One huge difference I have seen in my years of coaching, recruiting and training is the women who get ahead versus the women who don’t are the ones who possess confidence. Some have it, and some don’t. And, sadly, the ones who possess confidence and still show kindness are even fewer.
You know where I am going here. It’s hard to be aggressive and not be categorized as abrasive. It’s hard to be a go-getter and not alienate others. It’s hard to be the A+ player and the Team Player. But, the lady who conquers it all can take on the world!
The common denominator of most of my private coaching clients is that at some point they are challenged with this very topic: confidence! Or shall I say, the lack of confidence. I work with females who are at the top of their game. I work with the best and brightest and yet they still question themselves – are they smart enough, experienced enough, sophisticated enough?
So, how do we help our most talented female leaders overcome these obstacles? If we take a second and recognize a few things that we can share with these women, it could be an easier ride for them along this crazy career journey.
1. Moments: Well, first of all whether you are in high school or a senior executive of a Fortune 500 organization, you need to realize these moments of fear are just that “moments.” Get over it and move on, girl! Find a song, a theme, a friend a source of inspiration to get you there fast!
2. Fuel: The person who can get into your head and rattle you the most is YOU! Are you going to be the fuel to the flame when are feeling a bit intimated? Or are you going to smack that self doubt in the face?!
3. Fake It: The second you get the opportunity to make the big pitch, to lead the conference or to step up for the promotion, fake it ’til you make it. It’s a common shared strategy for overcoming self doubt and I encourage you to give it all you’ve got to work through the fear and do your very best. It’s the only way you’ll get ahead.
4. Circle: In any company, organization, community or even family there are judgments, negative comments and not-so-nice feedback. If you listen to it long enough, you will believe it. You are who you surround yourself with. If you are constantly raising the bar and surrounding yourself with confident, positive people (men or women) you will start to be more confident yourself.
I challenge you to raise your hand, stretch your limits, take on the project you don’t think you are qualified for. Be confident, show confidence, walk with confidence and talk with confidence.
Oh and by the way, even if you aren’t feeling confident everyday… act like you are. And, once you mastered the confidence category, don’t forget ….. kindness! It will take you further than you can imagine.