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The Confidence Challenge that's Hindering Professionals

self compassion

We have a big problem in the workplace and amongst upcoming professionals! It's a confidence problem. Every year we conduct annual research here at Rise Up For You and every year we get the same results!

83% of professionals say their #1 challenge is self-confidence.

There are two types of confidence: outer and inner. Both types are crucial in building your overall confidence; however, the inner confidence takes longer to cultivate and is a constant work in progress. The outer confidence, however, is more apparent and noticeable to others. One can seem like they have a lot of confidence because they have mastered the outer, but someone who displays a healthy outer confidence doesn’t necessarily mean they are a truly confident person.

Outer confidence can be classified as the following:

Your posture and how you carry yourself physically - Walking tall with your shoulders back and head upwards. Avoiding a slouched posture and staring at the floor.

Eye contact - Looking others in the eye instead of constantly shifting your eyes up, down, and to the side as if something in the sky is trying to tell you something.

Appearing “put together” - Do you take the time to honor yourself and the way you show up in the world? Yes, putting yourself together—such as doing your hair, dressing appropriately for occasions, and showing up with a bright and an awakened face—communicates to the people around you a lot about how you feel about yourself.

Non-verbal cues - What messages are you communicating with your non-verbal cues? Are you open in your posture while people talk to you, or do you close yourself off with folded arms? Having an open presence can relay great confidence in yourself as well as bring out openness and outer confidence in others.

Energy - The energy that you exude instantly lets a person know how you feel about yourself and others. Smiling often, showing you care when others are speaking, and carrying a persistent enthusiasm are all clear signs that your internal compass is on the right track.

Nothing is more attractive than confidence! I'm not talking about just outer confidence, but inner confidence as well. The sad truth is that many of us lack true confidence—confidence that allows us to take risks, be ourselves, and truly live a happy and fulfilled life. Every step we take or choose not to take is due to our level of confidence and the beliefs we have about ourselves.

Confidence is already in you, and it’s stronger and more needed than you think. Everyone needs confidence and we all struggle from a lack of it in one way or another. You can be confident in a particular skill, but you can also be confident in some areas of your life and less in others. For example, you may be reading this thinking: “I am incredibly confident in my career and professional relationships." You’re successful, move up the career ladder, and have no problem speaking up in a professional environment. But perhaps you are lacking confidence in your love life. Perhaps you haven’t met the right partner and over time that has made you feel unloveable, messing with your confidence to connect with a romantic partner.

This is what I like to call Macro- and Micro-confidence.

  • Micro-confidence: a belief in yourself as it relates to one particular area, skill or competency. You are a confident singer, or perhaps confident in your job role. This level of confidence is not sustainable and is constantly shifting.

  • Macro-confidence: a deep rooted belief in oneself that you can and will overcome, achieve and make the proper decisions for yourself and your future success. This level of confidence is sustainable and transferable in any job, relationship, life experience, etc. The Macro level gives you the confidence and belief to build more micro confidence. For example, learning a new skill, being adaptable, making the ask.

It’s important to cultivate the Macro level of confidence for sustainable success and fulfillment. For example, when COVID-19 hit the pandemic affected all of our lives in drastic ways, and many people have lost their sense of identity and worth through this experience. Why? Because their micro-confidence factors have shifted, been taken away for a limited time, or have completely dissolved altogether. People who were once confident in their career were now jobless—people confident in owning their business, now shutting doors—confident in their relationships, now on the way to divorce. Micro-confidence is not sustainable. It’s the extra cherry on top once you have cultivated confidence on the macro level.

Want to learn more about personal coaching and our personal growth membership? Grab a free coaching call here with the Rise Up For You, SHRM-CP, SHRM-SCP team.


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