Confidence at Work: Where Do I Start?
You want to build your confidence at work.
You know more confidence is vital for your future, your career.
Seems like a big, overwhelming thing to tackle.
Where in the world do you start?
With a baby step. A small, deliberate, prescriptive action.
That's what I ask my clients to take.
Not teenager-size steps, and definitely not adult.
Building confidence is all about taking action...any action.
Not All Action is Moving Forward
I used to have this habit: When I wanted to learn something new, I'd do some research about the topic. Like most people. Like my clients.
Often, my clients will have started their research on building confidence at work with Google.
Searching “How to build confidence at work” or “How to have confident communication.”
And researching IS a good place to start.
But for me, I’d start with research. And then I'd research some more.
Capture articles, bookmark Facebook posts, collect items of interest.
And this could go on...for days.
Guess how much progress I made on learning what I wanted to learn?
A bit. I could tell you a lot about what I learned from all the crud I read.
But I didn't know how to DO it.
Yet I felt so productive!
I'd get stuck in this form of analysis paralysis: thinking about learning something new.
But the real problem was that the never-ending research felt like progress.
It was a trap.
Designed to keep me stuck.
Getting Out of the Trap
Same goes for learning any skill.
Information, when retained, equals knowledge.
Knowledge is good.
But it's in the doing where skill is built. Competence.
I find this happens often with my clients - they come to me because they've been in the analysis paralysis part for too long. They've acquired some knowledge - maybe gathered some tips for more confidence at work.
But they aren't DOING anything differently.
Or if they did try something different, they did it once or twice. It didn’t stick.
Maybe they aren’t taking action due to fear. Or due to not knowing what to do - which is its own form of fear.
With this type of inconsistent action, there’s not enough progress to gain anything resembling momentum.
Jen Sincero, in her great book You Are A Badass, says it this way:
"If you want the new life you say you want, you have to do the work instead of just studying and discussing and wishing and wanting."
Wow. ‘The new life you say you want.’ That sentence alone kind of calls you out, doesn’t it. You say you want it, so why aren’t your actions supporting the change?
Confidence comes from practicing confident actions, not just reading about confidence.
Reading IS a first step. Reading, learning, thinking...
It's a lot easier to conquer the fear that holds you back by taking a small step towards the goal - cementing a quick win - acknowledging what went well from the practice (and being objective about what didn't) and then doing it again.
What is a next small step forward for you?
Need some ideas on what a small action might look like? I put together a few right here: How to Be Confident at Work
Another idea for a small action: Get the book You Are A Badass.
Then read it.
Then do: take action.
Jen writes with such wit and creativity (with an occasional cuss word, keeping it real) - you will be able to leap giant buildings with ease when you're done.
Or think you can.
And honestly, that's just as good.
“Everything in your life follows your behavior. You choose your behavior and the universe returns in likeness. The more bold and aligned your behavior, the more abundant the outcome.” - Ben Hardy
Are you ready to take action? Not just any action. Not just random action, but guided action that helps you build those confidence-at-work muscles?
Good. I’ve created a five-day challenge to get more confidence at work. It’s like you + me meeting every day for 5 days to start you on the path for more confidence at work.
Do this and you’ll be well on your way. Even part of it.