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    Effective Self-Confidence Strategies: A Blueprint for Women

    Effective Self-Confidence Strategies: A Blueprint for Women 

    If you are here and you recognise life is not great, then know you are welcome here, 

    I hope this blog helps you realise you are not alone in how you are feeling. Yes we are all unique, but many of us have experienced or are still experiencing lack of confidence. 

    Both men and women of any age can be affected by this and the strategies shared here will help everyone. 

    My coaching passion is working with women in midlife who are emotionally drained from dealing with difficult work-related scenarios. I know how this feels. I’ve got the T-shirt and practically wore a hole in it. 

    I’m back on an even keel now because I worked with professionals (coaches and counselors)  who gave me an understanding and some tools and strategies that worked. And which I still use. 

    So please comfort yourself knowing you are not alone and it can be fixed.  

    I hope you’ve got a warm feeling inside. You can see a glimmer on the horizon.  You have a spark of hope. You believe that things will change. Whether you work with a coach, a counselor, or have a worldly friend, frankly doesn’t matter. You can find help if you need it. 

    Now let’s explore some techniques to help you here and now.

    Let’s think about what confidence actually is

    Ask 10 people what confidence is and you will likely get 10 slightly different answers, ranging from “Knowing I can do something" to "Knowing I’ll never feel uncomfortable". 

    The Collins online dictionary states “If you have confidence, you feel sure about your abilities, qualities, or ideas”.

    Re-defining confidence can overcome a number of barriers many of us face by taking the pressure off. 

    How to get back your confidence?

    Let’s expand on the above and redefine confidence. When working with my clients I find thinking of confidence in two parts works well: The skills we possess and our mindset. 

    Skills we possess 

    We can make assumptions about a skill, based on our previous experience. 

    • Have we ever done this before
    • Was it successful? 
    • Have we trained to do it? 
    • Have we studied? 
    • Have we watched other people doing this?  etc. 

    Then we find out if we need to increase our skill and how and where we can do that. 

    Before we know it we have a clear view of our skill levels and if needed a plan to up-skill. 

    Beware though - our brain lies to us. Take a logical, emotion-free look at your experience and really, honestly ask yourself am I going to be able to do this?

    Our limiting self-beliefs (LSBs) can kick in here and steer us off course. I’ve got an eBook that deals with LSBs. Download a free copy here 

    A positive mindset

    The assumption that we can do, or achieve something based on our skill is more likely to succeed if we have the positive mindset to go with it. 

    So Part 2 of redefining confidence is about having a positive mindset. With the right mindset we can adapt i.e. think clearly and respond quickly while performing this skill. 

    To get the right mindset let's redefine confidence to "I have faith in myself to give something my best shot, and to deal with the challenges I encounter while doing it"

    This works because the definition is not related to an outcome, only to our ability to do our best and respond appropriately in the moment. 

    Again and again I’ve seen this definition of confidence take away the pressure of success or failure. 

    Imagine going for a job interview with the thought: I have prepared for this interview and can give it my best effort. 

    If I get the job that is fabulous, if I don't get the job, then that is also OK, I will be able to work with the person who does get the job and I can learn from them and increase my skills. 

    Understanding and overcoming Imposter Syndrome 

    Imposter Syndrome, also known as impostor phenomenon or fraud syndrome, refers to a person's persistent and internalised belief that they are not as competent, capable, or successful as others perceive them to be. 

    This feeling is not logical. It does not take into account the evidence i.e. their achievements, skills, and qualifications. 

    When analysing your success - if you have imposter syndrome you are likely to put it down to luck, timing, or other external factors. 

    The challenge here is that, as I mentioned before,  our response is not rational. It’s not a matter of someone pointing it out and then miraculously it’s fixed. It takes work and effort to overcome it.

    Ask yourself, am I willing to change my self-perception? If the answer is a whole hearted yes then here are some exercises to try. 

    Acknowledge and challenge Imposter Syndrome

    1. Be self-aware. Start noticing when Imposter Syndrome kicks in. 
    2. Ask yourself are my negative thoughts based on evidence, or are they driven by self-doubt? Basically explore if there is any basis of truth in this and if yes to what extent? 
    3. Challenge the imposter thoughts by proving to yourself it’s not true. Take a pen and a  paper and write down exactly why it’s not true. Build a case. Include evidence such as your accomplishments, skills, and qualifications.
    4. Allow yourself to be convinced. 

     

    Celebrate achievements and positive feedback 

    • Keep a Success Journal: 
    • Buy yourself a nice new shiny notebook and pen. We all love that moment when we start a new notebook don’t we?  
    • Write in it regularly, documenting your achievements, skills, and positive feedback from others. And these don’t have to be big things. Celebrate the small things too.
    • You are retraining your subconscious brain to think positive thoughts instead of negative ones. 
    • Come back and read this again regularly to remind yourself of your accomplishments. Reflect on the challenges you've overcome and the skills you've developed.

     

    Learn to accept compliments 

    • Do not allow yourself to brush off compliments. Just stop! You can simply say thank you and then keep quiet.  
    • Learn to accept compliments gracefully. After a while of doing this you will be able to take it a step further and notice how this positive feedback makes you feel better. 
    • Before you know it you will be feeling proud of your accomplishments.

     

    Practical ways to build confidence

    Feeling confident requires you to think differently.  It’s likely you have been suffering from some kind of stress or trauma and this has chipped away your confidence over time. 

    Here are some ways you can break your usual patterns of unconfident thinking. 

    • Learn something new - it’s fun and it’s a great way to boost your confidence. Meeting new people and being in a situation where you have no past helps you make leaps forward. 
    • Think of something you want to do. Set a goal (what / when) then break it down into a series of steps. Plan to do one or two steps every week. Stick to the plan and notice how you are changing. You are doing things and making progress. 
    • Think of someone you know who you believe has the confidence you want.  Analyse what you know about them. How they walk, talk, and act. Everything about them.   Now imagine you are borrowing their confidence. You can put it on almost like a new sweater.  You can become them and enjoy this new feeling of confidence.  
    • Remember you only need to push yourself to do things for a few moments. You don't have to feel confident 24 hours a day. We are talking about a few 5-minute bursts here and there. You can do that. 

    Where to get help

    These strategies may be enough on their own. If they are not you can always find a coach by going to the IAPC&Ms directory. The IAPC&M is the International Authority of Professional Coaching and Mentoring and there you will find a list of all their independently accredited Coaches and Mentors. I’m accredited with them too. 

    You can always reach out to chat with me if coaching could help you. 🙂

    Mob: +44 7539 825238

    Email: sue@confidencefirstcoaching.com 

    Book a no-strings coaching consultation in my calendar 

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