You know confidence matters. You’ve probably experienced some of the benefits of possessing it first-hand (hello raises and promotions). But did you know that being more confident can also make you more effective in your daily work?
“Investing the time and energy to understand how to cultivate confidence – without the need of external validation and approval – is how we become the most effective at what we do,” says life and confidence coach Savanna Schiavo.
“This is because when we believe in our abilities, what we offer and who we are, we spend less time second-guessing ourselves, articulate our unique messages with greater clarity, precision and ease, and act as leaders in our roles.”
To make the most of the relationship between confidence and effectiveness, it’s important to understand why having more self-assurance translates into increased productivity and results.
Why confidence and effectiveness go hand in hand
You may not realize that those moments of genius when you come up with an innovative initiative are rooted in confidence. Or that the coworker you love to work with because she gets things done is using the power of self-belief to solve problems. Here is why confidence and effectiveness go hand in hand.
“When you feel confident in your abilities (including the ability to figure out the things you don’t yet know or understand), you will spend less time overthinking your decisions, second-guessing your ideas, and questioning your choices — and simply take more action,” says Schiavo.
On the other hand, analysis paralysis is often a subtle indicator of a lack of confidence.
Less overthinking leads to better decision-making. According to Schiavo, “when we’re not clouded by anxiety, self-doubt and fear, we make our best decisions with greater speed.”
Confidence in your decisions then translates into stronger leadership and is often the missing key between strategic thinking and practical implementation.
More action and growth
Plus, self-belief is synonymous with action. Action means trying things and sometimes failing. And failing fuels precious lessons and growth.
“When we believe in our capabilities and trust ourselves, we’re willing to take more action, which will lead to more frequent opportunities to both fail (and learn) and succeed,” says Schiavo.
There is another nuance when it comes to confidence and action: Taking action while feeling confident may produce better results than acting from a place of self-doubt.
“We can do the same actions from self-doubt and from confidence and yield entirely different results. Confidence is such an effective emotion to have in the workplace because it’s the fuel that allows us to create what we want.”
Finally, one of the most important links between being confident and being effective is the fact that without confidence, we can unconsciously self-sabotage in an attempt to stay in our comfort zone instead of moving forward effectively. “Even when we know what to do in a role when we’re lacking confidence we can unconsciously self-sabotage ourselves out of fear and minimize our ability to be the most effective,” says Schiavo.
Confidence and effectiveness at work
It’s one thing to understand these concepts in theory, but grasping how they come into play at the office is even more beneficial. An example of confidence and effectiveness in action is being willing to pitch ideas in a meeting even though you feel vulnerable doing so. “So many more ideas are contributed and acted upon because employees have the confidence to share them.”
Other ways confidence and effectiveness manifest in the workplace includes trusting yourself enough to figure out a task without needing direction. Or writing an important proposal fast because “you haven’t spent an exorbitant amount of time questioning your wording choices or what your boss will think,” according to Schiavo.
Tips to leverage confidence for more effectiveness
In order to master the art of harnessing confidence for more effectiveness, you’ll want to work on nurturing your mindset. Why? Because confidence is not a fixed attribute that you were born with, but a skill that can be built upon.
1. Consume confidence-boosting content
“Feed your brain confidence-producing content on a regular basis. Listen to podcasts, read books, and watch television that inspires you to shift existing beliefs about yourself and learn how to create confidence for yourself,” recommends Schiavo.
2. Invest in your long-term confidence
“Resist the urge to believe that confidence is either something you’re born with or that it is something developed overnight. Invest in your confidence as you would any other skill,” she adds.
“If this is something you’ve struggled with, consider dedicating time, energy, and money to your confidence as a personal and professional development tool. If you’re unsure how to do this, consider working with a confidence coach.”
3. Build self-trust
You’ll also want to begin the journey of improving your self-trust by learning how to “answer your own questions and act on your own ideas.” This can look like less asking for advice, more tuning in. Or following through on the promises you make to yourself, such as taking that professional development course you’ve been talking about.
4. Don’t fake it
Finally, forget the idea of “faking it until you make it.”
“It isn’t a sustainable or effective way to build confidence, and doesn’t address the actual causes and thought processes that are causing the lack of confidence. My clients often work with me after years of trying to ‘fake it til they make it’ and finally want to make real, long-term and skin-deep changes in themselves,” says Schiavo.