Recently I read an article pointing to research that men and women develop confidence differently, and this difference can actually hurt women in the workplace. I had a hard time being open to the possibility that something as important as confidence can be determined in part by gender, but the research is pretty compelling.
The good news is that no matter how much confidence you have right now, you can consciously increase it!
Here are five techniques we use in coaching to help people develop confidence, as well as a link to the article and a confidence quiz if you’d like to dig deeper:
- Confidence Comes Down to Action: The simple reason that confident people succeed is because they take more actions that stretch them. Sure, they fail a lot. But they learn from their failures and have more successes as well.
- Notice Your Self Talk: Confident people give themselves plenty of positive feedback and encouragement. If you are constantly beating yourself up, you tend to walk around looking beat up.
- Embrace Your Mistakes: True confidence shows in those who own their mistakes, learn from them, then shake them off and move on. Those who can’t handle making mistakes either get overly defensive or overly apologetic, and both responses feel draining to others.
- Don’t Fake it Till You Make it: I know this is a tried and true adage, but faking confidence often shows up as inauthentic bravado, which alienates people. It’s better to be honest about your fear, and also courageous about taking steps anyway. This makes you more human, and the courage shows your strength.
- Face Your Deepest Fears: Most of us have really good reasons why we don’t want to fail, make mistakes, or look stupid, and those reasons go so deep we aren’t even conscious of how we protect ourselves. In the short term, you can use a lot of energy to courageously take action despite your fears, but if you would rather feel less conflicted about getting out of your comfort zone, you can use coaching tools to identify your fears, change your thinking patterns, and get rid of internal obstacles that may be holding you back.
This month we will be discussing confidence in all of our Aspire Group Program classes. If you have been thinking of getting some coaching and the topic interests you, it might be the perfect time to try us out. Simply use the contact form to ask questions or get more information about the program.
Meanwhile, if you are interested in digging deeper into the research on confidence, here are the links:
To read the article: The Confidence Gap (http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/04/the-confidence-gap/359815/)
To take the assessment: Confidence Quiz (http://theconfidencecode.com/confidence-quiz/)