Self-belief: The Key to Success

“If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.”
Sam Walton

Self-confidence is one of the most important qualities to have in every aspect of our lives. Whether it be in a personal context or a professional one, belief in oneself is often the difference between success and failure. Yet so many people struggle to find that confidence, and if that applies to you then don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Today I’m going to focus on self-belief in a professional context. Now there’s various areas where believing in yourself can play a part during your career. To start, let’s take the case of an increasingly large group: the recently unemployed.

Often, when someone loses their job, their confidence goes with it. Of course you’re going to be disappointed, but the problem lies in the belief that losing your job is a direct indication of your value (or lack of value) as a professional. Getting fired or being let go then cancels out every success you have ever achieved. Now that’s ridiculous. Just because you’ve lost your job it doesn’t mean that’s the end of the line. And even though deep down the job seeker knows that, the loss of confidence provides an obstacle large enough to block them from seeing it and believing it.

After all, a lack of confidence can be the largest obstacle for job seekers. If you lack the confidence to believe in yourself then the likelihood is, it shows. Candidates like this tend to “forget” their past accomplishments and concentrate much more attention than others on their limitations. And often this occurs sub-consciously so they don’t even know they’re doing it. But as you can imagine, a candidate who focuses on negatives rather than positives is unlikely to succeed. If you can’t get excited about your former achievements or show interest in your work experience then how do you expect the employer to? You have to resolve these self-doubts before the interview.

But how do you do that?

Well, the chances are you have had some success in your life. You’ve achieved things and you’ve felt confident. The key is remembering this. I know this sounds simple but in all honesty it is. Review your past and focus on the times you’ve been successful. You can even practice talking about it. Even though it may sound simple, a lot of people have difficulty talking about their accomplishments, so try to get used to it! Try talking to former co-workers who can relate and acknowledge your qualities. One of the worst things you can do if you lose your job is to feel embarrassed and withdraw from professional relationships. So don’t do that! Everyone understands the importance of networking and you never know, one of your former co-workers may just be able to help you out.

So if you are someone who has lost their job then make sure you don’t lose your confidence and self-belief with it.

But how can the typical job seeker avoid losing confidence and ultimately use self-belief to find a job?

I’m going to be honest and say that if you don’t believe in yourself then it’s very likely you will not find a job. In a professional context, if you don’t believe in yourself then no one will. Everyone’s agreed that looking for a job is hard, especially in the current job market. It’s a stressful and often long-winded process. The key to success is self-belief.

The chances are that you will not succeed straight away. There will be obstacles and you will experience failure (and that doesn’t just apply to job seeking!). The most important thing to do is to recognize failure as an opportunity to start again and do it better. In the case of a job seeker you have to make sure not to take things personally and not to give up and stop trying. After all, if you don’t try you cannot succeed.

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall”.
Confucius

Here are 3 steps to help you on the road to building self-confidence:

#1: Preparation

Think about what you’ve achieved in the past, what strengths you currently possess and where you want to go in the future.

#2: Set off

Build up your knowledge, set yourself some goals and manage yourself, accepting failures along the way.

#3: Stride to success

Your self confidence has grown so now it’s time to stretch yourself more – set bigger goals and extend your skills. Be careful not to become over-confident as this is just as undesirable in an employee as a lack of confidence.

Even though I have included a 3 step process, in reality there is no quick fix solution. What’s important is that you know self-belief is achievable, and with it everything else becomes more achievable too. I’ll leave you with a last quote which you can say to yourself before you face a job interview or any other challenge in your personal or professional life:

“It’s lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believe in myself.”
Muhammad Ali 

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1 Comment

  1. How to become the indispensible employee « TM International

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