With a flight of three small frozen margaritas lined up in front of me, I admit to my friend while catching up over dinner, “Things have been good. My career and family are great, and the podcast I’m on is doing awesome. But there’s something about this year—I’ve come to realize I really lack self-confidence. Like there are times I don’t feel good at what I do, and I’m afraid other people think so, too.”
I gulp the raspberry-flavored concoction while I let those words hang.
“But everyone feels that way,” she says. “Seriously. There are times when I feel so underqualified and wonder how I got to where I am in my career at all.”
She’s right. Confidence has a lot to do with that internal voice in your head vocalizing all of the crummy thoughts. I’m reminded about the interview I just did with author and speaker Brian Tracy, who said the mark of self-confidence is self-efficacy, or believing in your ability to perform well in your chosen activity. Those with self-confidence know that no matter the challenge, they’ll pull it off and succeed.
When I take on a new project that requires a new skill, I never doubt that I can be successful.
I had an Oprah-esque aha moment. Despite the often crummy thoughts in my head, when I take on a new project that requires a new skill, I never doubt that I can be successful.
The podcast is an obvious example. When our producer, Mariana Lenox, approached me about co-hosting the first-ever SUCCESS podcast, I said yes without really thinking about it. I tend to do that—say yes to something that I’m not really sure about and figure it out along the way.
Since we launched the SUCCESS Insider podcast at the beginning of last year, I’ve learned a brand-new skill in broadcasting. I’m making myself better every episode and working with co-host Josh Ellis and the whole team to make it a hit.
And overwhelmingly, it’s been well-received. It’s climbing the iTunes charts and the five-star reviews continue to amaze me. I dare say I’m getting good at this, and that self-efficacy Tracy talks about is a telltale sign of self-confidence.
After that conversation over dinner and margaritas, I finally believed the self-consolatory messages that most people use to shrug off the negative inner dialogue we all have: I don’t suck. I’m just too hard on myself.
I’m still letting that sink in, but I know it’s the truth.
This article originally appeared in the March 2017 issue of SUCCESS magazine.
Journalist, podcaster and southpaw Shelby Skrhak is the former director of digital content and social media for SUCCESS.com. Before joining SUCCESS magazine, Shelby launched the weekly suburban newspaper Plano Insider, and covered topics ranging from cops and courts to transportation and fashion. Her handwriting should be a font.