breadcrumb background 1000w newsletters

What does confidence have to do with leadership? As we enter the more relaxed months of summer, perhaps this would be a good time to reflect on confidence. How much time do you spend thinking about your capabilities? What do you know about the confidence levels of your team members? How is your current confidence level working for you or perhaps getting in your way?

Self-confidence is a measure of your beliefs about your own skills and abilities. This includes the level of future performance you expect from yourself. Confident people are keenly aware of what they do well and part of their success is a result of focusing their efforts in those directions.

How does mindset impact confidence?

Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck has spent decades researching achievement and success and has determined that our mindset is a critical differentiator. Dweck discovered that people have either a fixed or a growth mindset.

People with a fixed mindset believe that their traits are just givens. They have a certain amount of intelligence and talent and nothing can change that. This can result in worry about perceived shortcomings. In a growth mindset, people believe that their abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work. This can create a love of learning and a level of resiliency that is essential for success. Think about how this connects to confidence.

The great news is that we can choose to change our mindset to better serve us.

Related to this is the work by Brene Brown, Ph.D., professor at the University of Houston in the Graduate College of Social Work who discovered through years of research that the one variable that separates individuals who have a strong sense of worthiness and those who struggle with this, is the belief that they are worthy—nothing else.

Steps to grow confidence level

Here are some ideas to identify what you can do to increase your confidence level.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do you want to acknowledge yourself for?
  • How did you contribute today/this week?
  • What natural abilities do you have?
  • How are you growing your skills?

What are the most difficult things you’ve accomplished?

  • What are you proud of?

Create an achievement journal

  • Carry it with you
  • Record the situations where you had a positive impact on others (and self)
  • Read and add to it often to remind yourself of achievements and bolster core beliefs of self.

Reward progress not perfection. As adults, we have so little room for mistakes (acknowledge the process, not just the end result), learn from adversity.

Focus on your strengths. Ask yourself how your role allows you to demonstrate your strengths and give yourself permission to take pride in your strengths.

Borrow from your past. Get in touch with times when you were on your game and bring those feelings alive in you.

Talk to and spend time with people who bring out the best in you. Avoid the negative Nellie. If you have to spend time with people who tend to bring you down, don’t accept their version of the truth. Debate quietly to yourself every criticism they make.

Practice gratitude. Remind yourself of what you are grateful for.

Accept praise with grace—just say thank you.

Call to Action

  1. Select one or more confidence building strategies and implement over the next two months.
  2. Review the suggested resources.
  3. Consider how on-going coaching could provide you with an accountability structure. Contact Janet to discuss the process.


  1. Brene Brown: The Power of Vulnerability, Ted Talks,
  2. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way we Live, Love, Parent and Lead, by Brene Brown, 2012.
  3. Carol Dweck: