Confidence. The ultimate, much coveted ‘skill’ and desperately needed for those of us running our own business. Confidence is most definitely an illusive thing for many, and something that some women feel they just don’t have. But I disagree. As a coach who has worked with women for over many years, I have seen some incredible transformations when it comes to building confidence and shining your light. And to achieve this, understanding why women in business struggle with their confidence, is crucial.
Confidence should be looked at as a muscle. It’s there to build, but will diminish if you don’t use it. To make progress, you need to be really self-aware. Start to notice the ways in which your perceived lack of confidence holds you back and how it presents itself. Is it thoughts you’re having? Things you’re saying to yourself or others about how you are not confident or can’t do things? Actual experiences that come back to haunt you? Negative talk from less supportive people in your life?
So many things that can trip you up along the way and ultimately lead to you playing small because you’re worried that you might look silly / not be good enough / know enough / have enough qualifications / might be too successful / someone might think you’re showing off…fill in the blank and just keep going – the list is endless!!
And it’s not surprising, that if we let this sort of messaging go unchecked and shout loud in our heads and in the things we say to others, then it will influence how successful we are and what we can or can’t achieve.
But who wants that? What woman wants to see her amazing business dreams, her incredible skills and talents go to waste because she can’t quite put herself out there? Or thinks she’s not good enough?
3 reasons why women in business struggle with confidence
Here are the top 3 things I think women in business struggle with when it comes to confidence. And some tips to kick them to the curb and start playing big!
Our mindset is most definitely key to unlocking opportunities to flex those confidence muscles and put ourselves out there. There are two types of mindset – fixed and growth (or success). If we have a fixed mindset then we are likely to stay where we are and not expand our horizons or achieve our full potential. This kind of mindset will keep us hiding and thinking we’re not worthy or good enough to be out there playing big.
If we can notice where we are doing this, and realise that we all have the ability to build on our skills and grow our comfort zone, then we can start to show ourselves just what we are capable of. The evidence you then create to show you what you can do, will in turn build your confidence and keep that growth mindset strong.
2. Lack of support
Not surrounding yourself with the right people is a key reason why women in business struggle with confidence. Quite often, when we meet new clients or members of our community for the first time, we quickly learn that they feel very isolated and lonely. They are working entirely on their own with no input, no cheerleaders, no one telling them they can do it. This is a huge barrier when it comes to confidence. It definitely leads to women giving up on their businesses because they feel they don’t have what it takes or that they’re not doing well.
Instead, we all need regular interactions, human contact, opportunities to be vulnerable and authentic about our struggles and know these are normal. We need to meet amazing, like-minded women to share in our successes and remind us how brilliantly we are doing. And, of course, to tell them the same!
Only when you have this strong support network to turn to, to build you up, to ask for help and to share in all the ups and downs, do you start to realise that we are all the same. That we have the same blocks and barriers, but that we can join together to build each other up and make the journey a lot more fun and full of confidence!
The third major factor causing women in business to struggle with their confidence is when we stop taking action. Or never start in the first place!
When we keep telling ourselves we can’t do something, and decide it’s scary or there is something to be feared, then we encourage procrastination and a lack of progress. When we don’t take action, we don’t build our businesses, or strengthen our mindset or show ourselves just what we can do. We don’t create the sort of momentum that will in turn give us more confidence.
So, in order to stop over-thinking, putting off and generally second guessing ourselves, you must get out there and create those social media posts. Go to that networking event. Call that person you want to connect with. Write that blog. Finish your website. You get the picture.
Taking action is your friend. It will help you build your confidence and show you what incredible things you can do!
If you’re stuck when it comes to confidence, you CAN do something about it. Your confidence can be built and you can achieve the results you’re looking for.