We have all had those thoughts in our head when leaving a meeting where something was in question about what you did, why you did it (or did not) and, well, now what? So, you begin to question yourself: Did I do the right thing? At this juncture, your confidence may take a nose dive.
But there is something you can do when these situations inevitably occur.
The following material is drawn from Leadership Development Self-Study Modules Browning Dudley designed for leadership teams. These modules were designed to enable leaders to continually develop skills and abilities that enhance performance at their own pace—continuous learning in action.
Leaders are not simply born, they are made. Most realize that being a leader is all about behavior and confidence is a large part of that. We don’t advise berating yourself for experiencing a lack of confidence. Everyone questions themselves at one time or another. Making mistakes is how we learn. Self-doubt is natural, yet it doesn’t have to be something you wallow in and certainly shouldn’t be something you nourish.
Building self-confidence is a skill. As a leader, you need self-confidence to focus, inspire your team or direct reports, and improve performance. You will need determination and persistence to build self-confidence. However, keep in mind someone has confidence in you already because of your role or position. The really good news is self-confidence can be learned and improved upon on a daily basis. Here’s how:
When discouraging thoughts dance in your head, replace them with lines of self-dialogue. Try these for starters.
• “I will be deliberate in my actions.”
• “I will not allow my behavior to be impacted by the bad behavior of others’.”
• “I will put forth the effort.”
• “I will be relentless.”
• “I will keep taking action.”
• “I will press through.”
• “I will make sure the goal is correct.”
Our Study-Guide has a much more extensive list: create your own and make it as lengthy as possible. Now put each one individually on a small index card and put a rubber band around the lot.
Next, prioritize and choose two or three (no more than that) index cards (Post Sticker Pads also work) and place them somewhere they can be easily seen on a daily basis. Rotate your selection but keep the most important ones within easy reach.
The next time you feel your confidence slip—before you do anything else—think on which items are posted. Then review the ones that are not. Repeat them to yourself: out loud. This practice will allow you to internalize positive thinking and give you the confidence to get to your next step.
This technique is called a self-talk tool: anyone can use it, anytime, anywhere. Yet without the hand preparation we are suggesting, you won’t be successful. Choosing positive statements will renew your mind—and the rest will follow.
© Browning Dudley Corp. 2015