Common Purpose / 06 February 2024

Lost Your Confidence? Here’s 5 Ways To Build It Back Up

Change is in the air.


Leadership can be tough, it can be lonely, it can test your resilience, it can bring your energy down, and ultimately, it can impact the confidence you have in yourself. Whether it’s losing out on a big pitch, or dealing with negative workplace politics, it would be safe to say we have all questioned ourselves and our abilities at some point in our career.

There’s a big problem with this, and not least because of the impact this can have on your life. In fact, leaders who lack confidence can instil a sense of fear and negativity among their colleagues. According to a 2023 survey by Margot Faraci, some 30 percent of leaders globally alone are creating an environment of fear among their direct reports – but they don’t even realise they’re doing it.

Even more alarming, the report found that 88 percent of managers are consistently fearful of making mistakes, while 67 percent are hesitant to speak up with their own point of view. These results beg for a culture change in the workplace, and as we all know, those in managerial positions have a greater capacity to be the catalyst for it. So with that in mind, we decided to unpack some simple, yet significant ways that could change the way you see yourself and your abilities. Read on for our step by step guide to reinstating your confidence.

1. Celebrate your successes

Newsflash: You were picked for your job for a reason! Your employers, or those you’ve built your career around clearly see something valuable in you – and you should too. Take a moment to sit down and reflect on some of the key things you’ve achieved – or even better, try making it a routine to write your successes each day in a journal. These could be as big as launching a business on your own, or simply remembering how everyone in the office likes their tea. There are so many things that make you unique, and therefore valuable to the role you’re in. Try to remember that!

2. Flip your thinking on failure

Let’s be crystal clear: Everyone makes mistakes, and everyone fails at some point in their lives (often multiple times). So rather than feeling isolated or crippled with fear of doing something wrong, accept the fact that sometimes, things just won’t work out in the way you want them to – and that’s okay!

We’re taught from an early age that mistakes are inevitable, but what’s optional is how you choose to deal with them. This mindset shouldn’t change as you navigate your career into adulthood. Learn from your failures, and allow them to inform how you approach your next challenge. You might just find yourself grateful that the mistake happened in the first place.

3. Dream big, but be grounded

Two slightly juxtaposed phrases, right? But you might be surprised at how easy it is to embody both at the same time. Leaders will often be tasked with big ticket items – that’s inevitable. But the way they tackle said big ticket items? That’s optional.

If you’re struggling with your confidence, try to slow your pace, lower your expectations and break down the tasks ahead of you into smaller, manageable chunks. By setting more realistic goals for yourself, you’re giving yourself the best chance at success.

4. Look after yourself

We don’t need to remind you that self-care is extremely important in any aspect of life. But we do want to remind you that making a conscious effort to look after yourself can have a significant impact on your confidence.

Whether it’s going to the gym, spending time with loved ones, or taking yourself on a 30 minute walk each day with a podcast or music, these simple acts can positively impact the way we view ourselves, because each of them provide an opportunity to get to know ourselves even better. The instilling of familiarity within yourself and your capabilities sparks confidence.

5. Be open to learning and upskilling

A learning mindset is essential in leadership; Without this, how are we meant to bring people along with us in an ever-changing world? And in the context of our own confidence, how are we meant to lead without understanding the full context?

Yes, there are a lot of elements in leadership that can feel like stepping into the unknown, but you’ll feel more confident in doing this when you have as much of the context, or data, or detail as possible. So go forth and educate, upskill and learn whatever you can about whatever it is you do.

These tips can help you to become more self-aware, appreciative, knowledgeable and, well confident. And there’s also a silver lining: You might just find yourself loving your role, your career, and most importantly, yourself even more!


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