Articles tagged with: Building confidence

Is your insecurity showing?

“I thought I was ready, but had no idea what I was getting myself into.
What if I’m not really cut out for this?”

CompassNo matter how much experience you’ve had, it’s easy to doubt yourself and wonder if you’re “good enough” to get to the next level.

In working with many leaders over the years, I see their thought process as they contemplate ways to expand their impact and advance their careers.

Some are frustrated. They’re not moving fast enough into roles they think they deserve. Perhaps they have leadership blind spots.

(If you missed my Special Report on Overcoming Leadership Blind Spots, you can download a free copy here or below.)

They view their situation as something beyond their control.

“You have to know people at the top to get anywhere in this company.”
“I’ll just have to wait for my turn. I don’t want to rock the boat.”
“Nobody knows the real work I do.”

The reality is that, in many cases, you can be your own worst enemy. You might be sabotaging yourself with secret thoughts that threaten your confidence.

Do any of these thoughts sound familiar?

“I don’t have the experience they expect to even be considered for the position.”
“I never finished my degree.”
“I don’t have a mentor or advocate.”

Self-confidence is one of the most important leadership attributes you can have. Without it, you risk jeopardizing your performance, and in some cases, ruining your own career.

Insecurity manifests itself in a variety of ways. Some people show up as fearful or anxious. They work in the shadows and draw little attention to themselves.

maskOther people may appear overly confident or egotistical.

But deep down there are serious insecurities they’re attempting to mask.

Here are four ways to build self-confidence in your leadership role:

1.  Note your strengths and best qualities.

If you need reminding, talk to family members or friends who are closest to you. By focusing on what you have instead of what you (think you) lack, you’ll create an image of yourself that is strong and capable.

Weaknesses or deficiencies will become less important. Bring whatever you have now to the table. Don’t worry about the rest.

2.  Experiment.

If you’ve been afraid to try something new or tackle a difficult project, consider it an “experiment.” You’ll take pressure off yourself to achieve perfection.

Instead view the situation as a learning opportunity. Be prepared to observe what is happening as you go through the experience. Anticipate setbacks.

Be willing to move yourself or your project in a different direction if needed. If it doesn’t work, it’s just an experiment. Keep trying.

3.  Help someone else.

Ultimately leadership is about service. This is a fundamental aspect of leadership that executives often miss. Instead they are overly concerned about how they are perceived. If they care more about their own image, they lose sight of what matters most–other people.

Keep your focus on those you serve–your team, your internal or external customers. Ask:

“What do they need now?”
“How can I be of help?”
“What action can I take today to make a bigger difference–to them?”

Shift the focus from yourself to others.

4.  Face your fear.

If there is one thing that you know is in your way, face it head on!

In my case, the one thing that was holding me back in my career and leadership role was my fear of public speaking. So many years ago I decided to begin working on that skill. I participated in Toastmasters International and other development programs for years to practice and build my confidence. Sometimes it was painful.

Confidence comes through practice and by surrounding yourself with other people who want to see you grow.

Now I speak professionally as part of my work.

Everything flows from your confidence as a leader. We all have insecurities. It’s natural for your confidence to waiver over time, especially as you grow and take on new challenges.

You are stronger and more capable than you realize. Your potential is much greater than you can imagine.

Step boldly into the new iteration of who you are becoming. You’ll be even better as a leader.

It’s good for yourself and those you serve.


In case you missed it…

print newsGet a copy of my latest print newsletter. It’s about how to overcome leadership blind spots.

Download a copy HERE.  

 (Feel free to share it with a friend or colleague who may benefit.)


You’ll gain insights to help you see what you might be missing.



 “We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong.

The amount of work is the same.”

~Carlos Castaneda

Hitting Turbulence?

It happened again. Something did not go according to plan.

In my recent work with clients, I’ve seen some unexpected challenges that could potentially throw these leaders off course.

It seems things were running smoothly until they hit turbulence.

Anyone who flies understands that turbulence, while annoying, is a normal part of flying. Sometimes you can predict it. Other times, it occurs without warning.

Business Turbulence

Turbulence is also a natural part of business — and life. It can be a disruptive force that looks like any of the following:

  • The employee who quit unexpectedly
  • The important talk you’ve just been told you must give tomorrow
  • The computer that crashed
  • The client project that got put on hold
  • The funding source you lost
  • The micromanager who is too involved in your work
  • The mass mailing that went out with blatant errors

Sound familiar? You could probably name something that happened in the last week or so that shook you up, made you mad or jeopardized your results.

Personal Turbulence

Personal turbulence strikes when you’re forced to deal with family, relationship or personal problems, mental or physical health issues. When coupled with business challenges, the stress can be overwhelming.

Internal Turbulence

Internal turbulence is the disruptive “self talk” that rattles around inside your head — that makes you doubt yourself, question your ability or assume the worst. It zaps your confidence.

Many of my clients who exhibit signs of internal turbulence put too much pressure on themselves. They have high expectations and standards for their success. They strive for perfection — and fear failure. They find it difficult to relax.

When clients hit turbulence, here is some of the advice I give to help them through it:

  • Remain calm. Remember turbulence is normal. While it’s important to have positive expectation, accept that gremlins may appear. When you see them, acknowledge their presence (“Hello, gremlin.”) instead of panicking. The more important the desired outcome, the bigger the monster that might try to get in your way. Be ready.
  • Capture your learning. What are you learning? If you’re not reflecting on what you’re learning as you deal with difficulty, you run the risk of repeating the problem. Process your learning. Keep moving.
  • Get clear perspective. To deal effectively with whatever is in your way, find a person or people you can turn to for feedback and perspective. You’re likely magnifying the issue — seeing a mountain instead of a molehill.
  • Seek growth. Where there is adversity, there is opportunity for growth. The more serious you are about growing yourself or your business, the more you will encounter growing pains. Those pains can be an impetus for needed change.
  • Remind yourself of past successes. Chances are the difficulties you’re facing have surfaced in some form before. You have worked through them in the past. You will again.

Fly high! When you hit turbulence, work on your resilience. You’ll reach better destinations. 



Where is your business heading?

Recently I’ve had the privilege to work with some progressive organizations committed to being more intentional about how they’re directing their business.

Some are revisiting their vision and mission with an external focus on their clients. They are taking a fresh look at their business — determining how to create the highest value. Some are focused internally to assess how they can work more effectively as a team.

As I lead their discussions, turbulence hits. People debate, disagree and deliberate. This is good!

It generates new ideas, stakeholder engagement and momentum to build the business. 

If you want to lead your team in new or better directions, let me know if I can help. 

Let’s schedule a call to talk about your needs. 

On the Lighter Side

Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn’t know it so it goes on flying anyway.
~ Mary Kay Ash


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