Build your self-confidence
with James Manktelow & Amy Carlson.
James Manktelow: Hello. I'm James Manktelow, CEO of MindTools.com, home to hundreds of free career-building tools and resources.
Amy Carlson: And I'm Amy Carlson from Mind Tools. A lack of confidence can have a serious negative effect on your career. It's hard to convince others of your ability when you feel like a bag of nerves inside. The good news is, self-confidence can actually be learned. It takes time and effort, but it's worth it - for the huge difference it will make to your life.
JM: There are three steps to building your self-confidence. The first involves getting ready for what can be compared with a "journey." You need to take stock of where you are, and think carefully about where you want to go. Start by making a log of your top achievements so far. Lay these out in a well-formatted document, and look at them often, so you can enjoy the success you've already had.
AC: In this preparation stage, it also helps to set some targets – or goals – to clarify what you want from your life and career. Your goals should be both long-term and short-term, and you should be able to measure them, to get a real sense of what you've achieved. You can find out more about goal setting at MindTools.com.
JM: The last part of the preparation stage is to get into the right mindset. You need to be aware of any negative thoughts that may destroy your confidence – and nip them in the bud. Make a clear promise to yourself that you're absolutely committed to this journey to self-confidence, and vow to do everything in your power to get there.
AC: Stage two is about setting out on that journey. Take small steps to achieve your goals. For example, if you need to learn some new skills, take a class. Just focus on doing simple things well.
JM: In stage three, you can begin to see the process working. You'll be able to feel your self-confidence build as you achieve your small goals, one by one. In time, you'll be able to stretch yourself. Make your goals a bit bigger and your challenges a little tougher. The more you achieve, the more confident you'll feel.
AC: Throughout this whole process, it's important to stay grounded in reality. Self-confidence is a great asset, but over-confidence can be just as destructive as no confidence at all. So make sure you get the balance right.