Could Having Less Confidence Make You More Successful?
3 months ago
Being insecure has benefits, but isn't advised
Stand up straight. Hold your head high. Speak clearly. Make eye contact.
For years, men and women, boys and girls, have been at the receiving end of pep talks advising them to behave with more confidence in order to succeed in school and in their subsequent careers.
However, a new report from the Harvard Business Review questions the need for such advice. Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, a psychologist who specializes in personality profiling, found that it is the self-critical, shy and withdrawn co-worker who is more likely to be successful in the workplace. Chamorro-Premuzic said that those who are less confident do better than their peers because they are often less arrogant, more determined and naturally receptive to negative feedback.
One may need to only look to the stars—celebrities, that is—to perhaps find examples of Chamorro-Premuzic's point. Many successful superstars, including top-selling singer Mariah Carey and Oscar winner Halle Berry, have revealed how insecure they felt growing up, and how unsure of themselves they continue to feel even after becoming wildly successful.
"I've always had really low self-esteem, and I still do," Carey once told Allure magazine, following the release of an impressive 11th album in 2008. Two years later, the history-making Berry told CNN: "I think I've spent my adult life dealing with ... low self-esteem. Somehow I felt not worthy."
But working to develop less confidence should not be anyone's goal, self-help experts said. And neither is faking a lack of conviction and courage in hopes of receiving a promotion in return a good idea.
Deborah Brown-Volkman, president of Surpass Your Dreams, a global career and life coaching company, doubts there is a direct correlation between being insecure and becoming prosperous. Instead, their willingness to take direction and do whatever work is put before them likely results in their getting a wealth of experience that their more assertive peers may not receive.
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