Confidence is a key part of a life well-lived. It enables you to overcome your doubts, make bold decisions, and live life on your terms. If you can learn to exude a healthy level of confidence at every step, it can have positive repercussions everywhere. Confidence, however, is cultivated constantly throughout your life — just like a garden. Only by tending to it with a careful touch will you see the variety of benefits.
Confidence Boosts Your Self-Esteem
Self-esteem is critical to a well-lived life. The way that you view yourself can just as easily push you forward or hold you back. Even a small measure of confidence can do wonders in cultivating a healthy perspective of how you view yourself.
Confidence Motivates You to Make Big Decisions
Life is full of big decisions, too. Choosing a major, asking for a promotion, finding a partner, buying a house, having kids, deciding when to retire — all of these factors take grit, nerve, and the ability to keep your cool. Confidence gives you a superior level of clarity as you go about making each decision in your life.
Confidence Leads to Professional Success
It doesn’t matter who you are, very few self-doubting individuals are chosen for the big promotions. No matter what your skill set may be under the surface, if you can’t exude confidence, it will chip away at other’s opinions of your capabilities. By coming across as a strong, capable, and confident woman, you show that you’re worthy of success throughout your professional journey.
How to Develop Your Self-Confidence
Discussing the benefits of confidence is one matter, and developing it on your own is an entirely different challenge. You can’t just decide that you’ll be confident and never look back. At the same time, you don’t want to cultivate a sense of negative, abrasive, or narcissistic confidence.
That being said, here are a few suggestions for healthy ways that you can begin to foster a greater sense of confidence in your own life:
Work on Certain Soft Skills
With confidence, women can achieve anything, even tackle the business world. Unfortunately, there is a chronic lack of women in the C-suite. In fact, in 2019, just 21% of management positions were filled by women — and a measly 4% by women of color. It’s important to see these numbers rise, so other women can gain the confidence to enter leadership roles. One of the best ways to overcome this employment gap is for women to work on certain workplace soft skills, including:
- Resiliency: Leadership positions often entail difficult situations that can make or break your spirit. It’s important to foster a resilient spirit by believing the best in yourself. After all, confidence and resilience always go hand in hand.
- Power of influence: Your ability to speak up and influence others is critical to building confidence.
- Growth mindset: A desire to always be learning and growing can help you maintain your confidence throughout your professional activities.
By working on these soft skills, your confidence will grow as a result, which will enable you to achieve even the most sought out leadership positions. Additionally, while all workplace soft skills are important, things like resiliency and a growth mindset are particularly helpful in building your confidence.
Continue Your Education
These soft skills, however, can easily be built by continuing your education and cultivating your confidence as you learn more. Things like a bachelor’s degree in business or an executive MBA can help you learn how to handle diverse interactions and business networks. They can also keep you informed in areas like workplace growth and entrepreneurial skills.
Education has already been a transformative factor in certain additional industries as well. For instance, in 2019 women outpaced men in medical school enrollment for the first time. This increase in education will help develop crucial skills and ultimately build a powerful level of confidence throughout an entire generation of competent, informed, and skilled female doctors.
Address Your Inner Demons
Too often a lack of confidence stems from internal turmoil and self-doubt. If you know that you’re struggling with an inner lack of confidence, start looking for activities that can exercise those demons, such as:
- Counting your victories: Life is full of difficult times and epic challenges. Don’t be afraid to look back on those events and consider the lessons you learned and the victories you experienced.
- Cultivating positivity: There’s nothing quite like a thankful, grateful, and positive attitude to help you maintain a confident outlook on life.
- Knowing what you want: Sometimes a lack of confidence simply comes from not knowing what you want. Set your intentions and give yourself something to work toward.
- Engaging on your terms: There will be times when you come up against resistance and discrimination. When you do, always pick your battles. Practice the discipline to know when to engage and when to rise above.
Fighting the inner battles is a critical part of sustaining your confidence over the long haul.
Using Confidence to Ignite Your Life
Confidence is a critical factor in life. It impacts everything from your work to your social interactions, your ability to lead yourself and others in life, and even your internal dialogue and self-esteem.
If you struggle with confidence, don’t panic. The simple fact that you knew enough to answer the question is a critical first step.
From there, you can review the suggestions above and start to build a strategy to cultivate your confidence. If you can build your inner strength, it can become a critical tool in helping you navigate every aspect of your life with success.