The work environment is increasingly competitive and challenging. For competitive types this can create healthy tension and spur them to work faster, harder, longer. For others, a competitive and stressful environment may trigger feelings of self-doubt and low confidence.
What is low confidence?
Low confidence could be described as having negative thoughts about yourself and your own ability and this can lead to a downward spiral of under-achievement and disappointment. If you have low self-confidence you might feel invisible, anxious, afraid of being judged, fearful of taking action, and always second guessing yourself.
What triggers low confidence?
Some of the common triggers that can result in low confidence in professional life include:
- Job is a wrong fit for your talents and strengths: If you’re working in a job in which you’re are not able to use your strengths, chances are it will feel difficult, you won’t enjoy it, you’ll be less productive and lose confidence. Working in your strengths zone improves confidence, direction (Gallup research)
- Job loss: Redundancy, early retirement, fired. These days losing your job is not uncommon, however it can be devastating, especially when it comes out of the blue. Having to re-enter the highly competitive job market requires drive and resilience. For many losing your job and then competing for a new one triggers feelings of rejection and fear of failure which can be debilitating and a big knock to confidence.
- Personal challenges: Relationship challenges or health issues. When we go through a significant life changes we can lose our self-belief, question our actions and feel our confidence has been wiped out. If our physical or emotional health is suffering, our ability to manage challenges and bounce back from them is compromised.
- Career Plateau: You’ve always been perceived as a high performer and have been rewarded with regular promotions in your career and you seem to have reached a ceiling. Suddenly you look around and your younger colleagues are the ones that are perceived as the high potentials and are selected for projects, courses etc. Your high-flying career feels as though it has been grounded and you start to question your competence and future.
- Work lacks meaning: Early in our careers, many of us are motivated by career success, promotion, earning more, learning more and working our way up the ladder. For many, later in our careers, our motivation changes and the drive to move up the corporate ladder is replaced with other interests which may include in promoting the well-being of future generations, mentoring others, getting involved with our communities and exploring more creative paths.
What’s the underlying cause?
It’s useful to explore the underlying causes of low self-confidence. It’s not necessarily the event, as described above, but rather how we think about or react to events. Some of the underlying causes include limiting beliefs about yourself (eg. you’re not good enough – perhaps a result of lack of validation of successes in childhood), negative thinking (always expecting the worst), comparing yourself to others seemingly perfect lives, surrounding yourself with negative people or health issues which have reduced your resilience.
Can you rebuild your confidence? The Importance of a growth mindset.
If you have a growth mindset, you’ll understand that you can grow and develop your confidence by working at it, practicing and experience? If you have a fixed mindset, you may believe that you can’t improve your confidence level. However, if you really want to develop more confidence, believe you can and are ready to give it a go, please try out my top tips for building self confidence below:
If you are feeling lacking in confidence, here are my top tips for tackling it and building self confidence
- Recall your achievements and times you’ve felt confident in the past. What were you doing? Reconnect with how you felt and know that you can feel like that again.
- Strengths. Identify what you are good at. Try to use your strengths more often. When you use your strengths, you feel stronger, more confident and are six times more likely to be engaged in your job.
- Self-care. Put extra effort into taking good care of yourself, including regular exercise, healthy diet and a good sleep routine. This will help you feel better, look better and boost your self-image and confidence
- Stop overthinking and start doing. Stop second guessing yourself and procrastinating. By taking action, even small steps, you’ll start to see some momentum and success which in turn will change your energy and develop your confidence.
- Reframing. Stop thinking about change and challenges as negative things, but rather a process of growth and new beginnings.
- Tackle limiting beliefs. Limiting beliefs affect our lives in many ways. If we believe deep down that we are not good enough, clever enough, etc., then this will impact the decisions we make and how we choose to live our lives. Identifying, challenging and replacing limiting beliefs can free you up to live your life more authentically and achieve your goals.
- Get to know yourself better. Identifying your core values, the things that you believe are important in the way you live and work and then aligning your life with your core values will create a positive shift in feelings, attitude and confidence. Living in harmony with your values creates a fertile environment for happiness, peace of mind, and success, because you are living authentically without confusion.
Believe in yourself
Self-confidence is widely regarded as a valuable individual asset and “believing in oneself” is a key to personal success. If you’re feeling that you’d like more confidence, consider trying some of the tips in this article or working with me directly for some confidence boosting coaching.
Rebuild your confidence and get your life back on track.
Carol Pearson is an experienced and accredited Coach. She helps professionals achieve greater happiness and success in life. This may be adjusting and navigating the changes that are occur in your life or proactively planning and creating a more meaningful future. Carol works with clients in London and internationally either face to face or via telephone, Zoom or Skype. Find out more at www.pearsonpractice.com