Self-confidence, simply put, is having confidence in yourself. It’s having a belief in your own abilities, strengths and powers. If you’ve ever known someone who has a lot of potential, but lacks self-confidence, you quickly see it can hold them back in their career, especially when it comes to leadership.
A leader who lacks self-confidence generally, has a difficult time making decisions, avoids tough conversations with team members, does not empower his or her team members and ultimately has a team that shows little respect.
The good news is, you can gain self-confidence by building on self-awareness. Start by writing down your strengths, what things are you confident in already, do you pay attention to detail, maybe you have great relationships with members of your team or love to work with numbers, these are areas you need to build on because even if you don’t realize it, these are areas you are already confident. Next, write down your weaknesses or areas of opportunity, the areas you know are hindering your growth. Where do you lack confidence, are you a push over, do you avoid having conversations when needed with team members, do you have a lot of anxiety when it comes to making decisions, or is it hard for you to delegate duties? The key is to be honest with yourself, while that’s not always easy, it is the first step to improving.
Seeking feedback is also an important step in gaining self-confidence. When you ask your leader, your team or your peers for their honest thoughts about your areas of strengths and opportunities, it not only gives you great information but it also shows your own self-confidence by asking.
Now that you’ve made your list, decide what areas you will work on first, set specific goals to help you change your behaviors and get to work. One of our favorite sayings when it comes to making change happen, especially when it applies to changing behaviors is to remember, “this is a marathon, not a sprint.”
If you’ve ever observed someone grow in confidence, you’ve seen them step outside their comfort zone, the result is, they stand a little taller when they enter a room, they start to have difficult conversations with their team and they’re not afraid to share their ideas in the board room. The self-confidence they’re building for themselves carries over to their team. A team that now has clearer expectations and is empowered to contribute even more to their day to day. In the end, you become a happier and more confident leader and everyone benefits.