A lack of confidence can also hurt in your internal interactions as well. When you are confident with who you are, it helps you to build trust in relationships with people you work with. Especially if your work environment is very competitive or has a relatively flat hierarchy, which also tends to intensify internal competition, then it is imperative that you have confidence in who you are and what you are doing. If you are in a competitive environment where the rule is “up or out” (either you move up within the organization over a period of time or you have to leave the organization) and your colleagues realize that you are not comfortable with who you are or in your work, then they will actively try to find ways to make you doubt yourself.
If you are constantly questioning your abilities in the workplace, then sooner or later your boss is likely to notice and their trust or belief in you will be impaired. And when your boss starts to doubt whether or not you can do the work or have the ability to sell your ideas, then you are very likely to be viewed as someone who cannot or should not move up within the organization or get the opportunity to have bigger and better clients or other responsibilities.
We all have strengths and weaknesses, gifts and talents. Have the confidence to play up yours. Be proud about what you do well and who you are. And work to improve your weaknesses whenever possible. You don’t have to wear either on your sleeve, but don’t suppress what’s good and interesting about yourself either.
Excerpted from Expect to Win: 10 Proven Strategies For Thriving In The Workplace. Published by arrangement with Plume, a member of Penguin Group (USA), Inc. Copyright © Carla A. Harris, 2010.