Why do you think some people ooze confidence and others daren’t speak up for themselves? What enables one person to walk confidently into a room of strangers and another to feel embarrassed and withdrawn?
Studies have suggested that there are 3 key elements to confidence:
Nature – Recent research, partly at Kings College London, has shown that about 30% of our confidence levels are determined by our genetic make up, so we’re stuck with that!
Nurture – Another 20% is suggested to be a result of the type of environment we grow up in, in terms of home, school and friends.
Choice – Which means that upto 50% of our confidence is influenced by our choices, such as our attitude to life and our resilience to dealing with life’s ups and downs
This is demonstrated by a client of mine who was brought up by parents and in a society which believed you shouldn’t ‘blow your own trumpet’ and it’s much safer on the sidelines of life. As a result she hadn’t really achieved the things in her career she’d dreamed of doing, and felt frustrated.
Through coaching she realised that by taking a risk and going for promotion, speaking up in meetings or asking for a pay rise it actually built her confidence and made it easier the next time. She now feels valued at work for her skills and abilities.
It’s worth reflecting on what messages about yourself and about confidence you picked up as a child at home or elsewhere.
How are these messages affecting your confidence at work and in life now?
What would happen if you chose to ignore these beliefs and rules and trusted yourself instead?