Feeling undervalued saps your confidence, but the person to change this is you
In a previous role, I lost my confidence.
I remember how good it felt to get a new job – how great I felt to make my way through the interviews and be chosen for a role that appeared exciting and a whole new challenge for me.
I soon found out it wasn’t the role I thought it would be. I wasn’t given any autonomy and I wasn’t being used for my strengths. The only way I can explain it is that I was just turning up for work to “do stuff”- none of it meant anything to me. It felt like I was rotting away in the corner!
That wasn’t all…
I also had little support at home; my children were small and my husband was working away. My two sons are now amazing, independent young men but at the time they were still very young and I was the only parent at home! Learning to manage my family as a part-time single parent wasn’t easy, and added to the stress of being in an unfulfilling role.
Slowly but surely, I felt my confidence slipping away.
I wasn’t the first leader to find myself in this situation, and I won’t be the last. Many of my clients come to me lacking in confidence because they feel they have little or no autonomy or can’t use their strengths in their role.
When this starts affecting their confidence, they resort to people-pleasing, struggle to make decisions and don’t speak their mind. Any ‘negative’ feedback leaves them folding in on themselves so they avoid conflict at all cost. Obviously, when this happens it’s impossible to fulfil any leadership role!
What they don’t understand is there’s something they can do
As I learnt to manage my family as a part-time single parent, still enduring the boredom and frustration of not being able to make my own choices or use my strengths in my role, I could see how it was affecting me and I knew something had to change.
I needed to be strong for my family, as well as myself and would do anything to get back my confidence.
I started to look for the positives in each day (which was difficult for me at first) and began to record them in a journal so I could see that, even on the worst days, it wasn’t all bad. At the same time, I started looking for a new role – one that energised me, where I could use my strengths.
Fortunately, I found a new role and things began to improve.
Nowadays, I see leaving as a last resort. When I coach leaders who have lost their confidence, I know the most important changes start with themselves so we begin by focusing on how they can put themselves first. This means making decisions to do what energises them, taking on more tasks that use their strengths and learning to manage uncomfortable situations so they feel more in control. This helps them rebuild their confidence in their ability to lead.
Have you ever found your confidence ebbing away? What would you give to get your confidence back?