When it comes to your work, are you sitting on a great idea? Perhaps it’s a question you think the business should be asking, or a new product or service your customers would love, or even a better way for you all to be working. So what’s stopping you from speaking up?
Let’s face it, due to the increasingly competitive nature of business today, most organizations are looking for ways to encourage their people to be more innovative at work. But even though your company might be encouraging you all to ‘fail fast, fail often’, the truth is that for many people their feelings of self-doubt and their fear of getting things wrong continues to undermine their ability to turn their thoughts into action.
So how can you develop the confidence to be truly innovative at work?
“Having the kind of confidence that gives you the courage to act in the moment when you have a great idea is really important for innovation,” explains Louisa Jewell a leading speaker and author on confidence and wellbeing, when I interviewed her recently. “It’s about overcoming your self-doubts by teaching your brain to say ‘yes’, even when it’s screaming ‘no’ at full force.”
Of course sometimes your brain may be saying ‘no’ to let you know that you’re not quite ready. In this case self-doubt can motivate you to ask more questions and fine tune your approach before you start sharing.
But when you find yourself constantly questioning your ideas, it’s likely that chronic self-doubt is undermining your ability to take action. After all your brain has discovered that failure hurts, with researchers finding that because you’re wired for social connectedness and belonging, the emotional pain from experiencing a social putdown or embarrassment can feel as real as any physical pain does.
So how can you teach your brain to say ‘yes’ when self-doubt and the fear of failure is actually holding you back?
Louisa suggests three ways to develop genuine confidence at work:
What’s the smallest action you could take today to help solve a problem your workplace is facing?
How do you share and grow from your failures at work?
Who in your workplace could provide you with guidance and feedback to make learning less lonely and painful?
For more ideas on improving your confidence at work visit www.positivematters.com and grab Louisa’s new book on teaching your brain to say ‘Yes’ in May 2017.