Do you believe in your ability to succeed? That’s one definition of confidence, which goes a long way in building a successful career and life.
Confidence and resilience are both desirable attributes, and the two go hand in hand. So says Paula Davis-Laack, a former practicing lawyer who went on to earn her master’s degree in applied positive psychology. Davis-Laack has written about self confidence in articles for Forbes, and encourages people who want to increase their confidence to focus on self-efficacy.
Put simply, that’s your belief in your ability to be successful – in a given situation, or when tackling a particular task.
Attending a conference soon?
There are different approaches to building self-efficacy, including building on small wins and mastering specific experiences. If you’re introverted and less than comfortable with crowds of strangers, for example, you may join a professional association and participate in a meeting or event with the intention of introducing yourself and networking with new people.
Whether or not you’re introverted, conferences and network gatherings are ideal opportunities to work on this approach. If you’re among the assistants who’ll attend the Executive Leadership Support (ELS) Forum in Vancouver next week, you might go out of your way to sit alongside new to you people at each of the sessions or at meals. If you’re attending this ELS Forum on July 18th and 19th, please be sure to come up and say hello to yours truly.
If you’re like me, you might be surprised by the number of impressive people who feel they’ve landed (and been able to hold) great roles not because they’re skilled or accomplished, but because they’re lucky … or even a fraud.
People who identify with Imposter Syndrom may feel that (despite evidence to the contrary) their achievements are the result of timing, luck or almost anything other than their capabilities. Some say there’s a sensation of just waiting to be found out.
I’ve had conversations with successful people who identified as struggling with imposter syndrome. Until they disclosed this to me, I’d never have guessed that to be the case.
Confidence, tempered with humility
There’s a difference, of course, between being confident and being arrogant – and many would agree that confidence tempered by humility can be a good thing. For, while too much humility may reflect an aversion to risk that results in missed opportunities, a case of overconfidence can lead us to make mistakes. What about the times, though, when people struggle with confidence?
What happens when our confidence takes a hit?
Whatever the cause, it can happen to many of us. You made a mistake. You didn’t land that job you really wanted. Or, perhaps you and your principal don’t have the working relationship you’d hoped for. Your confidence takes a hit, and you feel your resilience declining.
When this happens, it becomes all too easy to second guess your decisions. That leads to declines in productivity and effectiveness – and a potential spiral. Whatever the cause, there are strategies for rebuilding one’s confidence. Working on competencies through professional development is always a good approach, and can help restore your sense of resilience.
All this leads us to the focus of this weekend’s poll:
How confident in your career are you?
Please take a couple of minutes to complete the poll below. As always, I look forward to hearing what you have to say; watch here for results early next week.