Developing Unshakeable Self-Confidence
- 3 Min Read
There is so much to celebrate on International Women’s Day. Over the years much has happened to advance the lives of women in the workplace. We are no longer fired when we fall pregnant, we can actually wear trousers to work and more recently it seems we don’t have to wear high heels to be taken seriously. More women are on boards than ever before and alleviating the pay gap is actually making the news.
However, we still have a way to go, especially when we consider the intersection of women, who may belong to other minority groups, whether that be race, sexual orientation or disability, whose glass ceiling is that bit thicker and sticky floor even more adhesive.
There are things that aren’t within our gift to change; there are things that we can influence and things that we can control. The good news is that if we find that we are the ones holding our self back, we can definitely do something about. When I coach women, I often find that they have beliefs and self-talk that limits their confidence, whether that’s “I’ll be showing off if I let people know how could I am’, or ‘who’d want to hear what I have to say?’ or ‘what if they don’t like what I propose?’ These beliefs can really hold them back from being at their most confident in the workplace.
I’ve devised these 3 steps for anyone who wants to develop unshakeable self-confidence that really work:
Awareness of self
‘She who knows others is wise, She is knows herself is enlightened’
A realistic knowing of yourself is a key part of being self-confident, that means that you are aware of your strengths and development areas.
TIP: You can do this by reflecting in a journal, using a psychometric questionnaire like MBTI or insights or asking colleagues for feedback.
Articulate your story
‘Every idea that you hold passionately has a background in your personal experience’
When you are able to articulate your story and share why your unique combinations of skills and experiences are invaluable, you’ll never have to apologise for being you again. This self-acceptance is a real confidence boost that others notice.
TIP: Write your story down, what makes you, you? Do you have stories from childhood that epitomise your character, or is it the unique set of experiences that you have had, or perhaps you’ve had to struggle or are passionate about a cause?
‘Confidence comes after the act, not before’
If you are waiting to be more confident before you go for that promotion, take that trip, write that book, join that class, I am sorry to tell you that you will have a long wait, because confidence will come after you do it, not before.
TIP: The time is now, book, buy it, research it, commit to it now and learn from the experience. I like to publicly declare what I am doing to a safe group of colleagues or friends who will hold me to account, so that I don’t lose my nerve.
If you don’t use your confidence, you lose it, keep working on it every day.
Jenny Garrett is an award-winning coach with over 11 years experience of running a Global Business. She is a Freeman of the Guild of Entrepreneurs – City of London and was listed in Brummell Magazines Top 30 City Innovators 2016.