How to Empower Yourself to be Confident

boredomJane sat across from me waiting for my comments on the sales call we had gone on together.  As manager of a small group of sales associates, Jane was my first hire. It was the first time I had actually managed a group and my first time giving feedback to someone I’d hired. My credentials for being promoted to manager were that I had been a top producing sales associate myself and I had worked for a Vice President who thought I would be a good manager. Other than that I had no training to be a manager.

I began to critique Jane’s performance. There was lots to say since she was used to selling to smaller customers and needed to learn relationship building. When I finished Jane looked crushed and said, “Didn’t I do anything right?”

Wow that was a punch in the gut to me. I had never considered that by telling her ways to improve her performance I might make her lose confidence in herself and thus perhaps make her performance worse.

She never argued with me about what I said. She simply was asking me to help her gain her equilibrium. It is hard to sell anything if you doubt your ability. It’s actually hard to do anything if you don’t have confidence in yourself.

Parker’s Points this month had a list of exercises and ideas for gaining confidence in yourself. If you haven’t had a chance to read it you will find it here .   If you are constantly worried that you are not good enough it will be very hard to be happy at work.

While it would be wonderful to have supportive managers and teammates to help boost your confidence, that is relatively rare. As an employee, business owner, professional, or career changer you must be ready at all times to boost your own confidence. My list contains many good suggestions. At a minimum it is important to build relationships with supportive friends and colleagues to go to when your confidence is diminishing.

It is not only managers or teammates who can affect someone’s confidence. We can do it to ourselves. Do you avoid taking a risk of volunteering for a project because you are not sure you are up to the challenge? Have you recently made a mistake and that voice in your head is criticizing you for screwing up?

The critical voice in my head sometimes tells me how great someone else is at something and that I pale in comparison. That kind of comparison does a job on your confidence. That voice keeps telling me I will never be as good as him/her. Someone once gave me this advice: Don’t compare your inside with someone else’s outside. It takes work to shut that critical voice down.

Whether you are interviewing for a job, are self-employed or work for company, confidence is something everyone needs to have. When you feel yours waning be sure to take action. You can find a supportive friend to give you feedback, you can take a class to get better at whatever you need to boost your confidence, or you can hire a coach to help you to use these and other confidence building tools.

If you choose the latter and would like to work with me, I’d love to show you ways others have gained confidence and then felt empowered to do what they feared most. For a consultation call me at 781-598-0388 or email me at asparker@asparker.com.

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To ignite the spark within you, get your free values assessment, newsletter and tips list to be happy at work.