Updated: Nov 5, 2020
Before I dive into ‘what confidence is’, and more importantly how to get it and grow it into a kind of ‘super-power’, which I will do over the coming days and weeks, let me address a couple of questions posed to me this morning, challenging our self-confidence as women and highlighting our self-doubt.
“Why is it that we always have to find a place at the table in this man’s world? Why do we have to prove ourselves, and why is it that as women, being opinionated is considered a problem?” Great questions!
An accusation of being opinionated instead of having an opinion – albeit a strong one is a perception to change in others by how we communicate our opinions and our ability to skillfully influence others in the process.
I believe however the answers to both questions lie mostly in our own head and is an area I admit I still struggle with daily. I am however mastering the art of ‘Mind Judo’ as I call it, to shift my perceptions about myself and situations, as well as manage my doubts and fears which can cause me to put that proverbial handbrake on!
Often WE believe we have to model men in the work place, going back to wearing shoulder pads in the 80's – we called it ‘power dressing' in those days -thank goodness that myth has been squashed, we’ve come a long way since then, but some still think as women we need to lead like men – which is impossible and simply doesn’t work!
No wonder we often feel stuck, held back, full of doubt and uncertainty of being able to realise our potential. Even if we believe in ourselves, how are we going to compete in a ‘man’s world’? The answer is we can’t and we don’t need to…
Jacinda Arden, PM of New Zealand has caught the world’s attention and inspired many by breaking that old paradigm, particularly in the political arena, demonstrating that as a woman you can, and need to lead like a woman.
“one of the criticisms I’ve faced over the years is that I’m not aggressive enough or assertive enough, or maybe somehow because I am empathetic, it means I’m weak. I totally rebel against that. I refuse to believe that you cannot be both compassionate and strong”
She goes on to say, “You can carve your own path, be your own kind of leader. We do need to create a new generation of leadership”
It comes down to having confidence in ourselves as women, to lead like a woman and to use our strengths and natural traits to build empathy, connections, relationships, to harness our collaborative nature and natural instinct, and to realise we are braver than we believe, stronger than we seem and smarter than we think.
I believe it’s all in the way we see things. The truth is, we are our own competitive edge, and it’s about time we not only started realising this, but started owning it and acting on it.
Change the internal paradigm, change the internal conversation, change your expectation and of what leadership and success means to you.
Before tackling this sometimes illusive world of self-confidence from the outside, it’s important to realise it starts with you.
I will be sharing a 5-step process to re-discover what you have truly going for you in my Power of You Live-online programme starting next month. Join me.
CEO, RAWtalks academy
Mob: +44(0)781 0202491