“The opposite of love is not hate– it’s indifference.”
– Steven Pressfield
Megan approached me as soon as I left the stage.
“Karin, I’m so with you on this not losing your soul thing… I resonated with everything you said… but for me it was the reverse.
I wasn’t losing my soul at work, I was finding it.
You see my boyfriend was always tearing me down. Or worse, acting like everything I was accomplishing was no big deal.
I would come home from work so excited, but the minute I started sharing my day, he made me feel like crap… like I was stupid to care that much.
I really love my job and I’m good at it. I know I’m making a difference.
My manager started really paying attention to what I was doing. Seeing my potential. Investing in me. Encouraging me. Giving me opportunities.
My confidence was growing.
And that felt good.
When I tried to explain all that to my boyfriend he would roll his eyes.
I tried to talk to my mom, but she said maybe I was a workaholic.
She cares about me and wanted my relationship to work, so she took his side.
But one day it hit me.
He was scared of my success and my new-found confidence.
I tried to help him understand for a long, long time. I encouraged him in his career too.
I finally had to leave.
I feel like I’ve regained my soul.
I’m so much happier.
Been there. Amen sister.
Don’t Let a Naysayer Undermine Your Confidence
God knows I’m no relationship expert.
What I do know is that I am asked almost every day to help high-potential women show up with more confidence.
There are many factors at play.
The unspoken challenge some of the women I work with face is that they’re dealing with a naysayer: at home, or in the next cube, or in the form of a childhood friend threatened by their success, or even lingering words of someone who’s no longer around.
There’s someone in their lives with their own confidence challenges questioning their next move.
If this story sounds familiar you are not alone.
How to Outwit the Naysayers
If you have a ground swell (or even a spark) of confidence building up in you… don’t let anyone talk you out of it.
- Surround yourself with people who claim their own confidence– do everything you can to encourage one another
- Limit your exposure to the naysayers
- Create boundaries with the people you love to limit confidence-crushing conversations
- Take time to acknowledge your own success and growth– write down your personal and professional accomplishments, even the small ones
- Identify the situations where you feel more confident, notice the behaviors that are working for you in those scenes and try them in other environments
- Do something that scares you every day. Nothing builds confidence faster than succeeding at something that scared you
Remember, an important part of confident humility is to know that other people’s behavior is almost always more about them than you. If you’ve got a naysayer trying to undermine your confidence, throw some compassion their way– but don’t let their negativity impact your growth.
For more discussion and tools on the power of confident humility in getting results that last, read or listen to or book, Winning Well: A Manager’s Guide to Getting Results Without Losing Your Soul.