Building self-confidence and self-esteem is no walk in the park. You can feel great about yourself, like you could take on the world and conquer it in one day. And yet, the minute you step out your door… all that fear and anxiety comes back to you. You start to doubt. You wonder if you really can do this with certainty, if you can make any difference in the world.
Becoming a confident business woman can sometimes be a long, hard road. Women often have an extra hurdle to mount. Breaking the glass ceiling in a slightly misogynistic world can be a challenge. Yet the time to assert yourself has never been riper. “Move aside, men – there’s a wave of girl power coming at you.”
What It Means To Be Self-Confident
There’s a fine line between exuding confidence and being arrogant. If you feel that, well, you’re not the only one.
Many business women that show confidence and self-esteem find others call them pushy. And, what others think may be a good quality in men, comes across as just “being bossy” in women. It’s a bit unfair, isn’t it?
Don’t let the haters get you down! You’re a superstar in the making, and you have the ability to get any job done that you put your mind to. So, how does one begin to build confidence and self-esteem? We first need to look at the differences between the two.
Confidence vs. Self-Esteem
Many people lump them together, but these two qualities are different. Confidence can be defined as your trust in your own ability to do something. It doesn’t matter whether it be a job, simple task, or your geometry homework. Confidence isn’t the same as knowledge, though. So before you start studying rocket science, you may want to learn the ropes first. You can have all the confidence in the world but still make the shuttle crash.
Self-esteem is all about you. It’s about how you see yourself, and it has a direct connection with how valued you feel. Self-esteem is all about how you think you look & sound and how worthy you consider yourself. Confidence and self-esteem aren’t mutually exclusive though. It’s possible to be confident without having good self-esteem, and vice versa.
Building confidence in your ability as a woman and business woman has a lot to do with preparation. New situations and circumstances are scary. It’s how you handle them that counts.
Now, you can’t plan for every eventuality. You’d need a crystal ball, and you could lose your sanity in the process. Yet there are several ways you can feel more prepared when something new gets thrown your way:
- Analyze – Where are you at currently? Are you stuck in a job you hate? Are you preparing for a new career? Figure out where you are and where you want to go. That will help you to plan out your future.
- Get Feedback – It’s hard to get a good look at ourselves from another person’s point of view. That’s why it helps to get feedback from friends, family and co-workers. Bounce questions off of others for an upcoming interview. And do the same even before simple socialising and interaction.
- Have A Plan – Are you starting a new job? Plan out details using sub - tasks. Make sure you’re prepared for your first day of work by buying a new work outfit. Don’t forget to get needed office supplies, and hash out your weekly schedule either. Do whatever it takes to make yourself feel prepared.
Doing these things will also improve your self-esteem. And you’ll you’ll feel organised, brave, and ready to take on any new opportunity to boot. If you’re not sure what to expect from a new situation do some research or learn a new skill you think will help. Knowledge goes a long way in preparation.
The best insurance when building confidence and self-esteem is positive thinking. Even on those days when you feel like you can’t do anything, it helps to look at the silver lining. Positive thinking is a form of reconditioning that motivates us to take a hard look at each situation.
For example, you may have flunked a recent interview. Don’t look at this as a failure. Turn it around and make it into an experience that will help you improve for your next interview. Maybe the job just wasn’t suited to you, or it wasn’t a good fit. There’s another job out there that will make you happy. You’ve just earned another opportunity to find it.
Positive thinking isn’t just about seeing the glass as half full. It’s about seeing both perspectives and choosing to focus on the positive one. Negativity does have its place, and we shouldn’t totally ignore it; we should learn from it. Seeing the negativity along with the positive side serves to enhance the latter. Here are a few suggestions on how to turn a negative into a positive:
- Write A List – Write down the good and the bad, your strengths and weaknesses. A visual will help you see what you need to improve on and what you already do well.
- Accept Compliments – The temptation to brush compliments off is a huge obstacle to self-confidence. Learn to accept compliments and take them as what they are. Let yourself feel good!
- Be Constructive – Constructive criticism can help you and others learn from mistakes in a healthy way. Avoid negative criticism, the kind that serves nothing more than to put others down. Be cheerful and uplifting, not a Debbie Downer.
In conclusion, be assertive – not arrogant. Sometimes, you really are being pushy! A superiority complex can damage relationships with co-workers and colleagues. Maintain a healthy amount of humility instead. Being assertive means sticking to your principles and standing up for your beliefs. It is not about pushing others down to make yourself feel better. Be a source of inspiration to others, and you’ll inspire yourself as well.