How to Be a More Confident Leader

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Do you struggle with confidence as a leader? Do your tasks feel overwhelming? Are people looking to you for answers, but you aren’t sure you have them? Does imposter syndrome steal your confidence on a regular basis? You aren’t alone. Not only is it normal for leaders to struggle with confidence from time to time, we’re in a year full of uncertainty and events that are outside of your control. The impact that it’s having on your business may be causing you to struggle with your confidence as a leader. But don’t worry, you don’t have to stay in that place.  

If you are ready to start achieving your goals and finding the success that you desire in business (and in life), it all comes down to your confidence. John Maxwell once said, “A leader with confidence is a leader who brings out positive changes in people.” If you are ready to become a stronger, more confident leader, SPEARity has a challenge for you. And, it’s only going to take you 5 minutes a day. It’s our goal to help you improve your confidence and achieve your greatness. 

Document Your Successes to Gain Confidence

Where does confidence come from? To understand how to become a more confident leader, you first have to understand what confidence really is. While the dictionary defines confidence as “belief in oneself and one’s powers or abilities“, it doesn’t really give us any answers. So, where does confidence come from? 

There are many situations you face as a leader, on a daily basis, that you’re unsure of. These situations can cause you to freeze up in fear not knowing which decision is the right decision. You need to develop confidence to become a strong leader that people will follow. And you can confidence from your successes, both big and small.

The problem is we have a hard time seeing our own success on a daily basis.

Why do we overlook our own success

The main reason we miss seeing our own successes is that we set the bar for ourselves. There are hundreds of things that you do every single day that you are successful at. But you might not see it as a success because you think of it as a responsibility. We take for granted accomplishments that we have every day because we think those things are what we are “supposed to do”. This includes things like:

  • Returning phone calls to customers
  • Providing helpful insight to an employee
  • Providing bids on time
  • Paying bills on time

These are all things that you accomplish and you succeed at doing. So, why don’t you celebrate those things? Because long ago you learned that those were just things that were part of everyday. You established a bar for things that were thought of as accomplishments vs things that are just responsibilities. 

When you think “everyone else does it too”, it takes the value away. This sets the bar where we say it should be. And, to top it off, we constantly move the bar up as we accomplish more. Instead of giving you a feeling of confidence, it builds the “not enough” feeling because we can’t hit the bar.

Guess what? Not everyone does those things. Many businesses don’t reply to customers. Or they give bids and don’t follow through on doing the work. There are people who aren’t doing the basic things you do each day that have gotten you to the place where you’re at right now as a leader.

So, what would happen if you got rid of the bar? What would happen if you started to view each thing you accomplished during the day as a success, and then celebrated because of it?

Learning to change your focus

Part of the reason you struggle is because you are most likely focused on the wrong thing. We, as people, have a tendency to be led by our feelings and attitudes. The problem with this is that our feelings and our attitudes lie to us. You may wake up in the morning feeling like a failure. Sometimes you may feel like it’s going to be a horrible day. You may end your work day feeling like you accomplished nothing at all. Or, you may feel like you have nothing to be confident about. However, just because you “feel” this way, doesn’t make it true.

You need to start to separate your feelings and attitudes from your behavior and actions. You may struggle to control your attitudes and feelings, but you can definitely control your actions. Commit to acting based on knowledge and not your feelings. You may not feel confident, but when you start to take action and change your behaviors, eventually your feelings and attitude are going to catch up with you. In other words, sometimes you have to “fake it ’til you make it”. If you start to act and train yourself to think like a confident person, eventually the true confidence will follow.

How to put it into action to grow your confidence

You know you need to change, but you just don’t know how to do it. One of the simplest ways to move forward in this area is to build a positive habit that you can carry forward every day. Start by writing down 3 successes at the end of each day. This is going to help you learn to start acknowledging your successes—small and large. It sounds simple, but it works. It will help you see how much you’re able to achieve.

It can hep to create a set time in the day when you track these successes so you can turn it into a habit. It might be something you do before you leave the office for the day or something that you do right before bed. Choose what works best for you and stick to it.

And don’t think that just thinking about what they are will do. Make sure you document them! Get them in writing whether it’s on paper, in the SPEARity app, or in something else of your choosing—just find a way to start writing 3 successes each day

What if You Can’t See Your Successes?

If you have been stuck in the rut of poor thinking, it can be hard to climb out. As you start this process of becoming a more confident leader you might not be able to see your successes each day. If you are really struggling to come up with three successes for the day, ask a loved one to help you get started. It’s always easier to see the success in someone else than it is to see our own successes. But you have them because you are a successful person – and if you don’t see it yet, you will soon!

Do you feel like you could use a hand with leadership development and building your confidence as a leader? The SPEARity team is here for you. We are a local Milwaukee leadership coaching firm that specializes in business coaching, executive coaching, and leadership development training.

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