Confidence building for professional women in business!

This is a series of 5 blog articles titled “5 Steps to Self Confidence” for professional women in business.

Hello and welcome to the Introduction of the “5 Steps to Self-Confidence”. These series of articles are specifically targeted towards professional ladies in the business world who seek to raise their self-esteem, build up their assertiveness levels and be comfortable in asking for what they want confidently and comfortably (and also being able to say ‘no’ too!).  With the ‘glass-ceiling’ still existing in many workplaces, you want to be the woman who confidently stands out and is highly respected, valued and feels comfortable asking for that payrise, promotion or just standing your ground!

One of the most common issues many women struggle with is a lack of belief in themselves and comfortably expressing and communicating what they want. Confidence is a very broad statement and covers things such as self-esteem, self-image, self-belief, feeling secure (or not).  Lowered self esteem and lack of confidence limits your successes, your achievements and your results because it stops you from going for what you truly want. Often, many women end up being over-submissive and putting up with a second-rate situation for fear of rocking the boat.

A lack of self-belief or confidence, insecurity and low self-esteem is something that affects a large section of the female population regardless of age, background, culture or status.

Whilst many men seem to be more at home with voicing their wants, having strong self-belief, promoting & selling themselves, feeling totally confident with their abilities,  women seem to struggle in this area much more. Many women are often conditioned from a young age  suggesting that it’s not ladylike to be totally confident or boldly go for what you want or to even promote yourself (especially in the business world) as it could be misconstrued as being conceited or arrogant. This is a huge misconception, because total self-belief and arrogance are two very different things. Total self-belief is exactly what it says on the tin – total belief in ones-self – it’s almost like an inner knowing and a quiet confidence internally. You just feel comfortable, content and secure inside – you don’t need to shout about it from the rooftops. Arrogance however is something entirely different. Most instances of arrogance or over-confidence are usually a mask for deep insecurity and feelings of inadequacy within that person. They constantly have to brag about themselves, their achievements and how good they are on a frequent basis because they are trying to convince themselves of their sense of self worth!

Here are some of the most common statements I hear from women who doubt themselves and there are varying degrees of lack of self belief:

“I don’t believe I can get a promotion…”

“I doubt that I’ll ever be successful…”

“I’m not sure I’m that good at my job…”

“I often doubt myself in certain situations…”

“I feel dread at the mere thought of standing up and speaking in front of an audience…”

“I feel unsure of myself when speaking in meetings and I don’t believe that people will take my points seriously…”

“I feel uncomfortable delegating to colleagues or staff members…”

“I cringe at the idea of being the centre of attention…”

“I don’t believe in my opinions confidently enough…”

“I sometimes don’t express myself fully for fear of the reaction I may get or for fear of rocking the boat…”

“I sometimes sacrifice my own wants or needs to keep the peace…”

“I find it hard to be fully assertive when it’s required of me…”

“I sometimes find it hard to say ‘no’ to others so I end up taking on more than I can handle…”

“There are occasions when I worry what others may think of me…”

“I sometimes worry I’m not pretty enough or that my figure isn’t attractive enough…”

“I get annoyed with myself for not speaking up when I’m  unhappy about something…”

“There are occasions when I put myself down or struggle to accept a compliment…”

“I’m over sensitive to the needs of others…”

Exercise:

So here’s the thing. Consider the following statements below and just notice when you imagine how each one feels (even if it’s something that you’ve not experienced before).

So how good would it feel if you could…

…confidently ask for what you want in an elegant and feminine, yet powerful way

…boldly strive towards opportunities that present themselves with a strong sense of “I can do this!”

…believe that your opinions are as equally valid as those of others and feel comfortable voicing them

…feel totally confident and comfortable walking into a room full of strangers and striking up a conversation with anyone at any time

…say ‘no’ when necessary

…stand up and speak to an audience with confidence, ease and clarity.

…be more assertive in certain situations and set strong boundaries of what you deem acceptable and unacceptable where you would have behaved like a shrinking violet in the past

…comfortably express yourself and ask for what you want and need

…believe in yourself and your abilities and know that you always endeavour to do the best you can in certain situations

…stop putting yourself down and instead be compassionate, gentle and encouraging of your own self. (You wouldn’t put your friends down would you?!)

…feel confident enough to go for what you want: i.e. ask for a payrise, promotion or approaching a man at work that you’re interested in!

…it’s ok to make a mistake (as long as you don’t keep repeating it over and over and over again when you’re aware of what it is and it’s something that you could rectify!)

…believe that you can be successful and attract what you really want in life and believe that you deserve it too

…have complete faith and trust in yourself

…look in the mirror and be content with what you see

Does that sound good? Does it even sound abit too good  to be true? Well, thanks to the power of your mind, you can actually shift an un-confident mindset to a confident one in an instant – our mind creates change very quickly when you know how!

So what are we waiting for? Let’s go for it!  In Part 1 we are going to look at how you actually perceive yourself, how that affects your self-esteem and how you can begin to start changing your self-perception to feel good. When you change the way you perceive yourself, you begin to feel differently about yourself and others begin to perceive you differently too!

The concepts that we share with you here are based on the e-book and DVD of the same name which will be launched towards the tail end of 2011 and our popular workshop “Elevate your Confidence” . If you are interested in coming on our workshop, please click here for more information on the course and call 0845 388 8213 and we will be happy to assist you!

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