“Confidence is a habit that can be developed by acting as if you already had the confidence you desire to have.” ~ Brian Tracy
If you struggle with self-confidence in the workplace, this post is for you. If you don’t, this post is for you, too, because everyone has moments of doubt. Here’s the thing – you’re where you are in your career because you’re good, if not an expert, at whatever it is you were hired to do. But it’s one thing to maintain a sense of security within the comfort of your office, in front of your colleagues- that’s the easy part, especially if you’ve got an established sense of trust.
The hard part is maintaining that same confidence in front of your customers and clients.
They expect you to be certain of what you offer, the advice you give, the visions you possess – after all, they hired you because they’ve been impressed by something they’ve seen or heard. However, when you’re in the bullpen, the belief in your abilities, the boldness of your ideas, and the validity of your authority can disappear in an instant.
When it’s game-on in the boardroom and you find yourself getting tongue-tied, try to imagine it’s any other day at the office. If your boss was asking your opinion, if your co-worker was suggesting a solution you immediately knew would or wouldn’t be a homerun, if you were casually sharing your perspective with your team – you’d be so much more at ease, right? Well, that’s what you’ve got to channel when you’re in a slightly less comfortable position.
The bottom line: your team (in both internal and external settings) is counting on you to do what you do best.
And when you don’t speak up and act with confidence, you run the risk of your client’s experience being less than great, and the project’s outcome being unreflective of what you know you can achieve.
One of my teammates recently noticed I was holding back when it came to putting forth my ideas in front of clients. He said “They’re waiting to hear what you have to say. They want to hear what you think is the best solution.”
It kind of rocked my world. Me?
Why not? The thought of yourself as the expert doesn’t have to be a cocky, self-serving thing. In fact, it shouldn’t be. Your personal acknowledgement of your own value can help you get to that aspirational confidence level Brian Tracy referenced. But first, you have to view it as a “habit that can be developed.”
If self-assurance doesn’t come naturally, practice it daily.
The client affirmation you get from a well-received idea is its own creative aphrodisiac, you just have to put it on the table, with confidence.