I was asked recently about my thoughts on self-confidence, in particular how women leaders build self-confidence and importantly deal with lack of confidence. Jean Hailes, our support partner in women’s health is writing an article around this theme and how it impacts our life and our psyche. It’s interesting when you stop to think about your own confidence levels, where you feel the most comfortable, where you perceive you are out of your depth, and where your confidence stems from. How come it’s there some days and others not?
Then you stop to ask yourself where do I need it the most? Is it a part of who I am naturally? Do I need to pull it on tightly like a suit of armour? Do I need it to deliver? And does it serve me well?
Perhaps confidence comes down to being happy with who you are, being at peace with yourself and not worried about acceptance of others.
In business there’s also the practice of “show time” in that you have to do whatever it takes to get others to believe in you. It’s called fake it till you make it! Take a deep breath, do your homework and deliver like it’s a done deal…more often than not, it is!
So I thought I’d share with you the answers I wrote to the three questions Jean Haile’s asked…
How important is self-confidence to you as a leader?
1. Self-confidence is everything. Having positive engagements with people both on a personal level and in a business environment is critical to success. Self-confidence is the strength that runs underneath those connections and instils enormous reassurance in others as to the type of person you are, your integrity, honesty and as someone with whom they can trust.
How do you overcome lack of self-confidence?
2. Believing in yourself and your abilities is key to building your self-confidence. This is easier said than done. Sometimes you not only have to prove it to yourself but have others point out to you what you’ve achieved or how well you handled yourself in a certain situation. At times we are so critical of ourselves that it takes others to hold the mirror up and point out how good we really are. Surround yourself with people who believe in you and encourage you to be fearless.
What advice would you give to other women about self-confidence and leadership?
3. Always remember that at the end of the day you have the power to create any life you wish to live. What you want for yourself may differ greatly to others or what others may want for you. It doesn’t actually matter because this is about you! Search inside yourself for what makes you tick, makes you work hard, play hard, laugh hard and commit to giving everything 100%
When you truly believe in yourself, commit to whatever path you choose and embrace every opportunity that comes our way, your life has no boundaries and amazing things can happen. Be confident that you are good enough, you are special enough and you are brilliant enough to achieve great things.
So there you have it…a little thought bubble for you to ponder over the weekend.