It’s the beginning of January, which means two things: people are dieting and people are blogging about their New Year’s resolutions. It’s the time of year when everyone joins the gym and lists out everything they want to do (or stop doing) for the upcoming year. The new year is also a time to reflect and set goals for the next 365 days.
I’ve already told you some of my goals for 2014 in my previous blog post. This post is not about New Year’s resolutions but rather about the main quality I want to embody this year: confidence. For me, confidence is something I’ve always struggled with, often second guessing myself and not owning my ideas. Well, that is going to change starting right now.
Within the last couple of months, I’ve read plenty of blog posts and articles about confidence. Five steps to build more confidence and why confidence is important headlines have flooded my inbox. This makes me suspect that many people struggle with confidence. The million dollar question is why? Here are some of the ideas I’ve come up with:
1). In general, our society relies on what people think far too much. We ask for second and third opinions for every decision we make. We need to trust ourselves more and go with our gut.
2) Fear of failure absolutely plays a role in lack of confidence. People assume failure is negative and should be avoided. While failure may have negative consequences, it is the best teacher. If you don’ try, you’ll never know what a success you could be.
3) The balance between cocky and confidence is hard so people are afraid to own it. If you act over-confident, people see you as arrogant, inflexible and unwilling to learn. But if you don’t own it, people could see you as weak. The challenge is striking the balance between the two.
Confidence is one of the most important soft-skills that could make or break you in any life situation. At work, it’s tricky to strike just the right balance. For women, if you’re too sensitive, you are seen as weak. If you are too confident, you are seen as a bitch. A man who acts the same way is seen as a leader. It is another challenge all working women face and have to focus on. Seeking advice from more seasoned professionals and being self-aware of your level of confidence could help.
My plan for 2014 is to own it! I want to continue to learn and grow while not being afraid to highlight my areas of expertise. Join me in the journey to becoming more confident. How will you own 2014? Is confidence something you struggle with? Share your thoughts with me!