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Nurturing Self-Confidence

2 min
confidence  ✺  selfconfidence  ✺  attitude  ✺  strengths  ✺  growth  ✺  decision

Confidence is not something you acquire, it is a belief you create.

I always thought that self-confidence comes from achievements and external validation.

I believed that to feel confident, I needed to be really good at what I did and have other people notice and recognize me for the same.

But as I progressed in my career, I started realizing this wasn't the whole story.

Even when I delivered on achievements and others told me I did a great job, my confidence remained lacking.

On many days, I still doubted myself, with symptoms of self-doubt and imposter syndrome kicking in. “Am I really good?”; “What if they find out I’m not as good as they think I am?”; “What if my next project is a failure?”

This set me on a discovery journey to deep dive into the art and science of self-confidence.

The more I learned about the topic, the more I understood that self-confidence is much more about how we feel about and talk to ourselves.

This discovery made me realize that I'm the one (and only one) who can make myself feel confident.

To gain deeper insights into self-confidence, I reached out to my friend Anemari Fiser, an Engineering Leader and career Coach.

Here are 4 tips she shared with me on nurturing self-confidence:

1/ Take Responsibility for Your Success: Instead of attributing your career growth to luck, take responsibility for it.

Reframe “It just happened to me” towards thinking about what you did to make this happen:

➜ What are your strengths and how have they contributed to your growth? ➜ What decisions along the way got you to where you are? ➜ What attitude helped you grow?

2/ Keep a Brag List: At the end of every week, add one thing you are proud of.

Example: Received encouraging feedback from my manager and stakeholders about my delivery of project X on time.

3/ Visualize your accomplishments: My favorite way is through creating a jar of my accomplishments.

Here's how:

➜ Get a jar on your desk (preferably see-through) ➜ Get post-its (preferably multiple colors) ➜ Every time you accomplish something that you are proud of (no matter how big or small) write it on a post-it and put it in the jar ➜ Review the post-its when you are feeling down

4/ Address root causes that bring you down daily: These are usually small actions that negatively impact our confidence.

Some examples:

➜ Behaviour: Saying sorry too much (even when it’s not your fault).

Alternative: Go one day without saying sorry.

➜ Behaviour: Saying YES to everything that comes your way.

Alternative: Say one NO (or ask for some time to think about it even if you will say YES in the end).

➜ Behaviour: Using words like “I am not sure”, “I think”, and “I might be wrong” too often.

Alternative: Replace them with: “Based on my experience …” or "My proposal is …”.

PS: Remember confidence starts from within and radiates out for others to feel.