Do any of these sound like you?
- I really want to apply for the promotion at work, but I just don’t think I have what it takes.
- During yesterday’s meeting, I wanted to speak up, but I was afraid of being criticized.
- Last year, my boss approached me with what would have been a huge opportunity, but I declined because I doubted my abilities.
- People often tell me I could do so much more, but I guess I’m my own worst enemy. If I had more faith in myself, I know I could do big things, too.
- I’ve always wanted to [insert goal here!], but my own negative self-talk keeps holding me back.
What do each of the examples above have in common? In every instance, a lack of confidence is preventing you from embracing the inner leader who is just waiting to shine.
If you think that you have to be a certain type of person to be confident, consider the following statement made by author Erika Casriel in a Psychology Today article:
“THE REALITY IS THAT MOST SOCIALLY CONFIDENT PEOPLE DELIBERATELY LEARN SPECIFIC SKILLS, LIKE DISPLAYING BODY LANGUAGE, UNDERSTANDING THE PREDICTABLE FORMAT OF CONVERSATIONS WITH NEW PEOPLE, AND FOCUSING ON THE TOPIC RATHER THAN ON HOW ONE IS BEING PERCEIVED.”
Women & Confidence: A Multifaceted Issue
Deborah L. Jacobs says in a Forbes.com article that despite widespread recent attention on the subject of women and confidence, many prominent authors fail to delve into how women’s “relentless focus” on appearance coupled with an unavoidable failure to attain the standards of beauty that surround us “erodes confidence, increases self-doubt and consumes our energies.”
Author Tara Mohr explains in a NY Times article that a new study found that managers (whether male or female) gave female employees more negative feedback than they gave male employees.
Moreover, 76% of the negative feedback women received included some sort of personality criticism. In contrast, just 2% of men’s critical reviews included negative personality comments.
Criticism of women reaches far beyond the office, as Mohr notes. Female politicians and public figures are often criticized about their weight or appearance, and in today’s Internet-centered world, criticisms often turn downright profane, sexualized and hateful.
The Foundation of Self-Confidence
Not surprisingly, many women around the globe – from secretaries to CEOs – struggle with confidence. If there were a magic wand that could sweep away feelings of insecurity and replace them with a dazzling dose of confidence dust, women everywhere would scramble to get their hands on it!
In the real world, self-confidence starts with you. If you want to alter your self-perception, you have to start by changing your thoughts – and that’s exactly what I’m going to be talking about in my next blog post. Stay tuned, because I’ll help you jumpstart your confidence levels with five easy, customizable affirmations.
Massachusetts Conference for Women Announcement
While we’re on the topic of confidence, I’m so excited to be attending – and participating as an exhibitor – at the 10th Annual Massachusetts Conference for Women on December 4th in Boston!
The Massachusetts Conference for Women provides connection, motivation, networking, inspiration and skill building for thousands of women each year. This year’s featured speaker is Hillary Rodham Clinton, and keynotes include Tory Burch, Ann M. Fudge, and Anne Finucane.
Do you want to finally break away from the limiting thoughts that have kept you from advancing in your career? Apply for a Bolder Moves Discovery Session. Or, contact me via email or by visiting my website, BolderMoves.com, anytime!
Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net
Colleen Slaughter, founder of Authentic Leadership International, is a proven coach with a remarkable ability to motivate women to cultivate greater authenticity and fulfillment at home and in the workplace.
Colleen’s dynamic experience allows her to skillfully guide her clients to navigate roadblocks and develop practical solutions to accomplish both personal and professional goals.