How do you define self-confidence? We tend to think of confident people as the most dominant in the room. Attracting all the attention. Talking the talk, taking the plaudits and loving the limelight.
We then compare ourselves to these people and frequently decide that we come up short. It’s demoralising. We tell ourselves that we are not confident, and lo and behold that perception becomes our reality.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Let’s put the stereotype to one side and look at what self-confidence really means. People who are self-confident:
- are self-assured
- contribute and add value
- are self-reliant
- are unfazed by challenges
We can see from these descriptors that the quietest in the room can actually be the most confident. They just don’t feel the need to shout about it. Their self-assurance means that they don’t need the extra recognition and applause for a job well done. They contribute and add value without the fanfare that their more vocal co-workers might look for. They have self-reliance and can get on with the matter in hand, without their hand being held. They are unfazed by the challenges ahead, or if they are daunted (which is only human after all) they know that they are well positioned to do the best they can.
This is the perfect state of self confidence. And quite a tall order. The fact is that we do not always feel or exhibit the same level of confidence in ourselves, we fluctuate. Sometimes we feel really good about our abilities and sometimes the inner voice of doubt creeps in as the pressure rises. Being able to identify this and objectively manage it helps us to keep a lid on our inner saboteur.
Self-confidence v the inner saboteur
That inner saboteur is a rotter. It can send us into underuse of this dimension of emotional intelligence, where our nosediving self-confidence pushes us to retreat from challenges. Or it can propel us into overuse where we appear so self-assured that we present as arrogant, aggressive or unapproachable.
The aim is to achieve the equilibrium of a solid base of confidence and ultimately move into a flow zone where we can operate at our optimum. These are the levels at which we are an asset to our team, rather than a hindrance or a liability.
To develop self-confidence in the workplace takes reflection and support. It might always not be comfortable and it might take some difficult adjustments. The most important first step is to become more emotionally aware and to regulate (not suppress) those emotions. It is okay to feel whatever we feel, but it is essential to be aware of those emotions, to take stock of them, and to regulate how we respond in a way that is proportionate and appropriate.
We all want to be confident and also to work with confident people. Our workplace relationships become stronger and more productive, and our workplace is a happier and healthier environment to be part of.
flowprofiler® dimension labs | Self-Confidence
Identify, understand and develop self-confidence in your leaders and teams with flowprofiler dimension labs supported by eqflow® from flowprofiler®
flowprofiler® dimension labs are one hour virtual sessions, each focuses on a single dimension. The session explores that dimension and how it manifests in behavioural terms.
- What is the dimension?
- Why that dimension is important in the workplace
- How to improve the dimension
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