A top firm in the city reported that two thirds of the 3,000 professional and college – age women expressed a desire to become leaders, but only 40% of them were able to envision this. Sadly 60% said they lacked self-confidence.
However experienced and skilled many women are at their jobs a huge number of female clients I work with are challenged with finding their voice, competing for space and remaining authentic and confident in an environment often dominated by men.
Athletes, actors and entrepreneurs are aware lack of self- confidence can impede their peak performance. By increasing self -confidence, self- esteem and resilience they can take the world on with more energy and determination, tackle life’s challenges with more certainty and maintain a positive mental attitude.
In order to make decisions that influence, we women must be assertive and confident so people trust us, rely on our judgment and value our opinions. Women are great conciliators and excellent nurtures and listeners – and whilst it’s good to keep those qualities we must also make our voice heard.
The positive news is that you can change your thoughts, behaviour and beliefs to boost both your self – confidence and self – esteem instantly in believing in your abilities and stepping up to your full capability, while not behaving aggressively. After all a thought is a thought and a thought can be changed.
When you hear that voice of self – doubt creep in, saying; you are not as talented as your colleague or as qualified and/or you are not worthy of a pay rise, pause; where does that voice come from? Is it a parent, ex -boss, ex- partner, teacher or a mix of all of them? Take 3 deep breaths, close your eyes and visualise yourself saying to them ‘thanks for sharing your opinion but they are merely opinions, not facts. I don’t believe them to be true’, remember your self – doubt is based on perception, not reality.
By firing your inner critic every single day and changing the story you’re telling yourself, you will change your mind set and by doing so you will change your belief system. In my book ‘The Confidence Factor’ I call the inner critic the committee. You have to fire the committee and instil within the habit of seeing all that you can own and acknowledge which you are proud to share with others where you are of value to your company or organisation. Remove the insanity of shame and self -rebuke and say over and over all day long ‘I can and I will’.
Don’t Compare Yourself to Others.
Look in the mirror that’s your competition. Change all passwords and enter them manually. Chose a couple and change them every few months. Put them on your screen saver or on your phone with an alarm set every hour to remind you. E.G. ‘I am worthy of success’ ‘My every word is valued and heard’ ‘I am respected by others’ By changing the old story you keep telling yourself and creating a new story, you will eventually change your thought processes.
To learn more you may want to check out ‘The Confidence Factor’
What you practise you become
Your self -confidence will increase instantly when you communicate with authenticity, credibility and personal power. What’s the difference between reacting and responding? 3 seconds. Reacting always displays a lack of confidence. Before you start speaking, ask yourself what your thoughts are, what your goals are and what your chances of success are.
When you lack confidence you aim to be right, when you possess confidence you aim to be effective.
Wear an elasticated rubber band and if you feel you may react, ping it. Examine your words before you speak and depending on your goal ask yourself A) If what you are going to say will increase your self – respect or lessen it? B) If you are in conflict with someone will the words you use move both of you towards a resolution or away from one? C) Is what you want to say going to increase your chance of getting what you want or decrease it?
If you feel uneasy or nervous of asking for a raise/promotion or handling a difficult person or difficult conversation, hold your ground by staying centred using power phrases like… ‘Help me understand’ or ‘I see it differently’ or ‘I have a different perspective’ or ‘Can you expand on that for me?’ or ‘Let me ask you this’. Be clear about your intention to be respected. Stay assertive – say what you mean and mean what you say. Tell the truth about what you want, and think by eliminating excess words and resisting the temptation to over explain, as this is where you display lack of confidence and lose all credibility.
I hope this has been insightful and helpful and it’s left you feeling motivated and inspired to maximise your impact, build resilience and feel more confident to perform more effectively at any level.