Confidence is a complicated thing. It ebbs and flows over a lifetime. Moreover, it is hard to pinpoint why.
You may have allowed negative feedback or situations to undermine your self-esteem, at some point in your life. Furthermore, it has continued to affect your performance and success every day.
When you lack confidence, you will spend more time thinking and worrying about what other people are doing than focusing on your strengths and potential. This focus on others robs you of the positive energy you need to fuel your ambition and reach your goals. The external focus confirms that you are not good enough or smart enough to succeed.
Three confidence-deflators are perfectionism, risk avoidance, and external validation. These traits all that stand in the way of your success! It is best if you learn strategies to manage them.
According to the recent Facebook campaign #SheMeansBusiness, 25 percent of women said that a lack of confidence was stopping them starting their own business. While this result may be disheartening to hear, it is a good starting point.
So, boosting women’s confidence in themselves and their business ideas is the greatest challenge to
- closing the pay gap
- promoting more female executives
- encouraging female entrepreneurs
We explored the Myths Female Executives Tell Themselves, in a recent insight.
What is Keeping Women Out of the Corner Office and the Boardroom?
“We don’t regret what we did nearly as much as we regret what we didn’t do, and there is nothing worse than a missed opportunity.”
Many forces are at play when it comes to women’s access to the most prominent executive positions and fair compensation in those roles. However, the single most significant differentiating factor when it comes to behaviour for female executives is in their internal belief system.
Research conducted by Larry Cash, of the female leaders, shows that score ten to fifteen percent lower than males in:
- Self-confidence — where the female executive moved into an executive role, it is invariably at the encouragement or “pushing” by a boss or colleague and not self-initiated.
- Self-respect — they are forever trying to “earn” their self-worth every day and prove they are not what they believe…an impostor.
Moreover, they scored significantly higher than males in:
- Fear of failure – they are more prone to perceive failure as emotionally devastating for their self-esteem.
- Fear of success – they do not perceive the rewards offset the lifestyle “price tag” of higher career ambition.
Interestingly, even while a female executive was significantly less confident, they were also considerably more intelligent, with an average 10% lead over the males in the study.
The findings indicated that females who make it to the top have not only the skills, smarts, and experience, they have the key leadership behaviours to succeed. However, that success exacts a far higher emotional price than for their male counterparts.
A 10-Step Confidence Plan
Some people betray their lack of confidence in small unknowing gestures. It is best if you are aware of these gestures and habits. Furthermore, they have a substantial subliminal impact. If you are not naturally confident in a particular situation, you need to draw on your reserves. Our performance analytics measure your confidence to leave and compare it with the confidence level of a high performer in the role.
It would help if you had a deep understanding of your strength. However, it is not enough. Situational strengths happen when you apply your superpowers at the right time in the proper role. Also, clarity in your goals reminds yourself why you are in the position you are and where you want to be. We advocate growth and dark horse mindsets. Fulfillment comes from this understanding and approaches. It is essential to realize that it starts with believing you are.
Even the most competent, pulled-together-looking people, may suffer a crisis of confidence from time to time. To help women deal with this challenge, Debbie Wosskow and Anna Jones set out an effective 10-step confidence plan their book, Believe, Build, Become. Their advice is equally valuable to everyone.
You cannot fake it if you do not know your stuff. Study ahead of time. The position goes to the best prepared, not the best qualified. You do not rise to the occasion you fall to the highest level of your preparedness.
Own Your Space
Fight the urge to want to disappear into the background. Instead, act confidently and own your space. Adopt a modified version of a power pose and own your voice, do not start a sentence with an apology.
Taking a deep breath is a simple form of meditation that will calm you down, as well as strengthening your brain’s fight or flight centre. By practising your breathing work, you will find you can also be calmer in the future.
Connect with Your Audience
Direct attention away from yourself and any nerves you might have by focusing on your core message, and what your audience wants.
Banish Imposter Syndrome
We all feel it but remember it is manageable. Take the sting out of its tail by sharing your feelings with someone in your network and treating your inner critic with compassion.
Coming back from any time off can dent your confidence. However, remember that you have been working far longer than you have been off – you will remember how to do your job again.
Increase Your Knowledge
A lack of confidence comes from a fear of not being good enough, so upskill yourself—Build your career capital. There are a plethora of courses that can help plug any gaps.
Risks are essential to growth, personally and for business. Moreover, when you pull them off, they are a massive boost to your confidence. You must be prepared to fail. It is best if you see it as a by-product of experimentation. Furthermore, I know that it is OK.
Find Your Cheerleaders
Use your support network to test out your ideas, practise a presentation and to cheer you on when you need a boost.
Regardless if you lack confidence or are confident, it is best if you adopt a gradient ascent approach to success. So, it would be best if you were open to finding a better opportunity to achieve fulfillment. Success follows fulfillment, not the other way around. Moreover, owning your development plan enables you to build your talent stack in pursuit of fulfillment.
Some highly competent people have executive potential. However, many are opting out because of the perceived family and lifestyle sacrifice required. So, organizations will benefit if they play a supportive role in addressing and improving an individual’s confidence—and success—in the workplace. Here is how:
- Find people with high executive talent earlier in their managerial career
- Supply coaching that enhances an individual’s self-esteem, inner confidence, and optimism about their ability to succeed at the executive level
- Develop more options for work/life flexibility
It does not matter what career you are in. Confidence in yourself is necessary to be happy and achieve better results. The most significant difference between those who climb the corporate ladder and those who stay at the bottom has high self-confidence. So, working towards building your confidence now is a lot easier than living with the results of low self-confidence.
At Allenvision, we work to provide solutions for both insight and action to help individuals and the businesses they work with, close the gap between success and self-fulfillment. We dispel the myths that people tell themselves.
Challenge — What's Right For You?
Solution = Leverage Your Talent Stack + Build Your Career Capital
Identify your unique performance strengths, build your career capital and leverage your unique talent stack for lifetime success.
- Grow your leadership potential by targeting your critical developmental needs
- Determine your crucial career success factors, allowing for more focused efforts
- Discover your best and most successful career direction
- Find out about your strengths and interests in different career areas
Knowing yourself is the first step to being happy. Moreover, staying happy is an ongoing process of regrounding your long-term goals with your current objectives. When those align, you’re on the path to a job you can adore. Know when to find a better job as your best option may be to fall in love with your job (again) We also offer a personal development plan to help you achieve career success and satisfaction.Let’s Talk!