Why a confidence mindset is your ticket to reaching your potential.
“How long will you put off what you are capable of doing just to continue what you are comfortable doing?” – James Clear
Confidence is the core driver to helping us navigate the world and our experience within it. It is not a ‘nice to have’; it is critical for career success. In the Core Confidence book, we outline the key behaviours that we have heard women talk about when describing an absence of confidence; notably, feeling scared to speak up, unable to ask for help, the looming fear of failure and embarrassment, second-guessing themselves and many others. When you lack confidence, you tend to over-rely on skills, capability and experience to fill this confidence gap. But the reality is, whilst knowing your stuff is very important, it is not a dependable source of confidence. When women do not speak up and share their value, they miss a vast array of opportunities and remain invisible.
The capability gap.
We hear this way too often. Many women resort to this phrase to justify their lack of confidence and why they stay too long in roles they’ve outgrown. We know that when you don’t have the confidence to participate and fully contribute you are often miscalculating your own capabilities – typically, overestimating what is required of you and underestimating your value and skill set. This debilitating self-doubt and internal catastrophising keeps us in our comfort zones and holds us back from taking action and making progress!
So, what started as a confidence gap – stemming from perfectionism, fear of failure or a loud inner critic – has created a capability gap.
The stacking impact.
When you start to notice where you are waiting and procrastinating, you can begin to appreciate and understand the potential cost of this inaction. Start by looking at the long term impact of these behaviours. You may find the stories you tell yourself are holding you back from new opportunities and possibilities. We call this the stacking impact. The lack of action you didn’t take in the past now limits what is possible for you in the current moment.
We know that every time you do not act, there is a ramification to that. When you hold back, decision-makers don’t know and can’t see your skills, capability and expertise; you are essentially invisible. There is a huge and compounding impact of the confidence gap – especially when you look around and see that other people are leaning into discomfort and speaking up. As a consequence of their visibility, they are the ones more likely to secure a position on a new project, that promotion or pay rise instead of you … even if your skills, capability and experience surpass theirs!
Bridging the gap.
To overcome and bridge this gap, you have to be willing to put yourself out there – even when you aren’t 100% certain – as we often say: the act of confidence comes before the feeling of confidence.
Get curious and ask yourself, what is really going on? The more you get conscious of what’s going on, you can decide how you will move forward differently. When you start to unpack the assumptions you make about yourself and your skills, you’ll begin to recognise that skill acquisition doesn’t necessarily equate to having more confidence in the moment. And it will not remove the uncertainty and discomfort that’s holding you back. This misconception costs women so much time and energy – don’t continue to stay safe and small!
When you rightsize the stories you tell yourself, you are more prepared to step in and own your value, minimising your capability and confidence gap. The more you can realistically and truthfully look at what you have to offer, the more likely you are to take imperfect action, or as we like to call it, a small Act of Confidence: taking manageable steps towards your goals, receiving feedback, learning, and trying again! Even if you aren’t 100% ready, that’s OK – you want to be stepping into positions and roles that require learning and foster challenge.
A confidence mindset.
Now, don’t misunderstand our message; yes, we always want you to be building skill, capability and experience. Acquiring new knowledge and learning frameworks is very useful and supportive of your career journey. But, there is another piece here. Marrying your skills, capability and experience with a confidence mindset is the real, golden opportunity. This is where you start leveraging and implementing your knowledge and stepping into your personal power!
Why build a confidence mindset?
Building a confidence mindset is key to helping us navigate the world and our experience within it. It is a gateway to broaden our perspectives, move out of our comfort zone and create opportunities that allow us to thrive.
Having a confidence mindset means:
- Having the courage to say yes to new experiences
- Speaking up when we ordinarily might not
- Being more visible in our corner of the world
A confidence mindset gives us resilience and the knowledge that we can deal with whatever comes our way.
How do I build a confidence mindset?
Building a confidence mindset and bridging the capability gap work hand-in-hand! Start to spotlight the roadblocks and red flags that are getting in your way to developing 100% unshakeable, unbreakable confidence. To unlock the benefits and opportunities that come along with skill acquisition, you need to leverage the right resources and begin to reframe your mindset!
Once you define the barriers in your way, you can begin redefining your relationship with failure. When you rightsize your fears, you can resource yourself to step into discomfort in a way that feels doable and practical – a small Act of Confidence.
Communicate your value and position yourself for new opportunities!
This will be one of your most valuable assets going forward; the ability to maintain your self confidence no matter what is going on around you, is something that keeps expanding with practice. It doesn’t mean a complete absence of self-doubt or fear – rather you have excellent strategies for how to deal with them as they arise. The more you practice the easier it gets. What we see regularly is the self assurance and authentic power that is available once you know how to access and maintain your confidence mindset.
“All the possibilities open up when you stop being so harsh in your judgement and assessment of yourself” – Fiona Pearman