Monday Morning Pep Talk--July 30, 2012
Sometimes in a long career, you begin to lose your confidence. It starts around the time you can't remember where you put your keys. A misstep or two may make you believe it is time to get out of the game. Your co-workers and managers are decades younger, and you begin to minimize your accomplishments and focus on your flaws.
Loss of your confidence as an employee, entrepreneur or job-seeker in your 40s, 50s, and 60+ is the beginning of a downward spiral you have to address and reverse. Losing your confidence at work feels like rejection, paranoia, and excessive worry. You may have seen this in others on the job. As a human resources consultant, I have worked with clients that have lost their confidence and lost their way (and almost lost their businesses). While coaching was never a primary line of business in my HR consultancy; loss of the leader’s confidence had a disastrous affect on the workplace (and that was my focus). Well-meaning business professionals turned into tyrants. It showed up as micromanaging, bitterness of the business owner/leader toward their staff; lack of trust in their team; poor business results and increased turnover (of the wrong employees).
If your confidence needs a boost, try these three things this week:
(1) Watch what you say when you talk to yourself. Admit it—you do have those private internal conversations. We all do. As self-confidence wanes, our imagination runs wild. We begin to speculate instead of waiting for the facts. Every time disruptive negative thoughts enter your mind or internal conversation this week—counter it with a positive thought or affirmation. “I have done it before; I can do it again.” One of my favorites, “When you are young, you learn; when you are old, you understand.” (I am not calling you “old” think of it as wise).
(2) Give Yourself Credit for What You have Accomplished. The 40+ crowd is a lot different from the group I call the “T-ball generation.” In the “T-ball” world everyone was a winner, they played sports where no one kept score (except parents/grandparents on the sidelines) and it developed a sense of entitled narcissism—they have now moved into management jobs-hiring 40+ workers. We, on the other hand, easily forget our successes and dwell on our failures. When faced with this dichotomy, remember the accomplishments of your past are the foundation of your future. So lighten up, already!
(3) Get Support if Needed. Confidence at work is essential and if you need help looking for yours, don’t be shy in reaching out. Whether is it calling that positive, affirming friend, joining a job club or hiring a licensed, certified professional (psychologist, life coaches and career coaches do this type of work)—do it this week.
Reclaiming your confidence is like re-igniting a fire inside you. Confidence fuels your energy. The boost you feel will increase your effectiveness as a leader, entrepreneur or in your job search.
You’ve got 168 hours! Make it a great week.