There is sufficient reason to believe that many women doubt themselves and can be hard on themselves particularly in male dominated industries.
Self doubt, the lack self-confidence, and ‘impostor’ feelings undermine the potential to succeed and to become an influential leader with presence.
“When a man cuts himself, he throws away the razor. When a woman cuts herself, she blames herself.” – Gail Koff (Smith D. (2000) Women at work: Leadership for the next century. Prentice Hall)
The good news is that lack of self-confidence does not however, equate to lack in leadership skills and potential and through support, coaching and a shift in thinking, confidence can be developed and acquired as with any other leadership competence area. This one issue should not prevent women from achieving their leadership success.
Here are 10 coaching tips… towards a more confident you. Choose one or two to begin working on, then come back for more:
- Remind yourself of when you achieved something who were really quite proud of. Can you remember how that felt, what you were doing, who spoke with you and what you were thinking about yourself. Consider the skills you demonstrated, the resources you found within yourself – now list them. But list them with as a phrase beginning with ‘I am’…for example, you won a big contract, and found your were excellent at negotiations. Record this skills as “ I am influential.” And so forth. whatever you think you can do, you are probably right! (Henry Ford)
- Visualisation: Imagine the confident you – create firstly a mental picture and then short film of yourself as the confidence individual, business leader you perhaps have doubted. Are you the charismatic, elegant business women who is an expert in her field – visual yourself giving a presentation or making that important telephone call. How do you feel, what are your thinking? How do you look? Do you ‘own’ the room as you enter? What behaviours and characteristics are you demonstrating to warrant you success?
- Spend time with approachable, pleasant, charming confident people- it rubs off.
- Carry yourself with confidence – stand stall, be aware of your posture and walk with your weight firm in each step
- When meeting someone for the first time, offer the handshake first and use your full name. Be authentic, you may feel you want to demonstrate warmth at the meeting – place you hand on top of their right hand briefly as it shakes yours. Create a rapport.
- Keep a journal of your achievements, and your successes, testimonials, thank you notes. Read and review particular when you find yourself doubting yourself.
- When you are played a compliment – respond with eye contact and a ‘thank you’ – Avoid downplaying what you have achieved,or your efforts.
- Tell yourself you are confident – and say like you mean it. Remember, ” I like myself, I like myself.” Now add other powerful affirmations: “I am confident and I am loving it”
- Avoid using qualifiers or using inflections at the end of sentences. It will appear that you doubt yourself and others will also doubt what you say.
- Talk back to your fearful voice in your head. Create a new more empowered message. You are not powerless, give yourself permission to be you, powerful and confident.
“If you hear a voice within in you say “you cannot paint”,then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” Vincent Van Googh