Read this if your confidence needs a boost

As a result of changes in my personal circumstances, I’ve been thinking a lot about confidence recently; what happens when we lose it and how we can get it back. For the last six months in my life I’ve been knee-deep in nappies. I haven’t been focusing too much on my career. This is not just because I have run out of hours in the day. You see, when you leave the professional world, even for a few months, it throws you out of the rhythm. And soon enough you’re thinking, hold on, am I actually any good at my career? Does anyone in the working world need me or miss me? And those little doubts creep in until before you know it you’re in the midst of a full-blown confidence crisis.

Now, it’s kind of a workplace taboo to say you don’t feel confident so self-doubt in others isn’t always obvious, which is why I wanted to share my own story here. But, believe me, lapses in confidence are as common as Pret sandwiches in the workplace. I know from speaking to my clients that the most talented, smartest and dedicated marketing professionals often feel like they’re not good enough, like they don’t belong and as though they are doing or saying something wrong.

So what are we supposed to do when we have an attack of self-doubt? A common solution is to look for self-assurance from someone else. All too often, we rely on the praise of our colleagues, our social media likes, our friends’ kind words to pick us up again. But this is just a sticking plaster that soon falls away. It is not a firm foundation for self-belief.

Here’s what actually works, in my experience, when you come face to face with self-doubt:

First, acknowledge the issue. Write it down, explore how you feel about it. What happened? Why has it shaken you? How are you responding? Let your pen do the work, and don’t think too much about what you’re writing, just let it all out. You may well find that once you’ve seen the problem on paper it isn’t actually as bad as it seemed when it was circling endlessly in your mind.

See progress, not failure: We become more resilient from our challenges when we see them as learning opportunities, rather than mistakes. Try spinning the situation on its head so you think to yourself “I’m glad I did/said that because I’ve learnt xx from it”.

Bounce back: You’ve spent some time exploring what’s happened and what you’ve learnt. It’s time to move on. The way to do this is to explore the amazing stuff you’ve done in the last week/month/year. Believe me, there are loads of achievements, big and small, both within work and beyond that you probably haven’t given yourself credit for yet while you’ve been focusing on the negative stuff.

Get excited about the future: What’s next for you? Find things coming up that you are truly passionate about; not just in your working life, but in your personal life. It could be holidays, dates, art classes, work presentations. Notice what it is about these things that is lighting you up. For instance, are you driven by socialising or time alone? By using your imagination or by organising events? The more you start to notice what gives you that buzz, the more you can actively seek out opportunities that energise you, rather than drain you.

But please know that even with the above steps a confidence crisis doesn’t always disappear overnight. If you’re still feeling low or crushed or wounded be kind to yourself, know that what you’re going through is normal and that if you take the time to explore what’s really eating you up rather than attempting to ignore it, a stronger, wiser, more experienced and more talented version of you can emerge.

The best person to help you do this is a coach. Unlike those in your support network, who will offer their own solutions and a bit of tea and sympathy, good coaches have the training and ability to help you face the truth so you can move forward into your full power and potential.

Want to know more about upping your confidence levels? I’ve shared a short video over on my Facebook Group, Megawatt Community. Check it out and you’ll also get a little window into my own story relating to confidence, as well as my life out here in South of France, with a small cameo from Baby Jamie!

Yours in true support of your dreams,