Confidence 101: How to Amplify Your Career
Your inner superhero is closer than you think.
Flipping the Script
The key to creating the career you deserve is CONFIDENCE. I can not emphasize this one enough. Belief in yourself and your abilities is critical. There is no substitute for it.
With that said, we all have a saboteur; it’s that little devil that sits on our shoulder and causes us to doubt ourselves.
We all entertain that devil occasionally, but the less airtime you give him, the better. He limits your ability to believe in yourself and your capabilities, thus limiting your potential.
As a coach, one of the most prevalent issues that I see women dealing with is Imposter Syndrome. The feeling that you have not earned your success. You doubt your skills, talents, or accomplishments, and you have a persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud.” Again, that damn devil has been whispering in your ear, and you are listening and second-guessing yourself. It saddens me when I read the research:
Women don’t apply for a position unless they typically have over 90% of the qualifications for a particular role. Yet, men will apply if they have 40% or better.
Again, that damn devil is making us doubt ourselves.
Unmasking Your Evil Twin
You must manage the negative self-talk. Having confidence is mandatory for your success. How do you do that?
- First, acknowledge and name that little devil.
Mine is Dean, named for the first bully I had to deal with.
- Next, when you catch your thoughts turning negative, pause and realize that it’s ol’ Dean again, chipping away at your confidence. This is not YOU.
- Then mentally put your ‘Dean’ in a box, lock it, double-lock it, and put him away.
- Now, change your perspective and the internal script running in your mind.
Think, what would your boss or a trusted colleague say to you?
“You are smart, driven, and will find a way through this.”
Stay focused on this new perspective.
- Finish up by visualizing success on the project or challenge you are dealing with. Envision what success looks and feels like.
And if all else fails, Wonder Woman saves the day! Amy Cuddy is a professor at Harvard and wrote the book, Presence about being confident. She has one of the top TEDtalks of all time.
Quick sidetrack — I have a habit of googling books and speakers about topics that interest me. Read, watch, and learn from them; that’s what life-long learners do. Let this be evidence that I’m not saying anything to you that I don’t embrace myself! I use the information to improve my leadership and coaching; then, I pay it forward by sharing my knowledge and experience with you.
Anyway, let’s get back to Wonder Woman. Amy Cuddy says:
If you feel anxious and need a confidence booster, use the Wonder Woman pose.
Body language is powerful; it conveys confidence. When we lift our chins, pull our shoulders back, puff up our chests, spread our feet apart, and raise our arms or put them on our waist, we feel powerful. Think, Wonder Woman: confident, friendly, and clearly in charge.
The way you carry yourself is a source of personal power – it is key to confidence, which allows you to unlock your abilities, creativity, and courage.
Consciously changing your stance or posture helps you tap into your confidence to share your true talents. It allows you to be who you are, your authentic, genuine self, and that’s what people respond to best.
Take it From Me…
A few years back, I was giving a “going away speech.” I worked at a company where everyone was naturally funny. I like to laugh, but I’m a horrible joke teller; my husband and daughters will confirm. I was speaking and coming to my joke in my comments, and
I could feel myself getting self-conscious and insecure about my delivery. After all, I was in the mix with three other speakers, and every one of them could easily be stand-up comics.
Here I was, feeling small and collapsing inward.
So, just before delivering the joke, I took a beat, held my chin up, pulled my shoulders back, calmed myself, smiled, and delivered the line — everyone roared with laughter! Afterward, my colleagues commented on my comic timing. Ha! Comic timing, honestly. I know that I was calming my nerves, but my body language said that this would be good, so wait for it, ta-da! And that is what they saw and embraced!
It just goes to show how much we live in our heads.
Let the self-judgment go and replace it with self-love!