Self-Trust is Where It All Starts

Recently, I had the singular opportunity to connect and collaborate with some of the most senior women leaders from some of the most incredible, innovative tech companies across the globe. In addition to allowing me to experience some of the most inspiring and riveting conversations I’ve had the pleasure of partaking in, these interviews and dialogues held enormous value in detailing lessons learned along the path to success, strategies that helped these women own their self-worth, and actions taken that helped them increase their own influence.

Through recognizing the skills, talents, and attributes that got each leader to where she is today, these women are not only capitalizing and further heightening their own successes but building the self-confidence in their own abilities necessary to get where they want to go next.

Success is rooted in self-trust – but how do you get there? How do leaders learn to own their brilliance, acknowledge their achievements, and empower themselves from within? Those incredible leaders I had the chance to speak to have some suggestions.

Five Key Qualities to Cultivate Self-Trust and Success

1. Take Charge of Your Career

“When I was passed up for a promotion,” one of these leaders shared with me, “I was asked why I wasn’t considered. They said, ‘No one knew you were looking for a promotion this year.'"

You own your destiny.

Get clear on your goals – then, be vocal and outspoken about them. Let people know what you’re chasing. Tell people about your aspirations. Make your interests known to those around you – and then, chase them. Pursue opportunities that matter to you and look for opportunities that others haven’t spotted yet. By being proactive, identifying an issue, and following up with a solution, you demonstrate your strength and expertise in your role – and build self-trust in your talent, leadership, and expertise all at once.

2. Build Relationships – Because Networks Matter

“I reached out to someone I’d worked with,” one leader told me in an interview. “Not closely, but she knew of me. She created a role for me and took a bet on me based on the relationship and skills she’d seen.”

Networks really do matter. Be on the lookout for new relationships and cultivate them. Connect with people you admire – with those who could be a sponsor or mentor for you, who will have your back, and who will champion you. Be prepared when they give you their time and look to give back as much as you receive, whenever you possibly can. You’ll start to find your passion and talents being recognized by those you look up to – which will ideally work to foster your own self-trust and in turn allow you to own your worth all at once.

3. Develop Courage

“I was confident in my own competence,” one tech leader confided, “but had to develop the courage to speak up.”

Building courage can sound daunting, but the secret no one ever mentions is that you don’t need to go it alone. You can build up bravery within yourself, but part of that courage can come from others, too.

Don’t be afraid to take a leap of faith; but by that same token, don’t be afraid to ask for help, either. You don’t need to have all the answers, after all – you just need to know where to find them. Focus on what you’re good at while being confident in leaning on others for their expertise.

Finally, of course: get comfortable speaking up. Trust in yourself that you’ve got a seat at the table because you’ve earned it, and own your success by developing strong points of view, sharing your opinions, and raising objections when your expertise informs you it’s necessary to do so. That’s recognizing your worth.

4. Be Kind to Everyone, All of the Time

“You never know when you may run into someone down the road,” one tech leader thoughtfully observed during our conversations. “My network from ten years ago is still serving me today.”

Truer words have never been spoken. By approaching your career with kindness front-and-center, you’re not just making life better for those around you – you’re paving the way forward for yourself, too, by building and reinforcing a network of individuals that you’ll be able to rely on even years down the road.

Practice empathy and compassion in your engagements with others – be the type of leader you’d want to follow. Be mindful of your reactions and remember that by bringing authentic kindness to conversations, you’re more likely to get the result you’re after.

Above all, listen actively and attentively, and ensure that you’re going the extra mile to make people feel seen and heard. That’s all anyone’s really looking for, after all, is to be understood and acknowledged – and if you’re able to do that for them, they’ll remember it.

5. Build Trust with Others – and Just as Importantly, with Yourself

“Believe in yourself – self-trust is where it all starts.”

That’s really the core takeaway of this singular series of interviews when it comes down to it. Build trust – not just with your team members, but within yourself. Be genuine, authentic, and true to your convictions. Talk the talk and then follow it up by walking the walk. Deliver what you promise while being honest with yourself and others about what you can or can’t do. By adhering to these practices, you’ll not only build a network of trust amongst peers and colleagues you know you can confidently rely on, but within yourself in your own abilities and expertise, too.

That’s the most pivotal, consequential learning I can say I gained from my conversation with these incredible women and leaders: that self-trust is the foundation for success, and that the first step in owning your worth is building on that trust.

I hope this deep dive into self-trust and leadership arms you with some singularly-sourced knowledge to find success – and if you’re looking to learn more about building self-trust and owning your own worth, I can lend you a hand there, too. Get in touch with me at SR Greenway Leadership and start imagining what it’s like to be a leader that compels team members to not only meet goals and deadlines but to exceed expectations today.