The Not-So-Civil War of Self-Confidence

Each one of us is fighting a battle of self-confidence.  No matter how many years you have under your belt or how established your reputation in your industry, there are still things you are learning  (at least I hope) and things about which you are not on sure footing.  You are very aware of these areas and each of us have our own coping mechanisms.

And some of us are very critical of ourselves about these discrepancies.  About the things we could be doing better.  About the things we didn't say or do.  About the things we did.  About what we have yet to do.  It can take the form of worry, guilt, or stress.  And it can mount a full-blown attack on our ability to approach the future with calm assurance.  This not-so-civil war is raging constantly under the surface.  And we often are quite violent with ourselves, over-playing our failures and inadequacies and under-playing our strengths and abilities.

Somehow it is easier knowing that everyone is feeling this, at least to some extent.  Whether it is articulated or not. And I find comfort in our ability to change our perceptions, and the confidence with with which we bring to our work, by changing our mindset.  Of course, we should never finish working on our skills, our experience, and trusted counsel from advisers we trust.  And in the meantime, we have it in our power recognize that the internal battles we are fighting are just that.

And it is critical to be encouraging to folks on your team, to your boss, to your peers, and even to your customers.  Not to whitewash skills gaps or performance concerns, but to give people an opportunity quiet their self-critic and apply their strengths to the problems at hand and see success.