I participated in a blog series where we were asked to share an experience of when your confidence was shot down by the beautiful Kate Toholka. Kate provided a serious on ‘raw, honest and blazing with confidence’ and how women have not just had a blow to their confidence but worked through to over come it. As I am currently reading Dearing Greatly by Brene Brown and How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead – I thought it was a perfect time to start to dive into my personal stories / vulnerability. Initially, I was a little unsure where to start – I could think of various examples of when you get a ‘blow’ to the confidence or times when you are not feeling all that positive (especially early on in my career). Then one particular moment came to mind. I new exactly when my confidence hit ground bottom.
I felt a little uneasy at first with the fact that I was going to share this but while I was reading it back – I feel like it is a perfect fit and it told the exact story of how I built myself back up from a confidence blow.
I hope this resinates with you all and you can learn and develop from my experience. And to understand that confidence blows, not matter what extent or how public it is, happens to everyone. It is what you take from it and how you learn and develop that matters.
Remember: in a workplace you can often take the brunt of underlining issues and business decisions that are not directly related to you and it is always a good idea to look at every situation and understand what is happening around you – this is a good skill to have in every situation.
“The day my confidence was shot – sitting at home, 7pm when I get this email come through on my work phone. My heart started pounding and felt like everything around me was caving in… literally.
Rewind a few days… I was putting together a campaign for the company I worked for, ticking all the boxes, with approval and endorsement from my manger.
I started the communication and sent an email to all the correct people informing them of the campaign. One manager in particular didn’t agree with the campaign and the direction the campaing was following – so, he decided to let the whole company know in an ‘everyone’ email using horrible words directed at me and my capability to perform the task.
Confidence sunk to ground zero in a few short seconds and as you can imagine, self-doubt and tears soon followed. AND I did not want to show my face at work the next day.
But I did.
I spoke with my work colleagues who supported me and my role and existence in the company. My partner held my hand and encouraged me to ‘shake it off’ and prove him wrong. Turning up at the office that day was challenging, uncomfortable and my confidence was still very low. I had meetings with my manager and the director to sort through the issues and understand what was going wrong and what actions we can take to rectify it.
My initial thought was the run, run far far away so you don’t have to see these people again. I didn’t want to go through with the campaign and lost interest in me and the role.
But. I stayed. I listened to his comments and issues. I listened to the advice of my family, friends and work colleagues. I stood my ground with my head held high. I did not fall into a hole. I did not ran away.
This was the first step in rebuilding my confidence.
Soon after this incident, I was always after acceptance and reassurance from others to make sure I was doing the right thing. I soon learnt that, this needed to come from me. I need to be confident in myself and my performance for people to be confident in me.
I didn’t need to prove myself to others, I needed to accept myself both my strengths and weaknesses. I needed to accept the fact that this had happened, learn from it, then move on and up. It was from within that I can be successful and one horrible, inexcusable email isn’t going to stop that from happening.
Once I realised that confidence needed to come from within I have excelled in my career, achieved goals and have never looked back.”
I later learnt that the issues where much bigger than me and that campaign. I was an easy target to take the brunt of the situation – however, I took the experience in and learnt from it. I found myself a stronger person and learnt how to deal with confrontation (indirectly or directly) and ‘yucky’ situations head on.
Show up and deal with the situation, be confident in yourself.
To view the other brilliant raw and honest experiences, check out Kate’s series