Leadership is a tough journey, and at times you may find that faith in your abilities is shaken. When you don’t trust or believe in yourself, the doubt filters down to your team as well, who may lose confidence in you as a leader. To stop this from happening, use these confidence-boosting tips in times of crisis.
Before you doubt
Self-confidence is extremely important. When it drops, you can be left scrambling for support. If you want to believe in yourself, there are a few things you need to do. Build your own internal support system and you will be much better off. Here’s how to boost your confidence before you even start to doubt it.
- Be true to yourself – if you are acting the part, it can be easier to lose faith in yourself. But when you are leading in a way that is true to yourself, you can fall back on that in times of doubt. You know yourself, and you know your abilities.
- Learn to deal with criticism – all good leaders need to be able to hear criticism. You will hear it – and you may hear it often. Learn to roll with the punches, accept critical thought, and understand the difference between criticism you need to act on and criticism you can ignore.
- Get in shape – regular exercise works wonders for the mind as well as the body, and it can be a stress-busting release, stopping doubt from building in the first place.
- Have a support system – a mentor is invaluable to almost all leaders, and having a coaching influence will also provide support in hard times.
- Make mistakes – knowing and owning up to the mistakes you make will allow you to grow as a leader. It will also give you boundaries and experience to know when a mistake is just a mistake, and when it underlines a personal failing or deficiency.
When you doubt
After the doubt sets in, you need to bring your confidence back and remind yourself what you’re capable of. Use these tips to make that happen.
- Remember your strengths – you have strengths which have been tried and tested in previous situations, and you have the achievements to prove them. Think of your current doubt in terms of those situations. If you are wondering whether you can lead your team to success, think of the times you have done so before.
- Manage your mind – control your mind, starting with quashing those negative thoughts. If you find yourself thinking negatively, stop. Don’t think about how something will fail – start thinking about solutions that will save it.
- Analyse your doubts – write down your doubts in rational terms. Look at them calmly. Can you dissolve them under pressure? If not, perhaps there is an underlying problem to deal with. Problems can be solved. Remember, you’ve got this.
- Commit to success – when failure is no longer an option, your confidence does not matter. Committing to success means taking that leap and telling yourself that it is the only way forward. What does your own confidence matter in the face of that certainty?
A leader will always come to a moment, sooner or later, when their confidence fades away. It’s not a bad thing, and it certainly isn’t something to be ashamed of. What happens next determines whether you are a real leader or not. Take action – and take control – rather than letting it eat away at you and undermine your performance.
Abby Vonda works at Datastical.com.
She specializes in entrepreneurship and self-improvement topics.
She is very passionate about productivity, personal and career development, as well as business and leadership.