There’s nothing wrong with confidence. In fact, many women are under confident — and that is impacting their success in the workplace.
This underconfidence can alter one’s behavior, including:
- Reluctance to ask for a raise
- Remaining quiet in meetings
- Holding back new ideas or not taking credit for ideas
- Saying “yes” when you want to say “no”
- Not applying for a promotion or new job
Deep inside, you know you have valuable ideas to share, and you deserve credit for your ideas. How many times have you sat in a team meeting and thought, I knew that or I could have said that? Do you feel underpaid and deserving of greater challenges? You can take control of these situations and perhaps with a dose of confidence, you will! The following are a few things you can do to increase your self-confidence.
Work with a career coach
Do a bit of homework to find a credentialed and experienced career coach or counselor. If you can’t afford private coaching, inquire about group workshops or conferences. Some coaches have special workshops or programs in which you can interact with other women working on confidence and assertiveness. Life is a journey, and we can’t expect to change overnight. However, with self-awareness, guidance and support, you can make personal improvements.
Gain insight from inspirational authors
Reading how other women have overcome issues of self-doubt can inspire you to try new strategies and develop new skills. These are four favorite books that many have found interesting and helpful.
- The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance — What Women Should Know by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman
- Pushback: Smart Women Ask — and Stand Up — for What They Want by Selena Rezvani
- The Ultimate Self Confidence at Work Guide: Proven Step by Step Guide to Boosting Your Self Confidence by Tabitha Skylar
- Successful Women Think Differently by Valorie Burton
Build your skills and knowledge
One of the best ways to build confidence is by accomplishing a goal. When you earn a degree, gain a new skill or achieve a promotion, it feels great. You know how diligently you worked, how steadfast you were and the challenges you faced. The greater the effort, the better you will feel. That taste of success reinforces in your mind that you are talented and capable.
Surround yourself with positive people
If you tend to lunch with the office version of Eeyore, you are unlikely to burst back in the office like you can conquer the world. If you spend time with the perennially sad, the victims who “never catch a break” and those who remind you of your shortcomings, your confidence may drop. Seek people with a “we can do this” attitude.
Exhibit confident behavior
There is an expression, “fake it ’til you make it.” This means that until you have high confidence, act like you do. When you exhibit confidence, others will treat you differently. You might even test your wings and learn you can fly. As you experience positive outcomes, your inner feelings of confidence may develop.
The bottom line
Confidence comes from within. Only you can take control of your life and change your attitude and self-esteem. Approach each day with a positive mood and forthright manner. If you work to build your self-assurance and confidence, you will have faith that you are a worthy person with the talents and background to pursue new challenges and achieve new levels of success.