This site has limited support for your browser. We recommend switching to Edge, Chrome, Safari, or Firefox.

The secret to developing self-belief, and how this can support you in your future career

Self-doubt is a feeling experienced by most managers at some point in their careers, no matter their seniority. There is a seed of doubt …… And if this isn’t tackled it can grow. 

People can often feel very unprepared moving into managing others. They may question their own abilities as a manager even though they have been very competent in their previous individual contributor roles. It can feel like as soon as ‘manager’ is added to your job title there is an expectation that you have all the answers. But in reality, you may feel like a bit of a fraud… 

The experiences of people managers at this stage often impact not only their own career fulfilment, but those of the people they manage.

The key to being a happy, healthy, and confident manager is developing self-belief.

Henry Ford said: “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t – you’re right”.

We could not agree more…

If we think we can do something, we will be able to do…

If we believe we cannot do something well, then we likely won’t…

…because we did not believe in ourselves in the first place!

And that’s where mindset comes into play.

Our mindset – or beliefs – shape how we make sense of the world and ourselves; and the mindset we hold influences how we think, feel and behave in any given situation.
The mindset we hold about our capabilities will determine what we will be able to do and achieve.
To change that, we need to switch our mindset around. We need to recognise that those beliefs are unhelpful for us, our self-development and success.

Here are 6 tips to help develop self-belief:

  1. Adopt a growth mindset – believe that you have the potential to be a great manager. You might not feel like that (yet)… But it can be possible with the support of your manager and a good coach and/or mentor.
  2. Re-frame your thoughts: It is quite common for negative thoughts to run rampant inside our head. Learn how tame your inner critic by reframing the way you think.

Let’s have a look at a few negative statements and see how we could reframe those…

Our inner critic… Reframing our thoughts…
I can’t do it! I’m still learning and just can’t do it yet!
I’m not good enough to do this. What can I learn to get better at this?
There is no point me trying, I’ll never be as good as them. What can I learn from them? How did they get as good as they are?
If I face a challenge it means I have reached my limit. Challenges help me to become better and reach new limits.
I’ve made a mistake. I’m pushing myself out of my comfort zone.
  1. Practice self-affirmation: this can help you challenge and overcome negative thoughts, minimise stress and train your mind to focus on the positive. Talk to yourself like you would talk to a friend.
  2. Encourage others: this may seem counter-intuitive but encouraging others can actually change the way you perceive success and alter your own mindset.
  3. Set yourself realistic goals to work towards so that you can measure your progress as you develop as a manager. Be really clear on what success looks like so you can celebrate when you get there!
  4. Recognise that when something is new and you discover you can’t do it or aren’t very good at it yet it will feel uncomfortable. This is because you are moving from your ‘comfort zone’ in to your stretch zone. Notice and embrace the discomfort as it means you are learning and growing.

Enabling self-belief is the key to unlocking capability. And the key to enabling effective people managers is to help them develop self-belief early on – through creating an environment where they can develop their own authentic management style, be provided with support and feedback, and coached on how to understand people and build relationships.

Here, at CAPE, we help create brilliant people managers. For more information about our programmes, email us at

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

Register your interest

Learn more about what we can offer you and your business.