There are people who seem to brim with confidence. Lack of experience or knowledge is no barrier to giving something a go, self-belief seemingly overcoming any other limitation. Oh, how I envy them.

It is a relief that in the last decade or so, I have been making regular deposits in my confidence bank. This idea was mentioned in passing by one of my managers at the time. I had changed roles at work, moving into a managerial position. Consistent with my personality, there was some self-flagellation going on in my head as I didn’t think I was performing as well as I could be. My expectations are usually higher than anything imposed upon me externally. The circumstances around the comment elude me now, but after some small success, my manager had said that this win was a deposit to the confidence bank.

This may have been a passing comment but it resonated with me, and it started me thinking differently about the successes in life, both large and small. These successes are not limited to my working life; they can be wins or good moments in relationships, family situations or creative endeavours. It is perhaps similar to a gratitude journal in that if you take the time to notice, appreciate and recognise your wins, they can stand you in good stead when the road is a little rocky, or if you need to do something outside of your experience.

Recently I was asked to do some public speaking. It was a short speech in front of about 150 people. I can hold my own in the talking stakes but getting up on a stage with a microphone in front of me and a sea of faces? When I was asked, I said yes with minimal hesitation. How hard could it be? As the event drew closer the little niggles of doubt wiggled into my subconscious. What if I fluffed the lines? Said something wrong? Tripped over my tongue or my feet, embarrassed myself somehow?

Then I called upon the confidence bank. I am a capable, competent person. I’m naturally an introvert but I have a job which involves dealing with people from all walks of life. I’ve been told that I’m easy to listen to. I thought about how I have put myself on show in other ways – through writing and other acts of creativity. I could do the speech. And I did. Another deposit for the confidence bank.

How do you overcome self-doubt?

[Photo: Bank building at Strathalbyn, South Australia]