by Marcel Schwantes / © 2023, Inc. Mansueto Ventures, LLC. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
We’ve all heard time and time again that confidence is key in the workplace, particularly in leadership roles. But we almost never hear about how to gain confidence.
Indeed, it’s often assumed that confidence is something you are born with or without. Despite popular belief, confidence can be built and trained.
I recently spoke with Homaira Kabir, a renowned leadership coach with a dual master’s degree in coaching and positive psychology. Her new book Goodbye, Perfect outlines how we can build confidence from within. According to Kabir’s research, confidence has two key components: belonging—an inner sense of safety when we’re around others—and mastery—trusting our instinctive desires and having the courage to learn and grow.
1. Feelings of self-worth
Feelings of self-worth are the foundation for confidence. For some, self-worth is established and nurtured in childhood, but everyone does not have the same experience. Nevertheless, we can all bolster our feelings of self-worth, beginning with giving ourselves permission to feel. Particularly in the workplace, we tend to skip over negative or heavy emotions. It’s important for our growth to sit with all of our feelings, good or bad.
Once you know what you’re feeling or experiencing, you can learn how to process those emotions. “Accepting compassion and forgiving yourself for past mistakes is essential,” Kabir says, “because they clear the way for progress.”
2. Trusting and supportive relationships
Building a sense of self-worth is the first step. To truly build a sense of inner safety, you must build trusting relationships of give-and-take. This means speaking up for yourself and your goals and also supporting others with their needs and goals.
These are invaluable skills for emerging leaders, and those with feelings of lack or inadequacy may need to work through their beliefs and biases as they build these skills.
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