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Do You Lack Confidence as a Leader? Here Are 4 Things You Can Do to Boost It. How leaders can transform their insecurities into opportunities for growth, propelling themselves and their teams toward unparalleled success.

By John Kitchens

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In the ever-demanding landscape of business, leaders are often challenged with adapting and growing at a pace faster than ever before. Growing as a leader does not only cost time and finances but also requires you to have immense confidence to make significant decisions and pave the way to success. Confidence is the fuel that drives effective leadership, serving as a catalyst for innovation, influence and motivation. More than anything, a leader's confidence is the mirror that reveals what we are capable of. When we exude confidence, it affects how others perceive us. It affects how your brand is perceived not just by your team but also by the public.

It is important to remember that notable leaders such as Steve Jobs and Elon Musk had the courage to present ideas that pushed boundaries and challenged the status quo. Instead of following conventional norms, they dared to think differently. They boldly marched ahead and believed in themselves. That kind of confidence has left a mark on the world and made their brands stand out amongst the competition. This begs the question — how can you become a successful leader who has the confidence to take risks and challenge norms? How do you get the confidence to transform your leadership?

It's no surprise that gaining confidence isn't easy. Even the most seasoned leaders can find themselves lacking. We must understand that getting to the top takes more than just hard work and dedication. Traditionally, one would be taught to concentrate on developing their outer skills such as technical prowess and social influence. However, the answer to gaining confidence lies in understanding and developing oneself. Once you understand yourself better, you will gain insight into how to use your strengths, weaknesses and unique skills to help you lead confidently.

Instead of looking outwards, let's take a look at ourselves first. To look inwards means that we have to evaluate ourselves and take a closer look at the root of the problem.

Related: Being Confident Should Be a Leader's Top Priority. Here Are 4 Ways to Build Your Confidence Levels.

What causes leaders to lose confidence?

There are many reasons why people may lack confidence in their abilities as a leader. Here are some common causes:


Leaders who strive for perfection may set unrealistically high standards for themselves. The constant pursuit of flawlessness can lead to self-criticism and a fear of not meeting those lofty expectations. When leaders inevitably fall short, their confidence can suffer as they perceive their performance as inadequate.

Critical self-judgment:

Leaders who engage in harsh self-judgment tend to be overly critical of their own actions and abilities. They may focus on their mistakes or shortcomings, undermining their confidence. The constant self-doubt and negative self-talk can erode their belief in their capabilities as leaders.

Fear of failure:

The fear of failure can be paralyzing and can lead to a significant loss of confidence for leaders. The fear of making mistakes or experiencing setbacks can prevent them from taking risks, trying new approaches and embracing innovative ideas. This fear can restrict their growth and impact their self-assurance.

Lack of experience:

Leaders who lack experience in certain areas or face new challenges may experience a dip in confidence. In unfamiliar territory, they may question their ability to navigate complex situations or make sound judgments. The perceived gap in experience can undermine their confidence until they gain the necessary knowledge and skills.

Lack of skill:

Leaders who feel they lack certain skills necessary for their roles may experience a loss of confidence. When leaders believe they are deficient in crucial competencies, such as communication, decision-making or strategic thinking, it can undermine their confidence in their ability to lead effectively. However, skills can be developed through training, learning and seeking opportunities for growth.

These factors can intertwine and reinforce each other, amplifying the loss of confidence in leaders. It is essential to identify what may be causing your lack of confidence and address its root cause. Once you have come to terms with the source of your lack of confidence, it is now possible to take action and reclaim your confidence.

Related: How to Cultivate Confidence as a Leader

4 things you can do to reclaim your confidence

Make the commitment:

As opposed to the common belief of having the skills first and then committing, leaders must commit first. Commitment itself can boost confidence. Making a public or personal declaration of commitment creates a sense of accountability and pushes us to take action. As we make progress and witness our own dedication and effort, our confidence naturally grows. Each step taken reinforces our belief in our ability to acquire the necessary skills.

While skills undoubtedly play a crucial role in achieving success, the act of committing before possessing those skills can be a powerful catalyst for growth and development. Embracing commitment as a starting point, we embark on a transformative journey that pushes us to acquire the skills necessary to fulfill our commitments and achieve our goals.

Cultivate courage:

Courage allows us to embrace failure as a learning opportunity. When we have the courage to try new things and take risks, we also open ourselves up to the possibility of failure. However, failure is not a reflection of our worth or abilities. Instead, it provides valuable lessons and insights that contribute to personal and professional growth. Embracing failure with courage allows us to bounce back, adjust our approach and build confidence through resilience. By cultivating courage, we embark on a journey of self-discovery, resilience and personal growth that fuels the development of unwavering confidence.

Develop your skills:

Mastery breeds confidence. Building confidence by developing your skills is a powerful and effective approach to enhancing self-assurance and belief in your abilities. As you develop and refine your skills, you gain a sense of mastery over them. The more proficient you become in a particular area, the more confidence you naturally build. Competence and expertise bolster your belief in your capabilities, allowing you to tackle challenges with greater assurance.

A simple gesture such as reading to further improve your skills, can go a long way in building confidence. This is especially effective when incorporated into your routine. So, remember to invest time to improve yourself and upgrade your skills. By investing in your skills and competencies, you lay a solid foundation for increased confidence, enabling you to take on new challenges and opportunities with greater assurance.

Acknowledge your wins:

No achievement is too small. Acknowledging and celebrating even the smallest wins can have a significant impact on your confidence. Acknowledging your wins is a powerful practice for building confidence. By validating and recognizing your achievements, you reinforce positive behaviors, strengthen your belief in your abilities and generate momentum toward further success. Embrace the habit of celebrating your wins, both big and small, and watch your confidence grow as you recognize the value and impact of your accomplishments.

To lose our confidence is not uncommon. It can happen to any of us, regardless of our skills and capabilities. However, when we stay in that state, we become stagnant and fail to reach our full potential. To be an effective leader, we must take action to reclaim our confidence. So, embrace the challenge of navigating your self-doubts, and choose to elevate your leadership confidence. With the proper approach, there is no challenge too big for us to take on. Remember that a man with confidence is worth a thousand doubters, for he possesses the power to inspire, lead and achieve greatness.

Related: Unleash Unshakable Confidence in 7 Days

John Kitchens

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

CEO of John Kitchens Coach

John Kitchens is the most sought-after systems and processes coach for real-estate agents that want to turn their real-estate practice into a business. He is an expert in identifying constraints and honing strategies that lead to clarity and success.

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