How Self-Confidence Leads To Meaningful Work
One of the biggest learnings I have had through my work with women leaders is that no amount of talent or experience excludes any of us from moments of doubt or overwhelm. Each one of us has experienced the occasional resistance to taking the next step whether it involves a project, an initiative or even our own professional development.
When faced with the unknown, the part of our brain responsible for keeping us safe tries to do its job by stamping on our self-confidence to hold us back from making new decisions or taking unfamiliar action. This then prevents us from stepping out of our comfort zone to do the very thing that would add meaning to our work and life.
Stephen Pressfield in his book, War of Art, describes this fear and low self-confidence as “obstacles of ambition”. You would have already figured out that these are obstacles we throw in the way of our own ambitions.
Self-confidence is the act of choosing to believe we are enough no matter what the outcome. This is important not just for ourselves but also for those around us and even those we have never met. Having the self-confidence to pursue a particular path or course of action creates a ripple effect of opportunities that could make a difference in the lives of others.
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These five questions will help boost your self-confidence and empower you to do meaningful work that makes a real difference:
Step 1. What are my core values?
What are the top personal values that guide your decision-making and how you work and live? To help you hone in on what you truly care about and how your work supports it, take a look at The Global Goals For Sustainable Development.
If you had to align yourself with one of those goals, which would it be and why? This will offer a clue into your deeper core values and help you better assess if those values have a place in your day-to-day work. Your core values will also act as an anchor for your self-confidence.
Step 2: Is there a match?
Are your core values in line with your professional goals and ambitions? If it is a match, then you are on the right track. If it is a mismatch, then you will have to reassess your ambitions. Your core values should never shift. Revisit that goal you chose to align yourself to in the previous step and think about how your ambition can support it. Find that sweet spot where values intersect with ambition and draw up an action plan to achieve it.
Step 3: What is the worst-case scenario?
What is the worst that would happen by you implementing that action plan? Take a moment to map it out in detail in terms of what it looks and feels like. Then ask yourself how you would rate this scenario on a scale of one to 10 with 10 being absolutely terrible. By getting as close as possible to the least desired outcome and looking at it squarely in the eye, you are removing any fear of the unknown.
Step 4: How would I recover from that worst-case scenario?
Now picture yourself bouncing back from that worst-case scenario. Make a note of what needs to happen for you to recover and move forward. Is that action plan doable? If it is, then you know you can handle whatever outcome no matter how frustrating or challenging. If it is not, then reassess your reasons for wanting to take that particular form of action and perhaps replace it with an action plan that has a more manageable worst-case scenario.
Step 5: How do I move forward right now?
What is the next logical or easiest step forward? Take it now. Moving forward requires momentum through action. Wait too long and it will get too hard.
Kerryn Gamble is the author of UNSTOPPABLE – The Professional Woman’s Guide To Purpose, Power & Prosperity. Her mission is closing the confidence and achievement gap for women. Kerryn is also the Vice President of Professional Speakers Australia – Southern States. For more, visit www.kerryngamble.com
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