Our confidence can take a hit at the best of times, let alone during a period when we are all being put to the test like never before. So, how can we turn things around?
When many countries announced their first national lockdowns back in the first quarter of 2020, few would have imagined that we would now be entering lockdown 3.0. Almost a year on and we’re still having to deal with a new reality that isn’t so new anymore. That said, it hasn’t made life any easier as not being able to do what we’re accustomed to doing is a bitter pill to swallow.
No matter what your personal situation, your confidence could be pretty low. From an employer’s perspective having to make people redundant is never an easy decision and the ramifications are widespread. Individuals, already anxious and nervous, are facing all sorts of hardship. Those having to look for new jobs in particular will have to summon every ounce of grit and determination to focus on their applications and eventual interviews.
But similarly those still in jobs will be downbeat seeing some of their colleagues and friends leave. Motivation, morale and engagement will all be eroded. Let’s not forget managers and senior executives too – as the performance of companies plummets so too does the confidence of those making the tough calls. Self-doubt creeps in, with survivor and impostor syndromes also kicking in. People are struggling, their inner voices telling them that they are not good enough.
It can be a difficult rut to get out of. The most important lesson is that these crises pass. So mentally we have to look to the future, to better days when our day to day lives will return to a modicum of normality. We also have to look back and reflect on all the things that we’ve actually achieved in recent times – our stock as human beings has risen. Events have brought us all closer together, fostering a community spirit that hasn’t been seen for a long time.
We also need to take stock and understand that we’re all in the same boat, and that what’s happening around us isn’t a reflection of us and the value we bring both at work and at home. How far we’ve come as people, how much more resilience do we have than we thought? Those are things that we can add to our personal balance sheets with pride.
The pandemic has certainly reinforced the importance of mental health and the viability of a flexible working model (for the doubters). And we can only control our own attitudes and the way we think – we cannot control external variables. Confidence will inevitably take a knock but as we mentioned at the start of 2021, there are job opportunities out there for those looking.
A pandemic doesn’t define or take away from who you are. In fact, it will have accentuated skills and attributes that you’ve never had to call on with such regularity before. You might not realise it but you’ve become an even better version of yourself.