The Blessing and Curse of Strong Self-ConfidenceJan 25, 2021
What if you had the self-confidence of those you admire? Does this make you successful? Maybe but maybe not.
Research shows that self-confidence is a struggle for women – no matter how powerful and successful they become. In the book The Confidence Code by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, the authors describe what many of you perhaps already know…that there is a “confidence gap” between men and women and that it is a source of frustration and career limitation for so many of you.
There has been so much written about self-confidence and what we women need to do to have more of it. But no one talks about the challenges that come along with more confidence. We are led to believe that if you have more confidence, then everything becomes easy.
But I have found that with more confidence, things don’t always get easier, but in fact more complicated.
There are 3 pillars to a strong self-confidence. Knowing how to build this foundation is critical to your success. But, with the blessing of this foundation, you also need to be aware of what lies in wait to trip you up. Without knowing this, you can be left feeling confused and frustrated.
Pillar One: You Need to Own Your Successes.
Many of you may struggle with this as it means you have to brag a little on yourself. And we know women don’t do well on talking about their wins and accepting compliments. But we also know if we don’t tell others about how great we are doing, they can’t know.
There is a right and wrong way to brag for women but that is for another blog post. For now I want you to realize it is important to tell others about what great things you are accomplishing. Think about it this way – when you own your own successes you are showing up not as a wallflower but as a confident power player. This is a leadership aspect women need to learn how to embrace.
However, there is a dark side to owning your successes you need to be aware of. And it is a curse aspect that can take you by surprise and can lead to such frustration for women leaders. This curse looks like this - when you own your successes, often men will feel threatened by you and many women who were friends before now suddenly do not like you.
When this happened to me, I was totally floored. It made no sense to me! And it made me feel isolated. So don’t let this reaction from others catch you off guard. Expect it and continue to own your own successes.
Pillar Two: Allow Yourself To Want More
This is all about expanding – being willing to have a bigger reach, more influence, bigger dreams….to really matter and be confident in knowing this. If you are not able to allow yourself to want more and admit to that, then you will not experience the feeling of more self-confidence. Let me clarify this. If you are not playing full out by seeing yourself with more, by knowing that you deserve more, then you can’t stand in a place of strong self-confidence. Self-doubt and negative talk will always creep in.
But when you go for more, there is a curse that will show up. You will automatically become more visible and more vulnerable to criticism and judgement; especially from other women. And, if this catches you off guard, you won’t know what to do with this reaction and may even react in a way that has you being perceived as weak, insecure and hesitant.
Pillar Three: Be Your Own Bank
This is one I embraced years ago and it made all the difference in my self-confidence. When you are your own bank, you invest in yourself. I’m not talking about pedis and a new haircut (however these are nice!). What I am referring to here is taking real money and putting it toward learning, improving skills, gaining tools – all the things you need to make yourself stronger, more powerful and an overall savvier leader. Unfortunately, women often wait for someone to “take care” of their career, their business success, their whatever. But guess what, that is giving away your power.
The funny thing is as a driven woman, you would never give away your power with regards to the care of your loved ones, but yet you do it all the time with your own power. So think of yourself as a bank. What you invest will gain value that can be reaped over and over again.
But there is a curse to investing in yourself – there is no turning back, no refund. You have committed to your own success and, as a high performer admitting defeat is not an option. However, even with the curse of no refund, being your own bank is an absolute must if you want to have more self-confidence and be a woman that makes things happen.
There you have it – 3 pillars that form the foundation for strong self-confidence. Own your success, allow yourself to want more and be your own bank. Plus the things you need to watch out for that can take the wind out of your smooth sailing.
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