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I come across more bad advice and articles on what to do to develop self-confidence and on what self-confidence is than good and worthwhile ones (I am definitely fighting an uphill battle teaching people about the importance of self-confidence and how to actually develop it).  For the most part, I don’t leave comments or mention the articles because it simply isn’t worth it to be or keep getting aggravated about them. But I decided today to go ahead and talk about a more recent article that was posted on the Chicago Tribute website titled Self-Confidence Unnecessary For Stellar Success and point out how clueless people are about self-confidence.

First off, what the heck is “Stellar Success”. Success is success – we define what we consider success and as far as I’m concerned, I have one level of success – it’s called success. Let me not digress.

The question asked was: I keep getting reviews lately that I need to work on my self-confidence. I agree that I’m not the most self-confident person on the planet, but I have no idea how to change my attitude. My boss keeps trying to give me projects I’m not certain I can do, and I’m turning down. Am I stuck at my current level of achievement?

Bottom line – if you DON’T BELIEVE IN YOURSELF and turn down projects and work in your workplace you clearly do lack self-confidence and will not go far in your position nor will you get promoted.  In this job climate, this person is lucky to still have their job.  Second, I’ve said this many times before; self-confidence is NOT AN ATTITUDE.  This person doesn’t need an attitude adjustment; they NEED to develop their self-confidence.

But let’s have a look at what Daneen Skube, Ph.D., executive coach, trainer, therapist and speaker, who also appears as the FOX Channel’s “Workplace Guru” each Monday morning and author of “Interpersonal Edge: Breakthrough Tools for Talking to Anyone, Anywhere, About Anything” had to say.

Right out of the gate Dr. Skube says: “No, self-confidence has absolutely nothing to do with success. Success is determined by what you do in your external world, not in how you feel in your internal world.” – you’ve got to be kidding me.  Where did she get her Ph. D?? What you do externally is all ultimately rooted in what you think, feel and know about yourself internally.  Your thoughts, feelings, emotions – lead the way, impact EVERYTHING which is why it’s so critical to know what they are and have control over them.

In the next paragraph she tells the reader to basically “fake it till they make it” – she writes: ” The quickest route to success in the workplace is to learn to act self-confident even when you are quaking with insecurity.” She recommends not telling anyone about how you feel or to share any of your self-doubt and insecurities. Basically struggle alone, don’t ask for or accept help.  (Again, WTF?!)

But then she says: “What will get you fired is never taking on the projects your boss is asking you to do…Once you are on the payroll, companies expect you will have a learning curve on new skills. What companies and bosses won’t tolerate is an employee who is unwilling to assume new responsibility.”

How exactly is she answering this poor person’s question? In order to take on projects and new responsibilities you need confidence – you must believe in yourself and be CONFIDENT enough to be able to ask for help if you need it.

She further proves how clueless she is about confidence by saying “I promise you that the only difference between you and the people you see as confident is that those “confident” people are more willing to screw up”  YA Think…Really.  That’s the definition of being confident – you are willing to take risk and fail because you know you can learn and recover from your failures.  People who LACK self-confidence can’t do this because they don’t believe in themselves.  They don’t believe they can overcome failure so they avoid being tested at all cost.

“My clients often comment that they find it ironic that human beings don’t build confidence by hiding under their desks hoping one day they will feel bold. We build confidence by going out into the world and taking reasonable risks.” Again – where else would self-confidence come from?  What else does she and other people think self-confidence is?!?   She is a seller of fake confidence, of the fake it till you make it, of the “workplace theater” –  She helps people build houses of cards.

This article and the many others I read confirm time and time again that if people actually knew what real and true self-confidence is they would: 1. Realize how much they lack self-confidence and 2. Want it and be ready to seek me out.

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