In my last article, Curating a Confident Mindset Through Your Strengths, you may recall how we examined the power of positive psychology and strengths-building versus weakness-fixing. In other words, how when we play to our strengths every day we can expect to experience higher levels of satisfaction, deliver better quality outputs and therefore boost the confidence we have in our own abilities.
You might therefore be forgiven for assuming that all this chat about positive psychology and strengths-building would mean we can forget about our weaknesses altogether. Think again. Our weaknesses, or anything that might get in the way of our success, need to be managed in order to allow our strengths to flourish.
Let’s not forget about our weaknesses
We all tend to have far greater awareness of our weaknesses than we do our strengths. They are those things we are likely to leave until last on our to do lists, the things that drain us of energy, take a long time to do or those activities that we try to avoid doing all together wherever possible! Watch out for overplayed strengths becoming weaknesses too!
There are various ways we can manage our weaknesses to allow our strengths to flourish:
- Try to leverage the strengths you do have to compensate for your weaknesses. My example on this one is that I am naturally fairly undisciplined and have the tendency to be late for social engagements (!). So what I try to do (not always successfully!) is to leverage a strength I do have which is empathy and remind myself how awful that person would feel if they were left waiting for me on their own!
- Mitigate against the risk associated with your weakness by ensuring adequate competency in it. For example, if you occasionally need to use Excel for your bookkeeping and it isn’t a strength, a basic course might help ensure you don’t make any schoolboy errors that could undermine your business’ success.
- If you have the luxury of teammates or work colleagues, why not delegate the thing you struggle with to someone for whom it is a strength? If you run your own business and can afford to, why not outsource the work? Failing that, why not do a skills / strengths swap with another small business owner?
- Last but not least, don’t beat yourself up about being less good at something, especially if you don’t actually need to be good at it in your line of work! Contrary to social media, none of us are – or indeed need to be – super-human and good at everything.
Take a look back at the activity right at the start of the last article “Curating a confident mindset through your strengths” when I asked you to think of a time when your confidence was at an all time LOW. Were you having to use your weaknesses then by any chance? What would you do differently now, knowing what you do about managing weaknesses?
What else can undermine our confidence?
There are lots of other pesky mindset critters that can undermine our confidence. Here are just a few of them: fear of failure can be a biggie, fear of our true selves, denial, guilt, self-limiting beliefs, self-sabotage, imposter syndrome, procrastination a negative mindset, perfect vs done, comparisonitis…and the list goes on and on. The good news is that, according to the Law of Attraction, if we stop and shift our focus back to what is going well, what we’re good at and what we love doing (our strengths), positive change will follow the focus of our attention. We will be able to achieve better and better results and experience a greater sense of satisfaction in all that we do. The happy byproduct of all these great results and satisfaction is a well-deserved boost to our otherwise flailing confidence levels.
3 Other simple ways to boost your confidence
- Trusted friends, family-members, colleagues, clients and customers are often a great source of potential confidence and insight into your strengths. Why not ask them to describe you at your best? How do you come across? What can you handle? How do you behave? Keep hold of any positive feedback from emails, social media or testimonials that you receive and keep them in an easily accessible folder called “Boosters” or something similar. Dip into them when you feel your confidence taking a dip. What patterns emerge? What common themes or strengths threads run through the positive feedback you receive?
- And if there isn’t anyone on hand to provide you with the feedback you need to hear, stop and remind yourself of all the great things you have achieved and the hard work, long hours, unfailing commitment etc you have put in to get you where you are today.
- Take a look at the type of language you are using. Can you make it more positive in order to shift your perspective? Take a look at your body language or stance if you are presenting. How can you get more of those feel-good hormones pumping round your body by standing taller, with optimal posture?
There will always be situations and people in life that will, intentionally or otherwise, try to erode your confidence. Remember, you always have a toolkit of brilliant strengths, unique to you, at your disposal every single day if you choose to use them. The key is to identify, recognise and maximise them so they can be your rocket fuel when the going gets tough.
I am a qualified strengths coach and I run my own career and professional confidence coaching consultancy, Shine Brighter Mums. I also provide employee engagement and workplace culture consultancy as Shine Brighter Consulting.
You can find me on:
@shinebrightermums on instagram and Facebook and on twitter as @shinebright_sjc