Monday, 23 August 2010

Is Low Confidence Holding you Back at Work?

Hello Tracy,

Here are my thoughts  around your comment about wanting more confidence to achieve your work goals.

One technique I use to help clients, which is almost always useful, is to encourage them to be as specific as possible. This thwarts a tendency all of us have to over-generalise. In that generalisation process, we lose important information which can help us to solve our problems.

So, in your case, you might ask yourself these questions:

  1. Which work goals are affected by confidence? You could write them all down as specifically as you can. Ask yourself WHAT IS MY FEAR, HERE? And push it to conclusion.
  2. What role does confidence play for each of these? Write down the answers as though you need to make some alien understand.
  3. If there is self-talk happening, write down the script.
What patterns do you see?

One possible analysis might tell you that confidence affects your goals which involve presenting to others, and that the issue here is that you feel you can't compete with those around you because you're not a graduate. Specifically, you feel like they'll expose you as being dim in some embarrassing way, and I'll be an outcast and will eventually have to leave, meaning I'll become destitute and die on the street.

Now that you have the beast fully exposed, the last two steps ask how to slay it.

4. What does an intellectual analysis of the fear tell you about the real concerns which remain?

5. What can you do to minimise, remove or step around those?

There are also techniques I use to silence the negative self-talk, replacing it with good stuff, and the chances are that this would be of most value to you. Self esteem issues are very common in our culture and quite challenging to shift, but it starts with those practical steps outlined above.

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