Leadership can be defeating. When you're in charge of a team, people are much quicker to share critique than praise. Even if the majority of your staff think you're doing a good job, very rarely are they going to tell you. However, if someone has a problem, it will likely be front and center of your attention. And unfortunately, that's what we tend to listen to the most.
As a leader, you will be faced with moments that will cause you to question if you're qualified for the job. You'll wonder whether you're a bad boss. It could even come to the point when you ask if this is really what you want to be doing at all.
So start preparing for those moments by implementing a strategy to lift yourself up and forge ahead. Because we all need a pat on the back from time to time. Here are five ways to do just that.
1. Collect inspiring quotes.
Whether it's your mentor, a famous entrepreneur you admire, or just a random quote you've come across, start compiling your favorite words of wisdom, and turn to those words whenever you're looking for instant inspiration.
There are many ways to find inspiring quotes. Create a Pinterest board and save your favorites all in on spot. You can also follow Twitter accounts like @inspire_us or @thegoodquote on Instagram. These are great resources for whenever you're in need of encouragement.
2. Create a "wins" folder.
From a heartfelt thank-you email you received to a big contract you secured, create a folder on your computer where you save those personal wins. We can become so bogged down with the day-to-day that we forget what we've accomplished along the way.
While I'm not one to encourage dwelling on the past, when it's done in a positive way, it can be a great boost for your confidence. You've proven you're great at your job, so don't let insecurities cloud your judgment.
3. Admit your faults.
Denial can inhibit your ability to see clearly. At this point in your career, you should know what your weaknesses are. And that's OK. A good leader knows where they're lacking, and hires accordingly.
If you're not confident in areas like administration or organization, hire an assistant who can pick up the slack. This will leave you to excel in the areas you're good at, versus dwelling on the areas that are causing insecurities.
4. Journal your mistakes.
Writing things down can be incredibly therapeutic. However, it can also be seen as a chore. This strategy is not meant to be another thing to add to your to-do list. It's strictly saved for whenever you've messed up, are feeling down, or need to vent.
Next, set a reminder in your calendar three months from the date of your entry to read what you wrote. After a little time passing, you'll likely see how what you thought was a big deal was quickly forgotten. This perspective will help guide your outlook moving forward.
5. Find a buddy.
Mentors are a great resource when you need sound advice and encouragement. However, it's not always easy to find one. Chances are they're just as busy as you are, so coordinating a phone call or meeting to get a confidence boost without scheduling an appointment weeks in advance may be challenging.
If you're having a particularly bad day, partner with someone who will be your cheerleader, and vice versa. This can be an old colleague, a friend from college, or even your next door neighbor.
Try to pick someone who doesn't work in the same company as you -- that way the person can see issues from a completely unbiased perspective, and the conversation doesn't turn into a work call.