Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Build Self Confidence

Often the stumbling block to achieve our goals is lack of self-confidence. Not having confidence can limit a person’s potential, career choices and progression. Ironically confidence is in the mind.  When people aren’t confident they believe they can’t achieve their dream job or haven’t the skills to move up the corporate ladder. Lack of confidence is often based on very self-critical thinking, fear of failure or from not having developed yet the right skills but expecting to have them.

Self-confidence is something we are born with and we can rebuild by evaluating our experiences in a more positive light, looking at past experiences as an opportunity to learn or at skills as something we just haven’t accomplished yet. One way of building confidence is by changing our mind set from thinking, “we can’t do something” to “we can’t do something yet.”

What we think about ourselves often appears to be fact, something we can’t actually do anything about, but these are just opinions. They are based on how we interpreted  experiences and therefore shaped beliefs about ourselves. If these experiences have been experienced as negative, the chances are that our beliefs about ourselves will be negative too, which affects our self-confidence.

Negative beliefs affect how people see their current reality, especially in the workplace, and how they ultimately progress in their career - it can limit possibilities and stop them achieving their potential.
For example if someone gets praised at work for doing a good job, people who are confident will accept the complements, but those who lack confidence may start wondering if their boss really meant it, and start to worry that they could do better.

Here are some tips on building your self-confidence:

  • Change your mind-set – focus on the positive and things you have done well not the negative. Write down one positive achievement every day, no matter how small and you will be surprised what you have achieved in a week.
  • If things haven’t gone to plan take it as an opportunity to learn from the mistakes. No one ever gets anywhere without making a few mistakes along the way.
  • Don’t be afraid to fail. Many entrepreneurs have failed during their working lives and gone on to achieve great things. Think about Richard Branson. He has launched close to a 100 companies, many of which have failed. No one remembers these, only the successes.
  • Ask people you respect what they think are your greatest strengths and then find ways to use those strengths more often. Be clear about your strengths and incorporate these into your work every day.
  • Instead of thinking “I can’t” – think “I can’t yet”. Make this your mantra and say it to yourself every day.
  • Hire an  executive coach, they usually are challenging but supportive
  • Challenge yourself to try something new. Find projects and assignments that give you an opportunity to use your strengths.
  • Fear of failure often stops us doing things, turn this on its head and make a commitment to do at least one thing you fear every month. This could be making a team presentation, attending a networking function alone or learning a new business skill.
  • A lack of confidence isn’t pervasive. People need to think about other areas of their lives where they do feel confident – they may be good a cook for example or good at sport. If this confidence was channelled into the workplace then it could have a very positive impact.

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