Recently on a call, I had someone describe me and one of the words they used was “confident”. This surprised me, because I’ve had only a few interactions with this person and they were all on Zoom. And I’m also noticing that one of the things women I coach struggle with is their lack of self-confidence. It got me thinking, why do people think that I’m so confident? How can we as women be more confident?
Sometimes when we hear the word self-confidence, it can carry a negative connotation. But self-confidence is not arrogance or feeling superior to others. It’s feeling sure of yourself and your abilities or qualities. The American Psychological Association defines self-confidence as self-assurance: trust in one’s abilities, capacities, and judgment and the belief that one is capable of successfully meeting the demands of a task.
When I think about my self-confidence, one of the reasons I’m confidence is because it’s based first on who God says I am. I believe God when He says that I am wonderfully made, and that I am made in His image. I also believe that God created me for a purpose, and created me with a unique combination of gifts and abilities. And I believe the same is true about you!
To be an effective engaging leader, we need to have self-confidence. But how do we develop and maintain self-confidence? It starts with knowing yourself, who you are and what you’ve accomplished.
1. Focus on who you are
We all have skills and talents that we’ve developed over time. Think about the things that make you uniquely you. What are you great or good at? Not sure of your top skills? Take an assessment; my favorite is Gallup’s Clifton Strengths Assessment. This helps you to identify and develop your top five strengths. Another source of insight into your abilities are your performance evaluations at work. What consistently stands out that you do well? Think about the hard skills that you’ve developed related to work as well as the soft skills, which are your personal qualities. Make a list of those things and refer to it from time to time.
2. Listen to feedback
Getting feedback from friends, family and your team can give you self-confidence. Spend some time asking friends or family, what they like about you or what they think you’re good at. Their answers might surprise you! More formally you can conduct a 360-feedback assessment at work. Getting feedback on how your team, colleagues and your manager see you can provide great insight. You’ll be surprised what you’ll discover that others see in you that you don’t see in yourself.
3. Remember your accomplishments
Think back through your life and your career. What are some of the achievements you’ve made, awards your received, dreams you’ve realized? Sometimes we’re so focused on the future, that we forget the wonderful things that we’ve accomplished in our past. Make a list of those accomplishments and refer to them when you’re feeling less confident.
4. Accentuate the positive
To be self-confident, doesn’t mean that you ignore past mistakes. It means that you learn to forgive yourself for the mistakes and learn from them. You don’t allow them to define you. Spend more time focused on the positive. Pay attention to how you think and speak about yourself. Words are powerful and can impact and reflect how you feel about yourself. S,o let’s stop the negative self-talk and practice positive affirmations! A great way to do this is to make a list of positive “I am” statements.
One of the things I love about coaching is partnering with women to rediscover their talents and regain their self-confidence. Need help growing in this area? Please schedule a complimentary discovery session with me. I would love to partner with you!