Dr. Rita's Blog
Are you listening to what you say to yourself?
What you say to yourself when no one’s around matters.
This internal chatter has a big impact on your confidence, even if you are aren't actively listening to it.
When you take on a new role or project, your initial excitement and confidence are reflected in the positive nature of your self talk.
But what happens when you run into unexpected challenges?
Maybe the project is taking longer than you thought it would, or there aren't as many resources as you were promised, or your best team member left for a new job.
The chatter in your head starts to say things to you like: “You never should have taken on this project in the first place.” “You are in over your head now!” “Your reputation is going to take a big hit if you don’t figure this out soon.“
Unfortunately, confidence is usually built on accomplishment, getting things done and achieving big and small goals. When challenges set in, accomplishments and achieving goals aren’t happening.
What to do?
First be aware of what’s going on.
We talk about this in Session 4 of the Women Managers Leadership Cohort. And remind ourselves that confidence is “a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities and qualities.”
When challenges occur, which they almost always will, our sense of accomplishment gets threatened. And when that happens, negative self-talk kicks in fast and furious.
I love the quote from Lisa M. Hayes: Be careful how you are talking to yourself because you are listening.
This is when talking to yourself kindly and with encouragement matters.
Taking time (especially when you’re sure you don’t have the time!) to reflect and think is imperative. Being curious and asking yourself questions will help you sort things out and set priorities.
Take a look at what’s happening in your environment that’s not supporting you. It could be a toxic boss or colleague or push back from a work group, etc. Then, make a conscious decision to sort out what you have control over and what is out of your control. Only spend energy on what you can control.
Take good care of yourself. Make it a top priority. Eating well, getting good sleep, walking in nature will help you bring the best of yourself to the table. Besides, if you don’t take good care of you, who will?
Most of all DON’T assume you are not good enough or that you did something wrong. And don’t let the chatter in your head become nasty and negative!
Want to learn more about confidence, self-talk and tools that help?
Enroll in the Q2 Womens Leadership Cohort that kicks off on April 15. It’s a great group of up and coming women managers committed to learning and growing together.
More info and to enroll
Would love to see you there!
Rita Webster, Ph.D.
The Executive Coach for Women Leaders
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