I had a sudden big attack of a lack of self confidence. The afternoon before my last workshop it was there: A sudden attack of nervousness and fear of failure. It spoiled all the fun I normally have before hosting a workshop. I am sure nobody really noticed it during the workshop, but I did. Friends told me: “There’s nothing to be nervous about, you’re going to do great.” Rationally I knew this was true, but once the feeling is there, it can be hard to let go.
Often people tell me: “But you don’t have a lack of self confidence!” They are so wrong. I have my own insecurities and I also experience a lack of self confidence every now and then. Like the afternoon before the workshop. For me the hardest thing is to let go and gain confidence back again. A lack of confidence should not dominate your thoughts or daily life. But sometimes it just does.
About my lack of self confidence.
The sudden experience of low self esteem brought me back to my job search period. Every time a rejection arrived I was disappointed and felt not wanted. Every time I got no or an negative reply to a request for a networking coffee, I felt lost. I did not know what to do next. Every time someone told me: “This is a job for you, you should really apply“, I did not. There was always a good excuse not to do it.
Here are some of my excuses: “Well, that’s not really my area of expertise”, “I don’t have enough experience for that”, “they are looking for native English speakers and I am not” and a real vague one: , “Oh, I don’t know, I’ll have to think about it”. Which really meant I was never ever going to apply.
As an HR professional I knew the job search arena changed a lot the last few years, and in the beginning I was not able to adjust my plans to it. I was just focusing on vacancies, applying with the same CV and motivational letter over and over again and receiving rejections over and over again. It was the real old fashion way of applying. Can you imagine what this did to my self esteem? It became a large lack of self confidence.
Until I realized what was wrong. My thoughts influenced my daily life so much and because of the growing amount of bad experiences I gained a lack of self confidence. And this became bigger every time a rejection arrived. I had no plan. I had dreams of where I wanted to take my career, but kept on dreaming. My insecurities almost killed my dreams. It prevented me from taking new steps, from making change. Until I realized: “Dreams do not work unless you do”. A plan was needed to make my dreams come true. I had to turn my “can’t” into “cans” and my dreams into plans.
“Insecurity kills dreams, failure never will”
The first thing I did is write my dreams down in a notebook. I had 2. Back then, the only job I wanted in the Eindhoven area was out of my reach because of start-up organizational issues. The second dream was starting my own business. The second thing I did was talk about this dream with friends and in my network. The third thing I did was: Make a plan. I finally took action. The insecurities where still there, making a plan gave me the feeling I could beat them.
How I changed my lack of self confidence
I gained lots of information on how to approach the job market and on what is needed to start a business. And even as a Career Coach, I had the privilege of a great coach to support me. Next to this I visited every workshop in town where I could learn how to improve my networking and application skills. I deep dived deed into networking (80% of the jobs in the Netherlands is find through networking). I listened very carefully to the feedback I got in the workshops and my networking talks. Often I got great tips to proceed my journey. Finally, I made my dreams come true.
The organizational issues for the job I desired changed and I was hired. I learned a lot in the job, I had fun, had great colleagues in a great team and loved it, but in the end realized: “this is not the place where I want to be, I have bigger dreams”. In the mean time I started building my own business. Building your own business and having a job at the same time is a hard thing to do. I finally decided to hand in my resignation and fully focus on my business.
Kick Start Your Career
And this is what I want for you as well. To allow yourself to look at your insecurities and allow yourself to be supported by others. Allow yourself to learn everything you need to know to make your job search successful. If you are ready for a next step: to give yourself a kick start on this subject: I designed a new workshop for you: The Career Connection Kick Starter Boot camp.
It is going to give you all the information you need to kick start your job search in NL. We will talk about personal branding as your key to success. About the importance of networking in your job search. You will get the answer to the question: “Do I need an agency?”. You can read the full content of the workshop on the special Kick Starter page. Or you can register now.
In 2,5 hours I will answer all the questions you have on how to approach the job market. So you can build your own plan, your own strategy. If this is what you need: register right now! There are limited spots available.
If this event is not what you need right now, feel free to contact me to have a talk about your Career Challenges and the support you need. I’ll be happy to help you out!