For nearly 30 years now, I have worked with many lawyers, who look and sound successful, have impressive educations from top tier universities and high-level careers but lack true confidence.
They wear a mask of confidence, but deep down inside they actually fear they are not smart enough, special enough, talented enough, beautiful enough or wise enough. They live in fear that someone or some event will remove their mask leaving them exposed and humiliated.
Have you ever felt that way?
Interestingly though, a person having a lack of true confidence can come across as:
- Working unrealistically hard
- Chasing the myth of ‘self-perfection’ and/or expecting perfection in others
A lack of true confidence can also look like this:
- a tendency to perpetually second guess yourself
- choosing to innocuously follow instead of lead
- remaining silent, knowing you have the answer or solution to a problem but being unwilling to defend any scrutiny that may come your way as a result of speaking up
- playing small and staying in the background, because you do not want to make ‘waves,’ a mistake or fail
This is where so many get the truth about confidence completely wrong.
Confidence is not arrogance nor does it result from a long list of achievements.
Confidence is at the core of every success and every failure.
One of my favourite quotes is attributed to Henry Ford: “If you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.”
Please always ‘think you can.’ Why?
Because even if you are unable to accomplish something exactly the way you would like or exactly as you imagined, you can choose to believe that it can and will do so next time . . . or the time after that.
In order to be truly confident, you have to understand what confidence is and what it is not.
According to Merriam Webster’s Dictionary, CONFIDENCE IS . . .
- A feeling or consciousness of one’s powers or of reliance on one’s circumstances;
- The quality or state of being certain
Though confidence is certainty – it is not the absence of vulnerability or of making a mistake, being wrong or not knowing the answer.
In fact, all very often co-exist. All are true!
Confidence is all about your mindset.
Confidence is acting with the certainty that right now you are enough. What you know is enough. What you believe is enough. What you imagine is enough.
Confidence is making decisions for yourself and others in your personal and professional life based upon the information, knowledge and skill set you have at that moment and all of that is enough. This allows you to serve as an effective lawyer and leader at work and loving partner and/or parent at home because you confidently trust who you are.
Confidence is being perfectly okay with being wrong, even failing because:
- You trust and honour your inner wisdom
- You trust your years of experience
- You trust your successes which sometimes were won through failure
- You trust the reflection of what others see in you by way of their commendation, compliments, respect and value of having you in their life
So, how can YOU become more confident? I will discuss that in an upcoming article.
Lakeshia S. Ekeigwe coaches and mentors successful women lawyers to create balance in their life, business & relationships resulting in them enjoying successful careers and leading happy and fulfilled personal lives.