Today I am honored to have my colleague Darcy Eikenberg as a guest blogger. Enjoy the article and then check out her new book, “Bring Your Superpowers to Work: Your Guide to Clarity, Confidence & Control” (available on Amazon.com)
Have you ever wished for more confidence? If so, you’re not alone. We’re drawn to it in others, aspire to it for ourselves, but more often than not, never have enough of it. But in a fast-changing workplace, we need confidence now more than ever.
So how do you create confidence for yourself at work? The secret starts with. . . well, faking it.
Faking it? Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m all about bringing your real, true, authentic self to work each and every day. I believe each one of us has unique and amazing superpowers that the world is waiting for. And–in a strange twist of behavioral science, waiting until you feel confident to act confident just keeps you waiting. . . and waiting. . .and waiting. Not good.
When you put the right tools and habits in place to create a sense of confidence, a real state of confidence will follow. So if you’d like to appear (and eventually be) more confident, try these three secrets.
1. Put the right words in your mouth
Mom was right that practice makes perfect. But how many of us actually practice saying words that show off our accomplishments in the best light?
Try putting the right words in your mouth by saying, “I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished together” or “It was great to lead my business in delivering our million-dollar results last year.” There are many ways to talk about your abilities and achievements that feel confident and authentic to you—it just takes practice.
2. Know you don’t have to know it all
A huge barrier to confidence is thinking that we must know all the answers, all the time, to be confident about ourselves and our work. But that’s not true. In fact, you can draw confidence from knowing you know you don’t know.
If a plain old “I don’t know” makes you uncomfortable, try something like, “What a good question! I don’t have an equally good answer. What do you think?” Many aspiring leaders limit their own possibilities by not getting involved in issues or decisions until they feel they’ve gained enough knowledge—and that gap can leave them behind.
3. Expect mistakes
Being confident means knowing you’ll mess up at some point. (Yes, even you. You’re human—it will happen.) The worst part of any mistake is the surprise of it, so when you expect in advance to make mistakes, you’ve eliminated the surprise.
When mistakes show up, just acknowledge them (“ah, there you are—I’ve been expecting you!”), thank it for its lessons, and move on. This approach can work in organizations, too. Making sure your teams know that you expect a reasonable amount of human error–and that you’re confident you’ll overcome it—can save a world of panic and accusation when mistakes happen.
Which of these secrets will you try first to create more of your own confidence? No matter what you try first, just don’t wait—the world is ready for you to shine.
Darcy Eikenberg, ACC, is the author of Bring Your Superpowers to Work: Your Guide to More Clarity, Confidence & Control, and a popular leadership and workplace coach and speaker. Download a free chapter of the book, get her twice-monthly Community News, and get more free tips and tools on career and success site RedCapeRevolution.com