The things you say to yourself in that moment when you know you can get by but feel as if you don’t know what you’re doing.
I wish I didn’t feel so out of my depth when a lecturer asks me to find alternative sources for their class assignment.
An experience outside your circle of comfort.
If I was more confident in my presentation skills I would teach lecturers how to improve their research impact.
The little whisper that shows up when you aren’t sure.
I know the answer to this question but I’m going to ask a colleague just to make sure.
In all of these situations you want to; you know how to; but you’re afraid to.
Flourishing in a digital world is full of situations like these, where you will second-guess your abilities.
The good news is you possess 6 qualities that can help. One of these qualities, your digital super-power, will consistently boost your confidence with things digital no matter what the situation.
Here’s why confidence with things digital is important, how I used my digital super-power to help and more importantly, how you can too.
Every library workshop or training programme I have ever attended emphasises competencies.
When you are in a workshop you’re likely to be taken through a step-by-step process with some time to practice. It is important that you know what to do and how to do it. It is important that you are competent.
This process works well but doesn’t always achieve the desired results.
Some librarians will flourish with grace and flair.
And others won’t.
Because learning how to flourish in a digital world requires both competence and confidence.
Learning how to flourish in a digital world requires competence AND #confidence. #TheLibraryBoss
Library training overlooks the importance of confidence.
We mistakenly assume that librarians are either confident when they walk in the door, or will become confident through the learning process and their work.
Confidence is believing that you are capable and is just as vital for success as competence because if you don’t believe you can; whether you are able to or not, doesn’t matter.
If I had more confidence I would create a video to go with this blog post. I would create a video in which you could see and hear my enthusiasm for librarians embracing things digital. It would convey so much more in 30 seconds than 1000 written words ever could.
I can imagine what it would look like. It would be awesome!
But I am afraid to try.
At a glance, it may seem that confidence has never been an issue for me.
But I honestly don’t believe I can make a video like the one I imagine.
Even though I know how to make a video (and have actually created videos); I have no confidence in my video-making abilities.
Of course this sounds irrational.
But that doesn’t make it any less real.
There are lots of reasons why you might lack confidence or don’t try. Most of them boil down to fear. Fear of failure, fear of not being good enough, and fear of what others may think. (Mine is fear of what others may think.)
But if you can overcome your fear, the benefits are huge.1
When I am not confident I spend time worrying about every single detail. I unnecessarily check my work over and over again. And that takes time.
But when I am confident in my abilities I don’t worry about every detail and have time to spend on other things. And who doesn’t need more time?
Librarians face hundreds of decisions every day. If I lack confidence I question myself on every decision and as a result it takes forever, I get bogged down and nothing feels right.
But when I believe in myself and my abilities, the decision seems obvious.
I am less willing to take risks when I am unsure. There is a gap between me thinking ‘this is a great idea!’ and acting on it.
Sometimes that gap is an abyss. But when I believe I can, the gap shrinks. Confidence turns thoughts into actions.
Confidence changes everything.
Because when you try, you learn.
When you learn, you improve.
And when you improve, you succeed.
When you succeed, you’re more willing to try something new.
Then round and round it goes.2
When you try, you learn. When you learn, you improve. And when you improve, you succeed. When you succeed, you’re more willing to try something new. Then round and round it goes - @ftinterested #TheLibraryBoss #confidence
The good news is you possess 6 qualities that can help boost your digital literacy confidence. They are adaptability, critical thinking, curiosity, empathy, patience and problem-solving.3
You possess all of these qualities and use them to varying degrees for different situations.
But there is one quality that boosts your confidence with things digital - your digital super-power.
Your digital super-power is the quality you prefer to use regardless of the situation. It is the one that comes most naturally to you, and makes you feel confident when you use it.
My digital super-power is curiosity. Even though I do like to try new things, I still don’t believe I can make a video like the one I imagine.
I don’t want to suck it up and just do it if there is another (less intimidating) way I can achieve the same outcome. Creative solutions abound!
However after much consideration I decided video is too important to ignore. 4 So I’m going to try to boost my confidence in this space by making 5 home videos for the next 5 days. Eventually it will lead to a video to accompany an article. I believe I can do this. What’s more it feels good, energises me and excites me enough to try!
My digital super-power helped boost my confidence with things digital. Yours can too. Take the quiz to discover your digital super-power today.
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