were obvious.
Self-confidence is not arrogance.
Arrogance is when you act like you know everything. Self-confidence is about believing in yourself. It builds courage, keeps you moving forward in spite of setbacks, and enables you to seize opportunities to grow.
You find self-confidence by looking positively at yourself, acknowledging what you can do. You build self-confidence by testing your capabilities.
The biggest mistake we make is telling ourselves that we have to be the best at something before we are “entitled” to be self-confident. In fact, we just have to be as good as the situation requires.
Role models are everywhere.
If your self-confidence is a bit shaky, it’s time to look around and see who’s out there doing what you want to do with capabilities similar to yours. In the past four months, I watched these two confidence-building situations unfold:
1.) A Gen Y college grad, who hated her job, started a blog, made professional on-line contacts, was recognized for her writing talents, started freelancing, and just got a full-time job.
2.) An experienced marketing professional was downsized, couldn’t find another job, talked to independent contractors about how they worked, informally looked for clients, blogged about her “start up” experiences, got great advice, opened an office, and saw her business start to grow.
Self-confidence evolves. Every step you take helps you build your truly capable self. You can mentor, volunteer to lead a team, give speeches, deliver training, start a hobby business, or cover a temporary vacancy at work.
Every step you take to become business fit builds your self-confidence. If you haven’t had a chance to learn the seven smart moves, perhaps now’s the time. Your self-confidence is your success engine. Without it, we don’t move very far or very fast. Vroooom!
How has your self-confidence been tested? What were you able to do to overcome your doubts and move ahead?
Photo from nicer than air via Flickr