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Updated: 17 hours 51 min ago

Get a plan to increase your confidence

Mon, 2014-04-21 12:59

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Cross Posted from my Personal Blog

I managed to get through high school and college never taking a second language, even in the ’80s this required advanced maneuvers through the academic handbook.  Why would I do this?  Was I against taking a language?

Nope.  I desperately wanted to take a language, but I lacked confidence.

The only language offered in my high school was Spanish, and I wanted to take French or Japanese (it was the ’80s).

Later, when I went off to college, my 17 year old scholarship self, decided I would be unable to keep my required GPA taking a language, given I was already four years behind.

Recursive logic indeed, especially when you factor in the fact that I had an above average memory and a crazy serious work ethic [seriously,  I was so much older then...].  Looking back on this with the benefit of hindsight, I can say confidently, that the odds of me not being able to handle the rigor of a 101 language course was exactly 0.

So when I read that women have a confidence gap, looking for perfection in themselves before putting their hands up for consideration for professional opportunity, I recognize we need to take this seriously.  Especially when we look at the incredibly slow pace of progress for women in senior leadership in the west (in retrospect maybe I was onto something by not taking Japanese).

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So what to do?

I think it comes down to recognizing the need to have a strategy for being confident.  Being angry at men for being better at this than women, completely misses the point.

Confidence is a critical skill for professional success.  Odds are you could be better.

Work on it.

Some useful suggestions

  1. Get your body and your mind helping you by improving your inner monologue and Power Posing
  2. Get someone with perspective to help you compare your qualifications more objectively
  3. Do a better job recognizing that the fact that you are skeptical of your own qualification, is a sign of your competence

Don’t let a lack of confidence get in the way of your success, practice more, work harder, figure it out.

You can do this!