If you are in the middle of something and it’s hitting you big time, you’d probably rather not be at work. The dread of this particular challenge is dragging you down. You feel it in your body, and you hear within as your thoughts, that echo around the common theme, “I can’t handle this anymore!”
You are feeling incompetent, overwhelmed and perhaps, fear that your credibility is slipping.
What if I told you, you can instead, feel more confident right now? In this article, you will learn the one question to ask yourself to remove that self-doubt and instantly feel surer of yourself.
If there were such a thing as a Leadership Doctor, they’d diagnose you with failing confidence. The one telltale sign, without the blood work or body scan, would be your negative mind chatter. The doctor could tell what the issue was, as soon as you mentioned to them that your thoughts were full of:
What do you think about yourself?
Confidence is what you tell yourself. Nothing more. If you think you can, you can. If you believe it’s possible, you’ll figure out a way to make it happen. If you trust you will handle it, you’ll handle it. Confidence is a belief in your abilities, of your potential and of your faith that you can learn or figure it out. Confidence is an inner game.
Are you worried about what others think about you?
Where many women get stuck is that they wait for something to happen, someone else to do something, say something or offer them a better option. If you doubt, hesitate, hold back, or find you are afraid to say something, it could be because you want the go-ahead from someone else.
Their opinion won’t make you feel more confident
Sadly, most women leaders rarely hear words of encouragement like that from their boss, their board chair and probably even rarer still from their employees or colleagues. Praise, accolades or encouragement just don’t show up. But here’s the funny thing…even if it did, it still wouldn't make you feel any more confident. Because it doesn’t matter what they think, it only matters what you think!
Your confidence rises or falls based on what you think about your capabilities
You become more confident when you shift your inner dialogue. When your thoughts rotate around reflections about what you can do, instead of what you can’t, your confidence rises. To feel increased confidence, work to have these kinds of thoughts yourself:
To feel more confident, tame your inner dialogue
To be a confident leader, you need to be the encouraging voice inside of your head. Instead of the negative mind chatter, you need to:
Tame your inner dialogue
Confidence is what you think you can do. The challenge is most of our thoughts are unconscious. Learning to change your inner dialogue takes time. It helps when you develop a system for checking in frequently with your thoughts and adjusting them as necessary.
The proven technique: Install a system to help you manage your thoughts
A system that helps you to pause your thinking and checking in with your thoughts is the first step. Once you pause, take a moment to ponder. Ask yourself if your current thoughts are moving you towards the feeling and outcome you desire. You may find as you reflect that your thoughts are keeping you stuck in feeling incompetent, overwhelmed and lacking creditability.
Ask yourself this question to instantly feel more confident
If your thoughts are negative, focused on what’s not working or circling around who needs to say or do something before you can feel sure, try asking this question.
To feel more confident right now, what do I need to be thinking?
The act of pivoting your thoughts to the future, to confidence instead of lacking confidence changes how you feel.
When you shift your thoughts, you proceed forward with increased feelings of confidence. You once again feel more capable, because you are thinking about all the experience you have, what you’ve done before and how much you believe in your project.
When you manage your thoughts, you feel more confident
You can overcome self-doubt and feel a surge of confidence by following the system to regain control of your thinking. Every time you are struggling, or you hit a wall, come back to pausing. Stop long enough to reflect (ponder). Ask yourself: To feel more confident right now, what do I need to be thinking? Shift your thoughts (pivot), and take the next action step forward (proceed).
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Women leaders often hit a point where they find themselves in over their heads and wondering if they have what it takes to lead.