Even when you are employed you may lack the confidence to apply for different roles or more senior positions. In fact, there was a report by Hewlett-Packard highlighting that women felt they needed to have 100% of the requirements for a job (whereas men only felt they needed 60%) when going for a role, promotion or a presented opportunity.
There are also those of you that may want to pursue a passion full-time but lack the confidence and self-belief to leave your job and make a go of it.
“I was smart enough to go through any door that opened.” - Joan Rivers
In my 20 years of corporate experience and subsequent years as a life coach, I’ve come across many people that are afraid to make a move and take action.
I’ve encountered these themes plenty of times and especially with my female coaching clients; the sense of not being good enough or not being qualified enough (though some of my male clients have also exhibited these challenges).
There’s plenty of great practical advice out there; being prepared, being knowledgeable and to seek out a mentor(s)/sponsor(s).
“The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” - Ayn Rand
But when you really need that confidence and self-belief, it is not always readily accessible. I work with my clients to become more confident people with great self-belief. They are then better able to manage situations thrown at them and in turn build up their resilience.
Here are some tips that I believe help:
1. Mindfulness - a meditative practice allows you to become aware of your emotions as they appear, giving you a choice to make decisions to do something positive rather than following that spiral down into negativity. Having better self-control and objectivity allows you to take a course of positive action sooner.
2. Presence - Taking the title and content of Amy Cuddy’s book and after watching her inspirational Ted talk, it’s important to realise the way you hold yourself, the way you breathe and the way you present yourself. Your body language is important as it will affect your physiology and subsequently your behaviour.
3. Experience - Preparation and knowledge were mentioned earlier. I believe it’s key to practice. Many of you will have a skill and had the training, but it’s a consistent application that is important. So “practice, practice, practice.”
There are plenty of other ways you can focus on overcoming a lack of confidence and building self-belief. These include positive affirmations, exercise, gratitude, visualisation techniques, etc. But it’s up to you to figure what works for you.
By building your confidence and self-belief in one area of your life, it can pay huge dividends in other areas of your life too. Whether that is with your career, health, personal relationships, friendships or with family members.
I want to leave you with this poem by Walter D Wintle:
If you think you are beaten, you are; if you think you dare not, you don’t.
If you’d like to win, but think you can’t, it’s almost a cinch you won’t.
If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost, for out in the world we find
Success begins with a fellows will; it’s all in the state of mind.
If you think you’re outclassed, you are; You’ve got to think high to rise.
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before you can ever win a prize.
Life’s battles don’t always go to the stronger or faster man;
But soon or late the man who wins is the one who thinks he can.