The word confidence derives from the Latin, ‘to have full trust or be reliant.’

It encompasses self confidence about our own character as well as about our capacity to know the world and speak of it with strong convictions. To trust and rely on ourselves. Confidence does not mean being right or perfect, but accepting we can be reliant.


How do we show lack of confidence?

Charlott Crabtree has Identified seven work behaviours that show our lack of confidence as leaders.

Saying yes and being agreeable to every request is up there, along with not speaking up and sharing your ideas. These come from a mixture of the fear of not being liked and an insecurity about being wrong or saying something silly.

Overthinking an issue, or analysis paralysis is another sign. This can have both perfectionist and risk-taking origins.

“Worrying is like a rocking chair. It will give you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere.”

                                                                                                                 Erma Bombeck

Complaining about colleagues, bosses and work in general is another signal of lack of confidence (or street smarts).  This is also a sign of not taking responsibility.

Building confidence and effective leadership skills does require some effort. It can also be a little painful as we examine some of our biases and those pesky reasons why we don’t like ourselves as much as we could.

It does mean changing yourself, at least a bit. It means changing your mental model about yourself and the world you live in. And no, it doesn’t require intensive frightening therapy, but it does take a fair bit of effort and commitment to change. And yes it does take a little bit of time.

How do we build confidence?

My three steps for changing your self-confidence involves:

  • Identifying those behaviours you believe are good leadership behaviours;
  • Being aware of those competing behaviours that muck up you achieving your good leadership goals, and;
  • Challenging and transforming your assumptions that hold you back.


These three steps are detailed in chapter 3 of my recent leadership book, Looking Up, Looking In.

Be confident. And let me know how you go.