My heart sank recently when working with a group of young women. They were fantastic, talented, vibrant but yet again talking about how low their confidence was especially when it came to putting themselves and their ideas forward. Time and again women talk of this lack of confidence and my fear is that it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy and a life time affliction. The truth is that women are supremely confident to the point of arrogance . . . .when they know their stuff. Their issues with confidence are situational. Women just aren’t prepared to blag or try winging it the way that men often do. They like to be sure of their facts and are strong in their expertise and opinion once they have that basic authority. Until they have the experience that makes them strong in any given situation they tend to hold themselves back more, waiting till they can voice an expert opinion. This is often seen as a weakness that women should overcome in order to progress. Maybe we should review our thinking and consider this behaviour a strength. Women take a more forensic view of their abilities and wait for proof before putting themselves forward for the next role or with the next idea. You could argue that some of the big mistakes in recent years might have been avoided if men and women alike had taken a more considered view of the options and the consequences of their actions. It would be great if embracing diversity really did mean taking a more balanced view that incorporates both gender styles, seasoning bravery and drive with prudence and consideration. While we wait for that Utopia to happen we really do need women to consider whether their perceived lack of confidence is holding them back and if so what they are going to do about it. Lack of confidence is not something you were born with nor a lifetime condition. It seems like an awful waste not to realise your potential and to make others aware of how much you have to offer. It isn’t really that difficult but it starts with self awareness, a desire to change and some simple skills that move you along. Don’t let a lack of confidence hold you back. A few simple steps:
- Visualise where you might want to be in the next couple of years
- Start by thinking about a situation in which you are now supremely confident – how do you think, feel and act?
- Which of your strengths do you use?
- Now decide where you want to build your confidence for your next goal – how do you think, feel and act?
- Is there a difference?
- How can you apply your strengths to the event you see as more challenging?
- Now take the risk, go and do it and learn from the experience
White Water Women has teamed up with Communication Psychologist Anita Hamilton and Senior Media Coach Alex Turk to offer a new high impact programme for Women in Business : From Boardroom to Question Time. The next date is Tuesday 4th October 2016. To find out more and reserve your place, click here.