Working and Career

Working and Career

Brandon Smith

'I've Lost My Confidence'

By Brandon SmithPosted July 30, 2013 11:17am (EDT)
'I've Lost My Confidence'

Theresa was a workplace rock star. For over a decade, it seemed like everything Theresa touched turned to gold. Her golden touch became legendary within her organization. Her company would routinely parachute her into a turnaround situation and despite the odds, she would somehow find a way out. That summed up the first 15 years of Theresa’s career.

Then one day, it all changed. During a particularly challenging turnaround situation, things blew up on Theresa. She, for the first time in her career, had failed. Now, to any objective outsider it was obvious that the failure was not the result of Theresa’s actions. The failure was simply a product of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. But to Theresa, the defeat was devastating. That failure lingered with Theresa to the point that for the last 5 years, she hasn’t been the same. She questions her own decisions. She is reluctant to speak up in leadership meetings and fears that she has fallen out of favor with corporate. Theresa has lost her confidence in a big and bad way.

This month, we are going to address this debilitating dysfunction: “I’ve lost my confidence.” The side effects can be catastrophic. When the voice inside our head that tells us we can “do anything” hits the road for a long vacation, self-doubt creeps in and camps out. Others sense there is a new resident in town and over time our brand changes. We may end up with any or all of these unfortunate labels:

  • He / she lacks confidence
  • He / she doesn’t have executive presence
  • He / she over thinks things
  • He / she is not decisive
  • He / she works hard but not smart
  • He / she is not strategic
  • He / she is not leadership potential
  • Who is he / she? I’ve never heard of them…

There are numerous events can send our confidence packing. Consider any of the following “confidence busters”:

Laid off – We are let go for perhaps the first time in our careers. The message is clearly sent that we are no longer wanted.

A new role – We are put into a new role that is so foreign to us that we over think things in an effort to not screw up.

A new boss – We get a boss that fails to appreciate us like prior bosses. For the first time we have a boss who seems to see all the things wrong with us versus all the things that are right.

A new company or industry – We join a new company or industry that is completely outside of our comfort zone. Toto, we aren’t in Kansas anymore.

Battle scars – Like the story of Theresa, we are too close to an explosion and the PTSD has caused us to second guess ourselves in every way.

This month, we are going to take on this debilitating dysfunction. I have one simple objective, to get your mojo, your groove, your swagger, your (insert confidence word here) back.

Time to give self-doubt the boot and bring confidence back from its long hiatus.

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