Sitting in a room full of experienced business professionals. Thinking to myself, I don’t deserve to be in this room. I have no clue what they are talking about. These people must think I know more than I actually do.
I was scared to say anything. Not because I was afraid they were going to think I was clueless and uneducated. I didn’t speak up because I was not confident in MY own ideas. I did not think that what I said mattered and that whatever they came up with would be way better. I thought I was doing what was best for the company. I’m the girl that ends every explanation of one of my ideas and then says “I don’t know”. I’m thankful that I have been called out on that with a response of “well yes, you do know. If you didn’t then you wouldn’t have said anything”.
If it wasn’t for my team constantly telling me “speak up”, “you have good ideas”, “your ideas matter”, “every idea sparks new ideas”. I can confidently say that I now feel comfortable sharing my ideas, opinions, and knowledge with the rest of my team and only end a sentence with “I don’t know” once and a while. (:
Thoughts influence actions. If you constantly believe that you are not good enough, then that will show in your actions. If you believe that you ARE good enough, you will bring up your self-confidence. It’s important to stop the negative self-talk.
One of the best ways to build your confidence is to build self-confidence in others. We can be just like my coworkers and praise positive behavior. Confidence is a requirement. Confidence is not in your DNA, you learn it. We can control what we think and do. Confidence is a conscious choice.
Here are a couple of statements that have helped me:
“If you know the most about a topic out of everyone else in the room, you are the expert.”
“We represent the company. If we have a lack of confidence, how will that make our company look?”