Feeling stuck is a problem so many people face in their career. Promotions are limited, others seem to be getting ahead, and it can sometimes feel like it’s unfair. You’re a high performer and a rockstar, but you’re still feeling stuck.
One of the likely reasons you’re not where you want to be is because you lack self-confidence. It’s stopping you from making yourself visible, raising your hand, speaking up, and pushing the status quo. These are the secret sauce to loosening that feeling of being stuck.
Before talking about how to be more confident, let’s first talk about what confidence is. Confidence is the ability to walk into any situation and know you can handle it, know you have the skills, experience, and know-how to manage what comes your way. It doesn’t mean you have all the answers, but it does mean you can handle it.
Confidence is built by taking action and having evidence of your capability. Self-confidence, on the other hand, is believing you can handle anything, without evidence, without proof, without “I’ve done it before so I will do it again” to fuel you.
We can sum up handling any situation as really being able to trust yourself and being willing to experience any feeling that results from trying something new or doing something uncomfortable.
To assess your own self-confidence ask yourself:
1. Do you trust yourself? Do you follow through on your commitments to you?
2. Are you willing to experience any emotion? Fear of failure, embarrassment?
3. What do you think of yourself?
How you answer these three questions is an indicator of how self-confident you really are.
Why is this so hard? We don’t trust ourselves. We don’t know how to manage our minds. We feel out of control of our feelings, as if they are happening to us. We want to be perfect. We want to be seen as competent and strong for our bosses and peers.
But think about it. You put yourself out there and you go after what you want. You raise your hand. The worst that will happen is a feeling you don’t like.
What happens if you don’t do anything? The cost is much higher.
When you have more self-confidence you:
- Set more goals
- Take more action
- Make decisions aligned with your integrity
You grow self-confidence by doing more things that show you that you can handle those uncomfortable feelings. You have to look at the thoughts you’re having about yourself and change them. This is going to cause you to go against your human brain and your core beliefs.
It’s a big lift, I get it. Working with a coach is the most efficient way to see how your thinking is holding you back and build the confidence to get you the next job, the promotion, the fulfillment you want in your career and your life.
Some things you can do now are:
- Next time you have the thought that you want to try something new, speak up at the big meeting, be aware of how you’re feeling, and allow it.
- Speak up and express yourself
- Take small steps in action
- When you notice negative self-talk, stop it. Question it. Is it true?
- Accept and believe compliments from others. Your brain is your business and their brain is theirs. It’s not your business to question what they think.
When you take these actions, write them down. Document your thoughts before and after. How did these actions make you feel? Keeping progress of your action will be an excellent resource for you to see your progress over time in your journey to unsticking yourself for good.