Any time you step into a new role or start at a new company, you want to put your best foot forward. This is especially true when you get promoted from an individual contributor to manager. Those first 90 days are a chance to prove yourself and show the company they made the right decision selecting you for the job.
Building Confidence In The Workplace
Confidence is not “They will like me” – Its, “I’ll be fine if they don’t”
Nearly 100 years ago, in 1920, a woman by the name of Amelia Earhart, went on her first plane ride; just ten minutes of paid fun. But those ten minutes changed the course of her life, determining her life as a woman pilot. She knew there were minimal other women in aviation, but because of her determination and passion to be a pilot, she set out to develop and fine-tune her skills. Other women pilots felt very nervous to take the long flight across the Transatlantic, but not Amelia. In May 1932, she became the first woman; the only person since Charles Lindbergh, to fly, without any stops and alone, across the Atlantic. She landed 15 hours later in her Lockhead Vega 5B. What an achievement back then! Sheer courage, determination, and belief in herself are what led her to fly that passage solo – to achieve the ‘impossible’.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there were definite ways for a woman to build self-confidence and esteem? They probably don’t really exist – but there are a couple of things you can do so that it appears as if you are full of confidence and self-esteem!
- Take mindset, for example; they say that self-confidence is what you think about yourself; that self-esteem is what you believe others to think of you. To build your confidence, focus on your strengths and achievements more than things you don’t do well. Remember to guard against negative self-talk too – that must go!
- By radiating general happiness and optimism, you bring life and vitality into a room and into a conversation. That positive outward behavior radiates from positive inner feelings and glows and shines forth on the outside. People are automatically attracted to warm people, shying away from cold inward-drawn beings.
- How about the way you dress? Did you know that those are subtle signs to others about how you feel about yourself? Not only about how others perceive you, but also how you feel about yourself. If you look good, you feel good. That includes posture too. Stand tall, like you have strength, maintaining good eye contact with others, and not shiftily looking away or down. See what a difference that makes to the way you feel and how others perceive you! Experts say that at least 80% of your communication is noticed non-verbally. That means making sure your facial expressions aren’t regularly those of anger, unhappiness, or coldness. Look at these confidence declarations:
- Walk briskly – because this conveys you have somewhere important to go and important things to do.
- Laugh, because when you laugh, the whole world laughs with you, but when you cry, you cry alone. Laughing is not about telling jokes; it’s about enjoyable banter and chatter on topics of mutual interest.
- Have your say in meetings without sitting quietly through the discussions – try and be an active, interested participant.
- At office events or in large gatherings try and interact with different people rather than confining yourself to one or two people throughout the entire event. Confident people extend themselves to other people. Confident people also project their voice; they are easily understood and heard, making their conversation interesting by avoiding monotonous conversation. They aren’t afraid of moments of silence. They have developed a strong vocabulary, not so they can impress others but to help their ideas have life and color. They avoid “umming” and “you know” and may use some humor to make valid points.
- Know the word “no”. You are going to hear this in life, a lot. Sometimes you are going to need to say it. Simply put, it might be one of the hardest phrases for you to utter, but practice it, because you will hear it and say it a lot, for the benefit of others and yourself.
Don’t forget, you are a unique individual
You have your own ideas, your own dreams – don’t compare yourself to others or try to emulate them. Don’t look at what they wear, or what they say or do, believing that if you are not the same, you won’t be accepted or fit in. Everybody has their own approach to doing things, and when you compare yourself to other women; you will just make yourself unhappy. Discover what you are good at, growing your skills and acquiring new ones. Never be afraid, like Amelia, try new things, alone. Think about the position you are in at work – you were chosen for this role because someone thought that you were the right person for the job in hand. Give it your best, because when you work hard, you feel proud of what you have achieved, and when you feel proud, your confidence grows in leaps and bounds!
It makes no difference where you are as a woman today; it makes no difference how much you want to grow, or how high you want to grow in your career. Remember, you deserve all your success, it’s yours to harvest. It takes determination, courage, persistence, and curiosity, and it certainly takes patience.
Today in leadership
Amelia Earhart had the gumption and the guts to take every opportunity that came her way, even when she was unsure. She knew she was competent enough to see it through, no matter what she must have heard around her. Want to feel inspired by women today making it big today? Today, we have amazing, courageous women in top roles in the workplace. How did they get there? – By showing determination and courage. Look at Sharon Cittone, CCO of Seeds & Chips. She is creating a better food system for the world! Every year, her company brings leaders in the food industry to tackle important issues like food insecurity, climate change, water conservation, and more! She says, “I work every day in creating and strengthening a global food ecosystem that touches on every vertical” ….. “ ….. My feeling is that we need to break the barriers down and create a global community that wants to use innovation to create a better future for all while also making a profit.” See the confidence, courage, and passion? You can have it too!
“Confidence and hard work is the best medicine to kill the disease called failure. It will make you a successful person” Abdul Kalam
Every business has its secret to success. While we don’t know your trade secret, we do know most companies aren’t successful on their own. They have a team of supporters behind them and a slew of resources, keeping them on track and organized. Whether it’s your business, your side hustle, or a passion project, there are tools you can implement today to take your work to the next level.
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