When I started my dream job 4 years ago, I was brimming with confidence. As the Chief Operating Officer and Editor-in-chief of a startup men’s magazine, I knew it was going to be a lot of work. But I had hustled to get there. I was ready for the challenge. I believed in myself.
And then it all came crashing down.
While the editorial portion of the magazine was trending upwards, the finances of the magazine headed in the complete opposite direction. People loved the content, but we couldn’t get enough advertising dollars to sustain us. With mouths to feed and bills to pay, I left my dream job and ventured into the world of the unknown.
Not soon after, I began applying for jobs, lots of jobs in fact. And you know what I heard? Silence. Sure, I got the occasional auto-response and a few “this job has already been filled” emails. But for the most part I was getting nowhere, and the confidence I once had in myself began to fade. I can still remember the thoughts running through my head:
Why can’t I find a job? Am I no longer employable?
Maybe the failure of the magazine was all my fault…
What if I never work again?
My confidence was at an all-time low, and I even began finding it hard to get out of bed in the morning. Unfortunately, this lack of confidence slipped into other areas of my life too. My nutrition suffered. I stopped working out. And I would even have trouble sleeping at night.
I would like to tell you that there was some big “light bulb” moment when everything came together as the Rocky soundtrack played in the background. But there wasn’t. I simply began to recognize these issues and knew I needed to do something. But what? Here are 3 ways I bounced back and found my confidence again
- I talked to God.
Without a doubt, the most important step in helping me gain my confidence back was prayer. I got out of bed each morning and went straight to the chapel for an hour. I wish I could say this was easy. But it wasn’t. I often felt tempted to skip that prayer time and get to the “real work” of filling out job applications. But I’m glad I didn’t give in. That prayer time provided the peace, grace, and inspiration I needed to face each day, and all its challenges, head on.
- I found my motivation.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a playlist of motivational songs to fire me up when I felt down. But this time, they didn’t work. I couldn’t manufacture motivation to find my confidence. So what did I do? I realized that God placed the greatest source of motivation in my house: my family. Every time I felt like giving in to my lack of confidence, I would think about my wife and son. I wanted to succeed not just for me, but for them. And those thoughts pushed me to hit play on my workout DVD when I didn’t want to, squeeze out that extra push-up, and fill out that next job application.
- I rode the wave of momentum.
In my pursuit of a job, I eventually had a company respond to my application and schedule an interview. I was beyond excited, especially because it was a job that I thought I could excel in. As the interview began, the hiring manager told me the salary before even asking the first question. It was significantly lower than I needed to support my family, and I was disheartened. But I didn’t allow it to destroy my confidence. Instead, I used that interview as a stepping stone and treated it as a practice for my next interview. I walked out of that company’s building that day not feeling down, but feeling more prepared for the next interview.
Inevitably, each of us will go through moments in life when we doubt ourselves and wonder if we have what it takes. For some of us it may be a job. For others it may be a relationship or a goal we want to achieve. But we don’t have to allow those doubts, that lack of confidence, to define us. After all I did find a job, I did lose some weight, and I did find my confidence again. These 3 things helped me, and if you’re struggling with your confidence, they can help you too.
Question: What are some ways you’ve overcome a lack of confidence? (Share in the comments below.)