Clarity Leads to Confidence

You know what really sucks? A draining away of confidence in your professional abilities.

Secret: it happens to almost everyone, at some point or another. Even when you’re actually really, really good.

Here are some factors that lead to a loss of confidence (what would you add?):

  1. Management that is more critical than encouraging
  2. Being in a role that is a mis-match for your skills and interests
  3. A growing sense of non-upward mobility in your company
  4. Extended unemployment
  5. A resume/LinkedIn profile that doesn’t truly stand out
  6. Negative self-talk
Discovering professional DNA

Discovering professional DNA. With M&Ms!

I’ve advised many people about their career direction over the past couple years, and the one thing that I find which restores confidence is clarity. And by that, I mean a clear understanding of your strengths and gifts that transcends any specific job role/title that you’ve possessed.

Confidence comes from a sense that you have a lot to offer – and you know what it is.

Last week I had the privilege of leading three separate career clarity therapy sessions. Here are a couple of (unsolicited) testimonials that resulted:

– Thank you for your inspiration, direction, and knowledge in finding my “sweet spot” through self-discovery. You made me think…based on my contributions to people and businesses throughout my life, I have made a positive impact. After our meeting, my confidence is high—especially while unemployed.

– As I meditated over the weekend about our session, we did indeed NAIL what I am all about! I must say that most of my life I have wondered what are my “gift(s)”. Our session not only brought clarity to my next career move, but more importantly what my gifts and talents are, and how I can offer it to others. I now see the next step in my career is more about how to best leverage my unique gifts and talents to help departments and companies grow, and less about the title attached to it. 

Even for the most successful and capable, confidence can be a fleeting thing, unless there is an internal conviction of value and capability. Once we can look back at our professional “story” and see how we are uniquely suited to add value to the right situation, we’ll move forward with a lot more assurance – not “fishing” for just another job, but “fitting” into the right one.


Related blog post: Tap Into the Power of Your Story

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  1. This is very encouraging. Thanks, Steve. To your list of contributing factors I’d add: Always handling urgent things, and not taking time for important things. Perhaps that’s a symptom of the problem: when I don’t have clarity, I find myself reacting to circumstances rather than taking action based on what’s best for me.

  2. Steve, Some very good thoughts. Can you say more about points 2 and 6 please?


  1. […] clarity and confidence – are directly related until I saw Steve Woodruff’s blog post, Clarity Leads to Confidence. He covers it in a different context, namely developing a strong sense of personal mission, which […]

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