It’s virtually impossible to talk about leadership without acknowledging the critical role that confidence plays. If the answer is that a great leader is a confident leader, the question is how do we as leaders become confident?
A quick Google search reveals that ‘secrets’ to confidence vary from ‘Invest in a good suit (and an osteopath to sort out your posture)’ to ‘Undergo years of therapy to remove your inner confidence blocks.’
My view is that there is no quick fix when it comes to confidence. Rather it’s about getting clear on certain aspects of your life, recognising that developing confidence is a continuous journey rather than a final destination, and maintaining a vision of a confident you.
To some extent faking it does play a part. If we ‘act as if’ we have confidence we soon begin to have it for real, because we remove the internal dialogue that derails us from holding a fundamental self belief. So, when we notice we are ‘acting’ confidently then we come to know that we can be confident and so give ourselves permission to just be confident.
If lack of confidence is affecting your life (both at work and at play) begin by examining the following:
Your vision of you: look in the mirror and get clear on some home truths!
- Who am I?
- What do I stand for?
- How do others perceive me?
- Do I welcome feedback?
- Do I ask for support when I need it?
- Do I acknowledge my own strengths and weaknesses?
Your levels of resilience
- Am I resilient in the face of change?
- What levels of optimism do I carry?
- How do I communicate that to others?
Your willingness to reflect
- Do I create ‘thinking space?’
- Do I recognise the importance of reflection in my life?
- What big questions do I ask myself?
Addressing these areas while holding a vision for a confident you will ultimately lead to a place where it is not necessary to fake it. Confidence emerges from authenticity; a surety about who you are and what you bring that deepens relationships, delivers more fulfilment, and allows space for more fun too!
Tania Watson is the founder of Creative Coaching and an executive coach, organisational consultant and leadership specialist. Creative Coaching is a successful company dedicated to the development of senior leaders in organisations through one to one coaching, intact team development and group facilitation. If you or someone from your organisation would like to have a no obligation conversation about how Creative Coaching may be able to help, please email Tania directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.