Why do so many women lack confidence?
If you ask those around you, you might find similar answers to that question. They feel like frauds, like they aren’t good enough, they don’t possess the skills and abilities, they are they compare, they are perfectionists.
Everyone is different and all facing unique challenges, but as a whole, why do women let their confidence sink so drastically?
From authors Claire Shipman and Katty Kay of The Confidence Code:
For years, we women have kept our heads down and played by the rules. We’ve been certain that with enough hard work, our natural talents would be recognized and rewarded.
Would you say you can relate to that statement?
The problem is, keeping your head down and always playing by the rules leaves little room for standing up in the boardroom presenting your ideas. Meek does not command a room.
Women need to start taking action and changing what has been ingrained in them for so long.
First let’s address 3 vocabulary no nos.
Stop saying “sorry,” “can’t,” and “just.”
“I’m Sorry.” We wrote an article on this that you can find here. Basically, by always saying “sorry”, you portray you are not confident and unsure about your expertise. There is no need to start sentences with “I’m sorry” unless you are actually sorry for some sort of wrongdoing. Communicate with confidence.
“I can’t.” That is one quick way to diminish yourself and your abilities. Stop telling yourself it can’t be done, that you can’t accomplish x, y, and z. Replace “can’t” with the word “will” and notice your mindset change.
“Just.” This is another subtle word that undermines your confidence. It is also a filler word. It takes up space, has little value, and weakens your message. Delete this word from your messages.
The Comparison Trap.
Very dangerous territory here. Have you heard the quote, “comparison is the thief of joy”? This couldn’t be more true.
In the right context, comparison is helpful, but an unhealthy amount will only rob you of many joys, one being confidence.
Focus on your strengths. On your skills. On your successes. If there is an area you need to make improvements on, find ways to do so. Redirect the energy spent comparing yourself to others and use that time to develop yourself.
Recognize comparison triggers. Are you comparing your current professional status to a peer? Why? Do they receive recognition from others that you would like as well? Ask yourself why, then dissect your answer. Get to the root and once you have that answer, find a solution. Your coworker is constantly getting praised because of their successful business practices, so what best practices can you start incorporating?
Not Good Enough.
I hear this all too often. You might even feel it right now. That you aren’t good enough.
More than 80% of women believe they aren’t good enough. That is a high percentage.
There is usually an underlying reason. Digging to the root of that can be time-consuming, and as we have stated in previous articles, we are by no means trained in psychology, but what we can offer is our expertise in handling this feeling.
Figure out why you feel you are not good enough and write out the details. For example, let’s say you feel you are not good enough to deserve a promotion because you don’t think you have mastered all the areas of your current position to move up to the next level. Write out what the requirements are for that position you want. Next, write down what skills you currently possess. Then, evaluate the two. Chances are, your fears of not being good enough will be squashed once you see you are good enough, or better.
Change feelings of inadequacy into facts. Get real with your thoughts of doubt. Take back the control.
Stop living in not good enough. Be confident.
Quick Confidence Boosters.
Need a quick boost? Try these, because they work!
- Celebrate small wins
- Revisit past successes
- Power pose
- Dress nicely
- Think positive
- Focus on solutions
For more on this, read this article on 7 Steps to Take When you Feel Like You are Lacking Confidence.
Confidence is allowed.
There are ways to take back your confidence. There are ways to have personal breakthroughs. I have seen it.
You do not have to apologize for being a confident woman.
You are good enough.