Do you ever find yourself steaming over what you “should” have said in a conversation, but didn’t because you kept quiet? Do you wish you could apply for a new position, but because you lack all of the qualifications, you don’t bother? Do you ever hold yourself back before others have a chance to reject you? Confidence is what turns your thoughts into action – an invisible force that opens doors for the most successful people and closes them to those who often are more gifted, but less bold. Think about it: In what area of your life would a boost of confidence propel you forward?
This week, I invite you to try these exercises to strengthen your confidence:
- Share an idea at work that is “above your pay grade.”
Research about confidence shows that those who speak up, suggest ideas and contribute are more likely to get ahead at work. It isn’t about whether all of the ideas are good, but about the fact that if you are confident enough to believe that your ideas could have an impact, you’ll speak up. That means eventually one of your ideas will stick. Decision makers are more likely to come to you to discuss solutions to problems. You become a go-to person because you communicate. Don’t focus on being perfect. Focus on making a positive contribution.
- Hear criticism and let it roll off your back.
It may sound counterintuitive because most people think of criticism as a confidence killer. But if you refuse to internalize criticism and instead look for the grain of truth in it to make you better, you remove the power of criticism to create insecurities. Be honest with yourself. Is there any truth to the criticism? If so, what are you willing to do to improve? If there is no truth to it, don’t adopt someone else’s evaluation of you to become your own.
- Take a step you know you can achieve.
One of the fastest ways to build confidence is to experience a success. Do something you feel sure you can achieve. It is a small step toward increasing what psychologists call “self-efficacy,” your belief that you can do what you set out to do. As you achieve small steps, increase the challenge for the next step. Little by little, you build confidence.
My challenge to you this week:
Be intentional about building confidence. It is essential to building success at the next level.
In what area of your life do you need a confidence boost? What is a step you could take this week to move in that direction?