Why Developing Confidence Matters
It’s been said women are their own worst enemies, and when it comes to developing confidence, this statement is painfully true. In an article called “The Confidence Gap”, the authors note that in a 2011 UK survey by the Institute of Leadership and Management, half of the women who responded reported self-doubt about their job performance and careers, compared with less than a third of male respondents.
“The statistics are well known: at the top, especially, women are nearly absent, and our numbers are barely increasing. Half a century since women first forced open the boardroom doors, our career trajectories still look very different from men’s.”
-Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, The Confidence Gap
More and more evidence demonstrates just how destructive lack of confidence really is. Success, the authors state, is associated just as closely with confidence as it is with competence.
Find out what I recommend for building confidence – at any age – below.
Confident Girls Grow Up to Become Confident Women
Girls who have a strong level of confidence tend to feel secure in themselves, so if you’re a parent, helping to develop confidence in your daughter from a young age is key.
According to a PBS article, powerful girls learn to be proactive, make positive choices, think critically, express their feelings – and acknowledge the thoughts and feelings of others in caring ways.
Here are three of my favorite tips to help you raise a powerful daughter:
- Guide your daughter to identify her values. Identifying – and aligning – with core values builds a strong foundation for confidence. Encourage your daughter to make a list of her most important values – and let her know that she can always refer back to them.
- Let her develop her problem-solving skills. This doesn’t mean you should leave your daughter to figure out everything on her own – but it does mean that you should use your judgment. There will be times when you’ll need to step in and lend a helping hand, and others where it’s best to let her figure something out on her own. Give her the chance to build her repertoire of problem-solving tactics. She’ll develop confidence – and an independent, “can do” attitude.
- Support her as she discovers her passion(s). Whether your daughter likes to play the violin or skateboard with the guys, allow her to discover – and develop – her passions. When she finds something she enjoys and that she’s good at, she’ll naturally build competence AND confidence – a win-win!
Developing Confidence: The Grown-Up Version
What do you do if you’re struggling with self-esteem and self-confidence? When you’re older, you’ve lived for years with potentially limiting beliefs and behaviors, so it’s going to take some work to start living your confident best.
Many of the same tips I mentioned above – identifying core values, developing problem-solving skills, and discovering what truly drives you – also apply when you’re an adult.
Here are three more tips I recommend to help women of all ages :
- Change the way you look at yourself. Or, as one author puts it, Photoshop your self-image! You have a mental “image” of yourself – and especially if you struggle with low self-esteem, it might not be a very good one. So play graphic designer – with your mind! Limiting beliefs are no match for your retouching brush! Use all your best tools to paint a new, more positive image of the confident women you know you can be!
- Banish the negativity. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones – and over time, the fresh thoughts you’ve been cultivating will blossom into a new and improved you! If you think this sounds Pollyanna, just give it a try. Pick one part of yourself that you think negatively of, and replace it with a more positive thought. As you do this, you may be surprised at the results. Don’t just think positively – act it. If you have to, fake it till you make it!
- Start with the small stuff. Don’t set yourself up for failure by trying to reach an unattainable goal. Instead, start small, setting reasonable milestones for yourself. If you want to start running again – but you haven’t laced up your running shows in over a decade, you wouldn’t start by running in a marathon, would you? When you’re working to develop confidence, follow the same principle – start where you start and work your way up from there. Don’t forget to celebrate all your accomplishments, no matter how small.
Has a lack of confidence been holding you back from achieving your professional goals? Apply for a Bolder Moves Discovery Session. Or, contact me via email or by visiting my website, BolderMoves.com, anytime!
Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Colleen Slaughter, Proud Executive Coach to the UN World Food Program, the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Winner
As an Executive Coach for Women in Leadership and Transformational Facilitator, my intention is to help leaders in positions of high influence to understand their worth at a profound level.
Supporting women leaders to truly thrive and step into their greatness, while succeeding in male-dominated industries and spaces is my native genius.
My technique and approach show you how to achieve incredible career success without compromising any part of who you are and what makes you magnificent.