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12 July 2016

Janie read How to Fake It When You’re Not Feeling Confident and found herself nodding and smiling in agreement with much of the advice presented.

Tags: confidence, janie read

Confidence is something I have always struggled with. I’ve always been someone whose natural inclination is to stand on the sidelines while someone else takes the lead. I often struggle with voicing my opinions, and I internalize things that would be better said out loud. This is something I’ve been working on my whole life, but particularly since I started my adult career. I have made great strides since my early days in the work force, but it will always be something I need to focus on. I remember vividly my first performance review in a previous role. I was in a support role and hoping to receive a merit based promotion. After talking with my boss, I realized that no one but me knew how qualified I was for the role I wanted; I had been staying quiet and standing in the shadows since I started my job. This boss was a wonderful mentor and did an excellent job of advising me on ways that I could stand up and appear more confident. She encouraged me to quiet my self-doubt and put myself out there anyway. I still think of her on days when I am feeling my least confident, and remember the words she said to me.

In her article, How to Fake It When You’re Not Feeling Confident, Rebecca Knight gives many excellent tips on ways to bolster your confidence. She encourages us to think incrementally, rather than focusing on everything all at once. She says “if you approach new responsibility with the goal of killing it right off the bat, you’re setting yourself up for failure.” I couldn’t agree more with this advice. I can think of a few times in my life when I was handed a new responsibility and I focused so much energy on getting it perfect the first time that I wasn’t able to take the first step and get started. I was so worried about getting it perfect, that I ended up not getting it done at all. I also love Knight’s suggestion to watch and learn from leaders around you, and then borrow bits and pieces to create your own management style. This is absolutely one of the ways I have worked to develop myself as a manager.

If you’ve ever been to our office at Allison Partners, you know that we have many words and phrases on our walls. One of our phrases is “Fake it ’til you make it.” This is such a common phrase; we’ve all heard it, but I find it is such a helpful reminder in so many avenues of life. We’re all faking it in some way. I’ve found that often the leaders who I admire the most, have a lot of the same self-doubt underneath that I have. This is a nice reminder on the days when I feel like a fraud. If you also struggle with confidence, I’d encourage you to give this article a read.


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