Five powerful ways to boost your self-confidence
Confidence is something we’d all would like more of.
We can so easily get overwhelmed by self-doubt, especially when it comes to demonstrating competence in workplace situations like chairing meetings, leading a new team or giving feedback to a more senior member of staff.
We want to feel confident and credible when we’re with senior teams.
We want to stop feeling out of our depth when put on the spot during a meeting.
We want to stop these nagging feelings of impostor syndrome and embrace our skills and experience.
It’s good to bear in mind though that most people approach challenging situations with nerves and self-doubt.
Even the most successful women, women who have achieved great things, women you admire and respect, have all felt that lack of self-belief and confidence at some point.
Why do we struggle with self-confidence?
Because as we grow up our confidence and self-belief is knocked by the people around us. Maybe not deliberately, maybe not maliciously but it happened and we still think those things are true.
Perhaps your parents pushed you too hard and now you’re worried you’ll never be good enough.
Maybe a favourite teacher at school compared your work to someone else’s unfavourably. It could even have been a mean girl when you were 15 who made you feel awful for some ridiculous reason.
Whatever it was, it is those voices you hear when you want to try something new, or when you’ve failed or when you’re in new social situations.
So what can you do to overcome these voices and messages that are holding back your brilliance? What can you put in place to help build your confidence today?
Here is my step-by-step guide to overcoming self-doubt and get you started on ignoring those outdated and invalidated messages we all carry around with us.
1. Be honest with yourself
It’s important to get to the root of your self-doubt before you can think about moving on.
Take some time and space to really think about some of the situations or comments that have contributed to your self-doubt. Things that made you feel like you weren’t good enough, things that knocked your confidence, and things that might be holding you back now.
Take a minute to jot down a few. They don’t have to be huge events or experiences, often it will be something small.
It’s amazing what you can recall once you put pen to paper and you may be surprised at how many things you realise have affected your perspective over the years.
2. Make a choice to change
Next, look at the list you’ve just made and for each negative and limiting comment or feeling you’ve written down, think of three positive things you can say instead.
For example if you’ve written down you’re not motivated enough, think about a recent personal or professional achievement. Something will have inspired you to accomplish it, either the act itself or the reward once complete.
So your positives could be related to a reward you wanted that motivated you, or helping someone else may be what inspired you, or perhaps the feeling of accomplishment and productivity provided the encouragement you required to succeed.
When you look at something from a different perspective, you’ll find there are many positives that can change your feelings about yourself and what you’re capable of.
Get into the habit of searching for an alternative perspective whenever you hear yourself saying something that is negative and puts you down.
It’s important to try and let go of past mistakes and failures. You can be your biggest cheerleader and switching in this way will support you to feel more confident.
You can choose to change and let those undesirable comments and embarrassing experiences go because when you focus on the negative what happens is you start to believe it.
3. Don’t be a perfectionist
The expectation and pressure that you and everything you do has to be 100% perfect is one of the biggest things that will undermine your confidence.
That critical voice limits your self-belief, undermines your confidence and leads to feeling disappointed in yourself. Big time. And unfortunately perfectionism has a lot to do with it.
Instead think about whether you might be setting yourself unreasonable goals or expectations. Are you striving to achieve something impossible or unnecessary?
No-one is perfect and working to attain perfection is demoralising and frankly impossible.
Concentrate on doing the best you can with the talents and skills you have already at your disposal. Think about what you have already achieved that makes you feel proud of yourself.
Appreciate your innate self and capabilities that got you to where you are right now.
4. Know what’s important to you
One of the key purposes of coaching is to help you get to know yourself; what motivates you, what you like doing, what makes you feel positive and enthusiastic about life.
For example, say you’re contemplating a new job and aren’t sure of which role to go for, then think about what the most important elements are for you to have in place.
It might be projects you’d like to work on, a role that presents challenges and will stretch and expand your skills, the opportunity to work with a team and an organisation who have similar values to yourself, a location that is better suited to where you live, promotion prospects etc.
Once you are clear on what you’d like to have in place, it makes it easier to choose what’s right for you and that gives you confidence. Not only in yourself, but that you’re making the right choices for you, right now.
5. Appreciate who you are today
Everyone is unique and has lots to offer. It’s easy to forget how amazing you actually are and overlook acknowledging the good stuff.
Have a think about what you’ve achieved that you’ve maybe not celebrated because you didn’t think it was important enough. It can be astonishing how something so simple can change your perspective.
Self-confidence put simply, is a feeling of trust in your abilities, qualities and judgement. It means you're completely at peace with who you are and you don't feel the need to apologise for being nervous, awkward, talkative or shy for example.
You can be yourself and be content with who you are
I hope that these ideas have given you something to consider and actions to take to help boost your self-confidence. I’d love to hear how you get on or if you need any further help or support.
One of the key areas where I support my clients, and one of the main reasons women search for a coach is because they feel they are lacking in confidence.
My mission is to help you build your confidence so you can feel confident in your abilities and more easily able to feel assured about saying yes to new challenges, new projects, new opportunities and embrace new experiences.
I’m always open to chatting to women like you who want to take the next step towards more confidence but aren’t sure where to start. Especially women who know they have more to offer and want to harness their potential and use all their skills and experience in their role.
Perhaps you want to get started on making the difference you know want to make and to grow into the truly confident woman you know you can become.
If this sounds like you then get in touch and book a free Clarity Call with me and get started on feeling proud and confident of yourself as an effective team member who is a respected role model in your workplace.