I have a bad habit of automatically always assuming the worst. It’s a habit I’m trying to break, but it’s difficult for me because everything that could go wrong personally and professionally has.
I’ll give you a great example. One of my clients texted me to say he wanted to talk to me the other day. The message was short and for no good reason, I assumed the worst.
Here are some of the thoughts that went though my head, “Maybe he wants to end the relationship, “Maybe I did something wrong,” “Maybe he’s unhappy.”
I function as this law firm’s chief marketing officer, and I am intimately involved in every aspect of their firm. I’m juggling a lot with them and other clients, and I always worry that I’m not making everyone happy personally and professionally.
It’s part of who I am as a person. I’m the kind of host at a party who will stress about everyone having a good time. And it’s impossible to make everyone happy at the same time unless of course you are a jar of Nutella.
So in any event, it turned out he wanted to talk to me to tell me that I was doing a great job for the firm. He also wanted me to be more confident in my work for the firm and to believe in myself more. He said, “My goal is to get you to lighten up and be confident in yourself and the really good work you do for us.”
He was looking for ways to help me be more confident so I would be more successful. Wow. I am so lucky to have a client like this.
It’s so easy to assume the worst and to continue to try to prove yourself but it’s really important to be confident.
I share this story because I know I seem pretty confident and like I have it all together but I assure you that I don’t. And it is OK to feel that way. It’s also OK to need outside reinforcement that you’re doing a good job, and if you feel like you’re not getting that kind of feedback, ask for it.
There’s a book called the five love languages that I really like for navigating your personal relationships, and there are lessons that you can take from that book and apply to your professional relationships as well.
Some people need reinforcement of the good job they’re doing and some people don’t. Make sure you’re speaking the same language with your clients or your supervisor to avoid miscommunications.
Always strive to do your best and when you are overwhelmed, it’s OK to tell your client or your supervisor that you need help. And don’t fall into the trap that I did which is not feeling great about yourself in one aspect of your life and letting it take over every aspect. You can be self-confident without being boastful.