People talk at work. The boss is unreasonable. Your customer complained about you. What do you do? If you are lacking self-confidence, it can haunt your professional life in myriad ways. Here are three pivotal reasons you should work on building it.
Blending Self and Job Identity
This is an insidious combination of two separate items that people tend to not recognize.
To blend the self with the job identity implies your job is part of your being. It means your existence is reliant upon your duties, job title or employer. When this occurs, life is grand if the job is going well. However, it also means that when the job goes south for whatever reasons, so does your life.
There are two problems when we blend work with our self-identities. First, you are relying on externals, almost completely out of your control, to feel confident. When we rely on external situations to make us feel good or confident, we set ourselves up for disappointment.
The second problem is that you tend to forget that careers are only one slice of life’s massive pie. People who depend on careers for their wellbeing are likely to forget there are significant, more important things to life.
Think of your job (and your career) as a tool. It is simply a tool that changes over time, morphs into something you may or may have anticipated, and acts as a springboard to your next job.
Jobs and employers are not the end all be all, as much as they may seem. If you suspect you are blending self and job identities, answer the question, “In what ways am I lacking self-confidence?”
Job identity is not self-identity!
Failure and Leadership
You are a leader. It does not matter if you started your first job today or if you’ve been at it for years. Despite your role on the organizational chart, you are a leader and I will tell you why.
First, others depend on you. Your colleagues and your management depend on your results and productivity. You are filling an important void the company needs to thrive so it can serve its customers. Therefore, your employer is heavily dependent upon your good judgment, which leads to reason No. 2.
Second, you are not just a leader in the workplace. You are the CEO over your own life. And do you know what CEOs do? They:
- make decisions even when it is terrifying
- are future focused and do not dwell on the past
- view mistakes as information, not failure
- try, fail, get up, try, and fail again until they figure things out
- do not need a checklist, instructions, or directions; they eagerly learn as they go
Defeating obstacles and challenges helps you remove barriers that block you from knowing how exceptional you are. If everything were easy, you would remain stagnant.
Learn to lead yourself before you attempt to lead others!
Do you work extra hard or extra-long to keep others off your back? Do you say “okay” when you really mean “no?” People-pleasing can take many shapes and forms in the workplace; this is a sure sign you’re lacking self-confidence.
It is tempting to overwork or create perfectionistic tendencies when the pressure is on. After all, what will others think if you don’t do a great job? But here is the people-pleasing dilemma: you either satisfy others, or you satisfy yourself. Which is more important?
A people-pleaser would rather make others happy over making themselves happy. The root of people-pleasing is fear: “I might be the next to go; I need this job; I have to do everything they tell me to do; it’s too hard to find another job right now, etc.”
It’s not difficult to imagine how a people-pleasing mindset can enable toxicity. Confident people know how to choose themselves and their wellbeing over others (yes, including the boss). The person with high self-confidence realizes their employer needs them more than they need the employer. Confident employees know how to set boundaries and gracefully say “no.” Perhaps most importantly, the highly self-confident person is not beholden to their employer!
People-pleasers choose to not please the single, most important person alive: themselves!
Are you lacking self-confidence and ready to do something about it? Visit my Events Page to register FREE for Class 1 of my upcoming fall course starting Sept. 15, which teaches confidence and life skills for a healthy, sustainable career!
If you enjoy this content, I invite you to follow me on LinkedIn and ask me about free strategy sessions for your career!