I’ve always struggled with confidence. Pangs of doubt and fear creep up on me any time I start a new venture or try to learn something new. It wasn’t until I decided to own my expertise that my confidence grew, and the quality of my work increased.
I dabble in writing and podcasting. I also have a full time job as a supply chain analyst. Oh, and I’m a new father. I wear many hats, so it is hard to consider myself an expert in any of these facets. But one thing I strive to do, is own the different areas of my life.
So what exactly does own it mean?
Behind the Mic
A few months back, I started a podcast with my friend Justin. Afraid that I didn’t know the subject material very well, I struggled with confidence. After receiving some negative feedback, I doubted myself and thought “Who am I to teach this material?”
“Own it,” Justin told me, “You don’t need to be an expert, you’ve already lived this material.”
I failed to realize one simple fact: yes, I am not an expert at anything, but I am good at a lot of things. So when I finally stopped worrying about my expertise and instead owned my life experiences, the podcast sounded a lot better.
Knowledge at our finger tips
By owning your work you convey confidence. Even if you don’t have the answer, owning the problem means trusting in yourself to find a solution.
We live in the age of instant knowledge. If we don’t know something, we whip out our smart phones and Google it. It’s safe to say you can become proficient at anything in one afternoon with a few key word searches. Take for example Jeff Goins’ 48 hour challenge.
However, how often in life do we hold back in fear that we aren’t good at something? With a new mentality, approaching a venture by owning it will lead a much more confident you. A you people are willing to follow.
In the Real World
I play a supply chain analyst in real life. Did I go to school to become a supply chain analyst? No, I have a bachelors in industrial engineering.
So when I first looked at the generic job description during the interview, I was scared but excited. Scared, because this job was totally new to me. But excited, because I knew I could own this job.
I only needed to rely on my prior skills and knowledge and trust my ability to learn new material quickly. Seven months in, after following the five suggestions below, I’d say the owning it mentality is working:
- Don’t hold back because you are afraid you aren’t an expert.
- Always remember we live in an age of knowledge, the internet is a powerful learning tool!
- Never preface a statement with “I’m sorry…” or “I’m not an expert but…”
- If you don’t know the answer, admit it. Only promise a solution if you know you can deliver.
- Just own it.
And remember, you don’t have to be an expert, you only need to own what you are doing to be more confident in your work.
What area in your life do you feel the least confident in? Have you tried the “owning it” approach?