How to develop your self-confidence
Confidence comes from within, but it can be difficult to remember to keep working on it and further develop your self-confidence.
A few years back now, I was involved with Nivea and their #BringItOn study. It surveyed women aged 18-30-years-old in the UK on their attitudes to work, relationships, celebrity and much more. This study birthed the term #Happenista. It means a woman who makes things happen her way and is also my transformational online coaching programme, the Happenista Project.
One of the many interesting statistics that the study revealed, was that 97 per cent of the 2,700 respondents believed that:
“Confidence comes from within.”
In some ways this is a reassuring figure. It suggests women aren’t looking to social media, or anywhere else for external validation. However, just because you know where confidence comes from, doesn’t mean that you have it.
Confidence is a key leadership quality that many of us are lacking, even when in senior roles. My most requested talk at the moment is on Imposter Syndrome. In other words, that nagging feeling that you are a fraud, will be caught out or that your achievements are just down to luck. This can be crippling in some people, sabotaging their career and relationships. The experience of this resonates with many, if not now, at some point in their life.
The truth is that no one is confident in everything and confidence can be developed, so what you need is a seed of self-confidence. Through experience, action and knowledge it can then flourish.
As a coach, I find that confidence is one of the top things my clients want to work on.
Here are 5 things you can try to help develop your self-confidence:
1. Stop & Reflect –
Life is so busy that we are often keen to move forward onto the next thing. It means that we can often miss out on reviewing our past successes and gaining the confidence boost that provides.
TRY THIS: Think of why you were employed for your last role. What qualities, attributes and skills did they see in you that they thought would be a valuable addition to the organisation? Now remember that perception is reality. If they saw it in you, it must be true.
2. Take An Experimental Attitude –
The only way to know if you can do something is to try. Craft experiments outside of your usual area of expertise that you can learn from.
TRY THIS: Volunteer in a safe space to do something that you wouldn’t usually do. For example, if you’ve been given feedback that you are not developing good relationships with your team, you could volunteer at a charity where developing relationships is an essential part of the role. There are many community groups, faith groups and charities that would welcome your support. Win-win.
Our Returner Roll-Up Session can help you with Building your Confidence.
3. Develop Realistic Self-Awareness –
It’s natural to be self-critical and to compare how you’re feeling inside with how others look on the outside. In situations where we feel that we are the minority, we can feel this more acutely. Often, we have an unrealistic sense of our flaws and try to overcompensate for them.
TRY THIS: Get feedback. Ask your colleagues, friends, family and clients how you are doing. Be specific about the areas that you want feedback on. Try to gain an insight into your blind spots, the things that they have noticed about you that you might not have seen in yourself. Take on board the strengths that they notice in you and use those to overcome your weaknesses.
4. Look Confident until you become it –
They say we eat with our eyes and I think we look for signs of confidence with our eyes also. How you look, your voice and language all matter. This is not more important than the your competence, but it helps.
TRY THIS: Stand in front in the mirror and practice standing tall, speaking slowly and clearly, and not fidgeting. Wear clothes that make you feel confident. Observe those who exude confidence and see what you can learn from their body language.
5. Continually develop yourself –
Knowledge is power and the more informed you are, the better you can make decisions. We all feel underconfident when we don’t have all the facts or the know how.
TRY THIS: Look for industry publications, courses, networking events, mentors or coaches to help you improve your knowledge.
Remember that Confidence comes after the act, not before. So build your courage and take action!
Confidence is something you can improve. 3Plus can help you through our Career and Leadership Assessments, Coaching and Workshops.
Originally posted in LinkedIn