Nothing saps your confidence faster than creating a big failure where someone else was made a victim. It’s not like you meant to cause trouble for others. Unfortunately, now your error in judgment created anger, concern, and embarrassment.
Okay, you apologized — but that’s not enough. Somehow you have to shake it off and get back in the game. When the stakes are high, you have to move forward again despite feeling hurt and insecure. It’s the hardest time to feel good about yourself and what you’re doing, but the show must go on.
Here is my take on how to regain your confidence quickly, plus more insights from my Inc. colleagues.
1. Talk it through with a friend.
When the bad things happen and you feel a little off center, you can’t bottle it inside and let it eat you up. Insecurity feeds off stress and isolation. Most likely you will be harder on yourself than anyone else. So give yourself a release. Talk to someone who loves and respects you. Express your frustration and talk through the details of what happened. Take a hug and shake it off so you can go back to being the pro you really are.
2. Get back to work.
There’s no quick fix. Confidence is like trust: tough to develop, easy to lose. All you can do is put your head down and try to do good work. The only recipe for feeling more confident is success. Improvement breeds confidence. Competence breeds confidence. Success — in your field or sometimes in any field — breeds confidence. So, get back to work and start succeeding again so your confidence will eventually return. –Owner’s Manual
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3. Celebrate small wins.
Confidence is a fragile thing, and a big loss can cause you to lose it for days, weeks, or even months. It’s important to get it back as quickly as you can. Look for quick, easy wins and build on those over the course of a week’s time — going for bigger and bigger wins. Soon you’ll have your confidence back. –The Leadership Guy
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4. Revisit past successes.
We all let others down from time-to-time, and when it happens we usually take it much harder than the person we’ve disappointed. It’s amazing how a thousand wonderful achievements can easily be forgotten when one little failure comes into play. Being hard on yourself only perpetuates your feelings of failure, which does neither party much good. Apologize and move on by reviewing the countless times you’ve delivered on your word and contributed to making the world a better place. –The Successful Soloist
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5. Discuss lessons learned.
Any person of importance, whether it is a boss or an investor, understands that failure is part of the process. They have made an investment in you and your relationship and won’t quickly turn their back on you. A marketing manager for a local conference misprinted the name of one of the key presenters. This misspelling cost her company $25,000 and she was sure that she was going to be fired. She owned up to the mistake and explained how processes had been changed to prevent it in the future. Her boss’ response was “I just made a $25,000 investment in you, why would I fire you now?” Followed by, “I am sure you won’t make that mistake again.” Understanding why something didn’t work as anticipated and taking responsibility for the mess-up is a sign of your maturity and growth. The key to regaining your confidence is to realize that we all make mistakes. Regain your confidence by admitting, apologizing, and learning from your mistake. –Lean Forward
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