Confidence is important in life and at work. Even if blatant gender norms have largely been shed in the corporate world, your lack of confidence could be hindering you professionally. A recent study on topic revealed half of female respondents reported chronic feelings of self-doubt. This finding supported a "confidence gap" between professional men and women, which may negatively impact a woman's career trajectory. It doesn't matter whether you're male or female, if you're the smartest person in the room but don't have confidence, you could be obstructing your own career.
Whether you need more confidence at work or in life, there are some steps you can take to bolster yourself.
1. Manifest Confidence
You build confidence by courageously stepping outside existing safety nets, willingly making yourself vulnerable, and in some way, being courageous. Creating confidence can be hard.
Anxiety and self-doubt are programmed into your mind, requiring introspection to be rooted out. Sites like ours at Next Monday focus on personal development, helping you amplify self-trust. Becoming more aware of your inner critical voice and actively contesting and protesting it will erode self-defeating programming.
It's important that you continuously push back against your ingrained habit to question yourself and your abilities. Such an invigorating process can only be done by taking control and carefully inspecting this established negativity.
2. Take Control
Rekindle the lost art of introspection.
Introspection allows you to nitpick self-doubt, live an intentional life, and allow room for your sense of autonomy to grow. Break up the constant cycle of "doing" and have a dedicated time and space where you do absolutely nothing. The path for being a self-expert doesn't have to be laborious or dramatic: you can find mental solace in sitting on your favorite chair; relaxing in a bathtub full of warm soapy water; or sitting on a patch of grass in your favorite park. Remove yourself from the reward system inundated into our culture and allow your mind to wander and expose the root of your self-doubt and lack of confidence. Introspection is a silent but powerful force against self-doubt as you slowly reveal the value system that props up your lack of self-confidence.
Visualize, affirm, then scare yourself.
Give yourself the audacity to visualize yourself as exactly as you want to be, and deliberately install those desired beliefs. Each step toward self-confidence doesn't need to be obvious and loud – it's the daily affirmations that permits you to roll forward on your path of self-actualization. Take up the habit of doing something each day that your self-doubt tells you not to do. Even if you fail, the experience you'll gain will be invaluable.
If you know you've worked hard for it, do not hesitate to formulate a plan to ask for a raise. Undermine anxiety by giving away your number at the next social event. Get out of your comfort zone to avoid stagnation, and find refuge in your quiet place of introspection.
Confident body language has a double pronged effect.
It conveys your confidence to others, and it has the potential of simulating – even tricking – your mind into a more confident mindset. Your body has the power to change your mind. Assume the power pose, use the victory breath to make yourself feel less threatened, and actively listen to your subordinates and managers.
3. Join Podcasts and Business Networks
Brave Coaching Circles are membership groups comprised of women representing mid-level management or those new to roles involving leadership.
SUCCESS Insider covers several topics from managing procrastination and even tips to maintain your energy throughout the work week.
The Broad Experience is a 20-minute podcast by Ashley Milne that focuses on the unique experiences facing the working woman today.
Invisibilia combines storytelling and science and explores the role of one's emotional mindset when it comes to human behavior.