Management Monday: Confidence

How confident do you need to be to be a success?

Most people believe that high self-confidence is crucial to achieving your career goals, but in fact the opposite is more likely to be true.0602

While very low self-confidence can obviously cause problems, high self-confidence can equally restrict your success for several reasons.

Reflection: Having high levels of self-confidence often makes you less likely to look back on what you have done with a critical eye. You may also ignore negative feedback from others, even when it is justified, and fail to improve yourself. By contrast, low self-confidence means you will probably take on board criticism and make changes for the better.

Preparation: If you are always confident in your own abilities, it’s likely you won’t spend much time preparing for new tasks. However, if you have some doubts about your own performance, you will focus on an upcoming challenge in order to complete it to your best ability. For example, a student who feels they know the subject inside out will not do much revision, whereas one who believes they have gaps in their knowledge will prepare more extensively – and is likely to do better as a result.

Likeability: High self-confidence can often lead to arrogance, misplaced self-belief and an inability to share workloads fairly – all unattractive qualities. When a business leader is like this, it can lead to low motivation and dissatisfaction among the staff, which in turn reduces productivity.

If you want to be as successful as you can, be honest with yourself: do you ever doubt your own abilities? Do you believe others in your business sometimes know better than you? Do you worry about failing, and work harder as a result? If the answer to these questions is ‘no’, it may be time to take a look at your self-confidence – and get it back under control.


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