Your mentor recently told you that the key to career success is confidence not talent alone.
But how can that be? The thousands of dollars in education that you paid to acquire and polish your talent really should count for something.
And it does! But it’s not everything!
Why is confidence so important to career success? There are 5 reasons.
#1 – Without confidence your talent won’t shine.
I have a client who is a filmmaker. A very talented filmmaker. And, while she knows she can make movies, she doesn’t believe that her talent is anything special.
She submitted her movie to a film festival and it was picked up to be screened. But, when she was called on by a reporter to discuss her film, her lack of confidence was on display.
She told the reporter that her film was no better than anyone else’s and that the crew was more talented than she was and how there must have not been many submittals for the festival folks to choose hers.
And how did the reporter report my client? She didn’t. She glossed over her in her article because who wants to highlight someone who isn’t proud of her own work or sure of her part in it?
The reporter talked about other directors instead of my client and, because of this, those director’s movies were better attended at the festival.
Because she couldn’t express confidence in her work, my client’s work wasn’t able to shine.
#2 – Without confidence you won’t speak up for yourself.
I have another client who is a computer programmer and is really, really good at what she does. She has been given nothing but glowing reviews by her boss and her co-workers love her. And, up until now, she has been very happy in her work.
Recently a new employee joined the company and everything changed. This new employee was not a team player and his attitude was affecting her ability to do her work to the best of her ability. My client started really struggling.
Unfortunately, in spite of the glowing reviews and the appreciation of her peers, my client didn’t have enough confidence in herself, and in her work, to approach her co-worker about her difficulties nor did she notify her bosses that she was struggling.
As a result my client’s work continued to decline and she was eventually passed over for a promotion.
She was very good at what she did but without confidence it didn’t matter.
#3 – Without confidence you won’t pursue career opportunities.
I remember when I was young and starting out in my career. I was working in the hotel business, in the catering department of a Four Seasons Hotel in San Francisco.
I was a catering assistant, processing paperwork for the catering directors. I loved my job but also really wanted to move up and be a director.
Part of me believed that I could do it but I most of me didn’t KNOW that I could.
When a job opportunity came up I didn’t apply for the job. I told myself that I wouldn’t know what I was doing and that I would let everyone down and that I was doing just fine where I was, so why change anything.
So I didn’t. And I stayed in that job for 2 years before moving on because I was bored.
I often wonder if I would still be working at the Four Seasons if I had taken a chance on that director job. I might not have been so bored that I was forced to leave.
#4 – Without confidence you will settle for less.
Recently it was announced that Mark Wahlberg was paid $1M for the remake of a movie and his co-star Michelle Williams was paid $1K. That doesn’t seem quite fair does it?
Has this happened to you? Have you learned that a co-worker got a raise and that you did not. Or that other people in your department make more than you for the same work?
A client of mine found out that she was making less than everyone else and she wasn’t happy and was considering leaving her job because of it. I asked her why she didn’t just ask for a raise.
There must be some reason I don’t get paid as much, she said. Maybe I just don’t do as good a job as the others.
My client continued working her job but her motivation and her enthusiasm was gone and eventually she moved on.
#5 – Without confidence you won’t believe in yourself.
There isn’t one aspect of our lives that isn’t impacted by whether or not we believe in ourselves. And if we lack confidence in any of those areas we are going to struggle to succeed.
Think about your relationship? Are you confident in the love that you have for that person? Do they treat you with respect and make you a better person? Do you have confidence in yourself in the relationship, knowing that you are being true to yourself? If you do, you will succeed.
How about when you go out with your friends to climb a mountain. Do you stand at the bottom and think there is no way! Or do you have confidence in yourself that, even if you have to go slow and rest, you will get to the top of that mountain? Which attitude will ensure you succeed, do you think?
Now think about your career and your career search. Do you believe in your talents? Do you believe that any company would be lucky to have you? Do you believe that you can do any job you put your mind to?
If yes, you have exactly what it takes to succeed in business because you have the confidence to believe in yourself. The positive attitude that you can make anything happen!
How great is that?
So how do you build confidence? In life and at work?
All of the people detailed above, myself included, didn’t have the confidence in their talents that they needed to be successful at their jobs. And that is why these people became my clients because their careers were not going in the direction they had hoped.
How did I help my clients gain confidence? I suggested that they take a good hard look at their lack of belief in their talent and prove it to me.
So each client made a list, of what she was capable of and had done compared to her co-workers. Each one realized that, in fact, her talent was outstanding and stronger than the others in her workplace.
She also looked at opportunities for growth that she might have that would allow her to have more confidence in her talents.
Armed with this knowledge, and action, my clients were able to build the confidence necessary to succeed in their career, and in life.
The key to career success is confidence, not talent alone.
Many people in this world are very talented. And that talent can open up doors for them. But in order to keep the door open, and move through it valiantly, self-confidence is necessary.
So take a good hard look at what you are good at. Write it down. Compare it to others. See where you might have room for growth and development. Take action.Work to build your confidence so that you can use your talents for great success.
Once you have taken stock get out there in the world and take it by storm.
You can do it!
I am a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. My writing has been published on The Huffington Post, Prevention, Psych Central, Pop Sugar, MSN and The Good Man Project, among others. I work with all kinds of people to help them go from depressed and overwhelmed to confident and happy in their relationships and in their world.