Confidence is the key to your successful career
Do you want to have a career but you don’t think it’s possible for you? Then you are probably lacking confidence in your abilities. In my eight years as a team manager, I met many young ladies who had great talent and abilities to have a promising career. But they were not aware of their unique strengths and abilities. They thought they were not good enough to be able to succeed. They were lacking the confidence to reach for the stars.
You're not alone
When I started managing a new team I noticed that only very few of the female team members actually contributed in team meetings. So I sat down with all of them individually and asked them why. 90% of them told me that they were not sure if they could make a valuable contribution or they didn’t want to look stupid asking questions. One of them actually told me that she just felt too stupid to contribute. I couldn’t believe it! How could they have so little confidence in themselves and their abilities?
So I made it my mission to give them confidence, to help them see their strengths, help them build on them and lose their fear of looking stupid. You won’t believe the change I saw in many of these women. It was like caterpillars turning into butterflies. They were thriving! Only with a little encouragement, the most insecure and shy ones turned into to be the ones who were asked for advice by newer team members and received promotions within two years after I started working with them.
You have it in you too!
Why am I telling you this? Because I know that you can do it too. You are an amazing and talented woman and you can get the career you want. We are all unique and have unique talents. There might just be a few things you need to work on. This might be harder for some than for others, but I’m convinced that you can do it if you have the right mindset.
Stop those limiting beliefs
First and foremost you need to identify your limiting beliefs and get rid of them. I know that this is probably the most difficult one. Limiting beliefs are usually very strong and very hard to identify. It’s what we heard so many times that we think it must be true or what we keep telling ourselves. The trouble is: the voice in your head which tells you that you’re not good enough is reinforcing your limiting beliefs every time you think the same thing. It kind of turns into a self-fulfilling prophecy.
So the first step is really becoming aware of your limiting belief and stop repeating it to yourself. This might be for example that little voice telling you: “I’m not good enough”, “I’m not worth it”, “I can’t do what she does” or “I’m not so smart”. This is what you need to stop believing. The first step is to identify what your limiting belief is around your career.
Then you need to start noticing how often you actually think that. Every time these limiting thoughts come into your head, just take note of them and observe how they affect your emotions and your reactions. The next step is to recognize them and wait for them to pass. Don’t react. Just observe and let them go. Instead of repeating your limiting beliefs, tell yourself something positive, like what your good at or an affirmation what you want to become. I tried this myself and it really makes a difference to reduce self doubt.
It becomes easier to be brave and take action. You get to a point where you just try, if you want to do something. It might not work out, but what if it did? Most of the times it’s not the end of the world if you fail, but you might gain so much satisfaction and happiness if you actually succeed.
Identify your strengths and build on them
You need to realize what your strengths are. I know that this is very hard for a lot of women. It was for me too. There are many things which come easy to me and which I’m good at. But I always felt that because it was so easy, it wasn’t something I should talk about. It felt silly to be proud of something which is just so easy.
When I was asked for my strengths, I was at a loss what to say. There were two things which majorly changed my view on myself and my strengths. I realized that the things which come easy to me are actually playing to my strengths and that there’s nothing wrong about being proud of what you do well. This is the most important part. Become aware about your strengths. From that point it’s just a little step to becoming comfortable with talking about what you do well.
The second really eye-opening experience for me was the Strengthsfinder 2.0 test. If you’re not sure what your strengths are in a professional context, get the book and take the online test. It’s not expensive and gives you an overview about your top 5 strengths and how you can apply them in your life and your job. It helped me to identify my top 5 strengths and to see clearly how I can apply them on a daily basis in my job and in my life. So instead of trying to compensate for things which I don’t do well, I’m now mainly focusing on how I can apply my strengths to be successful.
Don’t be afraid
You need to stop being afraid to look stupid. It’s important to share your thoughts and your point of view. It is important for your manager to know what you think and which concerns you have. You might actually have a very valuable point which your manager didn’t consider because he or she is not so involved in the daily business of your job as you are. You might be the only person thinking about a certain aspect and it could make the difference between success and failure of a project.
So be brave and speak your mind. Most managers and colleagues will really appreciate your input, especially if it helps them see a different point of view which they hadn’t considered before. This is very valuable for the company and it will increase your value in the eyes of your manager. If they don’t, you should ask yourself whether this company is right for you. You don’t want to stay in an unsuitable environment. If your colleagues and boss don’t value you and your opinion, it’s probably time to find a new team or company.
If you only work on your limiting beliefs, identify your strengths and stop being afraid, you’ll see the difference it makes in your life and your career. Confidence is the key to success in your career. Reach out to me if you would like some personalized advice. I’d love work with you.