Building self-confidence as a woman
What is confidence?
Having confidence is essential for achieving your full potential, but what is confidence? Having confidence or lack of confidence means something different to each individual.
Often women tell themselves they are not self confident, and it can be quite debilitating. The inner dialogue is negative and critical of themselves. They evaluate themselves as less than adequate in a particular situation, and they then conclude things like they are not good enough.
But in reality is that they are not self-confident about an aspect of their life, if they reflect, they’ll find areas of their life they feel confident. There are some things they do very well, but often these talents are usually undervalued because they are so easy, that everyone must be able to do them, but not everyone can. People have different talents and it’s important to acknowledge what you are good at.
Our experience of life is subjective; our experience depends on how we are interpreting the situation. The interpretation drives our self-talk, which in turn affects our confidence level.
So confidence is very subjective, it depends on your experience, capability and most importantly your perception of yourself and how you communicate it to your self.
People who lack self confidence are often very critical of themselves, unachievable high standards, compare themselves to others in a way which they would look in a worse light. People who are self confident, have a different way of thinking, they celebrate achievements, they accept their strengths and weaknesses in a constructive and balanced manner, they may look at lack of experience or capability as something not developed yet. Having said that everyone experiences lack of confidence at one point or another, it is how we deal with it, that makes a difference.
Some tips to build self confidence
- Develop more self awareness: By developing self awareness people learn and accept their strengths and weaknesses in a balanced way. It is critical to accept and celebrate the strengths, and build on them to achieve your fullest potential. Acknowledging the weaknesses or areas of development in a constructive manner helps people improve them and see them as challenges rather than obstacles.
- Manage your inner dialogue: Often people are overly critical with the intention of improving and motivating themselves to be better, unfortunately, sometimes it erodes all confidence. It is important that whenever people are experiencing negative self talk, they stop it and become more constructively. For example: A person may make a mistake, what they do is tell themselves “they are a careless stupid idiot”. That negative self-talk won’t help. If instead they own the mistake, and say to themselves “I was careless in this situation, I must pay more attention next time, and learn from this”. As they separate their identity from the mistake, it becomes easier to learn and not affect their self confidence.
- Focus on the strengths: Developing a strength, will yield a better result than focusing on improving a weakness. Most people are very clear of their weaknesses, but ignore their talents, because they are easy. If you continue to develop something that is easy to you, it becomes a differentiator and a strength, and ironically more fun than working on weaknesses.
- Body language: Manage your body language, when people lack of confidence, they usually look down, head down, shoulders drooped, walking slowly and hesitantly, this affects the way others perceive them. It is important to walk with purpose, head up high with pride, back straight, not only it send a message to others, it sends a message to the sub conscious, that they can deal with the situation confidently.
- Do things you feel confident: Self confidence is subjective, so it’s important for people to do things they feel confident about and that they enjoy, as the repeated experience helps their subconscious remember they are confident.
Marielena Sabatier MBA, MSc
Marielena is an experienced Executive coach and trainer whose primary focus is leadership development and interpersonal communication skills. She works Internationally.
She has over 25 years experience of working in blue chip organisations, and then as a coach and trainer. Her finance career at Digital Equipment Corporation, Diageo, and MCI Worldcom, where she was a Commercial Finance Director, enables her to relate to the communication issues that senior executives encounter today.
She combines her logical and analytical brain with her creative more empathetic side to achieve results with executives.
She has held global and regional roles and worked in the USA, and Europe , ad understands first-hand the cultural differences that global companies face today. She is a native Spanish speaker.
Marielena is a successful business professional who over the years has become passionate about helping people develop personally and professionally. She has an MBA, and an MSc in Organisation and Social Psychology from the London School of Economics and additionally holds qualifications in NLP and Executive Coaching.
Marielena combines her experience, studies in performance coaching and NLP to help executives achieve their full potential. She helps them challenge the doubts and beliefs that are limiting their personal growth and helps them create an action plan to achieve their goals.
Her professional memberships include the International Coaching Federation (ICF) , International Association of Coaching, ANLP, and the American Board of NLP.
Please visit Marielena's website for more information.