There’s a lot of expectation that comes with the ‘Manager’ title and as I recall my days in management, I remember feeling the pressure to get everything spot on. Sadly, that expectation can erode your confidence.
When you lack self-confidence, it appears easier to stop doing what you planned or, more simply, not start. But how does that leave you feeling? How does that impact your already low self-confidence?
Confidence builds up
The whole point of confidence is to help drive you through the struggles to get to the desired outcomes and as a manager, it is a critical skill to develop as you navigate people management, tasks, and teamwork.
Think about it; as a baby, you learn to walk. You don’t get up and walk the first time (very rare!). It takes multiple attempts and along the way you crawl, stand and stumble, you fall but you never give up until, presto, one day you can walk! Confidence achieved!
What hinders confidence
However, as an adult, you become more self-conscious and put pressure on yourself, rather than others, to get things right the first time, resulting in overwhelm, stress, and, at the worst end of the scale, anxiety and depression.
If you make mistakes, you label yourself (and others) as failures, stupid, and worthless. Is it any surprise that people are unwilling to stumble, to develop resilience in the face of adversity, and to develop the confidence needed to move from incompetent to competent? Isn’t it best to avoid it completely, right?
No! Confidence is about learning. It is a skill that requires you to ‘trust’ things will become possible providing you put the work in.
The painful thing about low self-confidence is that it stops you from being all that you can be, having all that life has to offer, and achieving all that your magnificent self is capable of. It can:
- Keep you in a job that doesn’t meet your needs (unfulfilling but doable)
- Make you turn away when personality clashes in your team (if you don’t look you don’t have to deal with it)
- Stop your wealth creation process (earning potential restricted)
- Create poor lifestyle choices that affect your health and well-being (self-soothe disappointments by overeating, excessive alcohol, poor sleep patterns)
- Keep you in relationships that do not serve you well (loveless, abusive, toxic)
Fortunately, as managers, you can make these 4 choices to tip the confidence-building scales in your favour:
- Being honest about where you are now and where you want to be, taking responsibility for the actions required to get you from A to B, whether that is mindset and behaviour changes, mentoring, learning and development resources, or mental health support.
- Being an active participant in your life, not passive. No more settling to avoid the discomfort of slow and steady progress or not getting things right the first time.
- Building your belief system based on what you’ve seen is possible for you. Think of all your past wins – better still, write them down, rather than dwelling on a pile of doubts arising from the unknown, where you have not yet ventured.
- Living from a place of curiosity and openness to explore rather than settling or becoming stagnant to avoid disappointment. Life is an experiment.
And remember, everything can change in one moment with one decision followed by one action. And the more you follow this straightforward process, the more your confidence will grow in yourself and your role in life and leadership!
This guest blog is written by Yvonne Bignall, Award Winning Women’s Health Advocate & Self-Care Coach, and Interpersonal Skills Trainer. She is the Founder of YB Limited and Permission to Thrive, an immersive community for women 50+ prioritising self-care needs for health, business, and life. You can also visit her Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn profiles to know more about her.
Managers, if your goal this year is to multiply your confidence and your team’s, without the feeling of overwhelm and getting stuck in the day-to-day, our workshop on Step Up into Management can be of help. Get in touch with us today so we can further assist you and your team.