Take the self-assurance quiz to see how confident you really are!
When was the last time you felt confident? Today? Yesterday? Can you even remember?
There is a confidence crisis among women these days, especially in the workplace. And, of course, we all know that what happens at work affects the rest of our lives. Still, women are lacking the confidence to speak up, put forward their two cents, or be acknowledged for a job well done. Does this sound familiar to you?
At first the idea seemed foreign to me. Then, I started reflecting on the women in my life and realized that yes, in fact, nearly all of my conversations among friends and associates carry within them the undercurrent of lacking the self-assurance to boldly live their lives. Who knew?!
Take a moment to rank your self-assurance right now. 10 is very confident (you speak your point of view; you offer your perspective in group settings; you form conclusions quickly without second-guessing) and zero is low or no self-assurance (you hold your thoughts and remarks back because you believe no one wishes to listen to them; you are unable to make up your mind; you are not able to make a decision without wanting to ask at least three people their opinions).
Does your response surprise you? What if you and four friends each ranked yourselves, then tried to guess how others ranked themselves. Do you think you'd be close in your guess?
Did you know you were born with two accounts? It's true. You were born with two very specialized, permanent accounts that all of your actions, decisions and experiences either makedeposit into or withdraw from. The first account holds your integrity and the second contains your self-assurance or confidence. The difference between these two accounts is that you're born with your integrity account full and your confidence account empty.
The reason for the difference is that as an infant, you are expected to rely on those who care for you and, accordingly, begin making deposits into your confidence account. Your integrity is full based on the notion that everything you do is aligned with your integrity at birth, as you are in the max-learning stage. That is, you don't know any better. You lack from which to draw to make decisions, and therefore you must trust that what you're taught supports your life's objective.
As you progress through life, your actions and decisions impact these two accounts depending on (1) whether or not you decide to live with integrity and (2) whether or not you continue to mature and develop your self-confidence. If your decisions support your integrity, your account balance stays put; if not, then a withdrawal occurs. To make a deposit into your integrity account entails a lot more work. You need to restore your integrity, and that takes time. As well, your actions and judgements affect your self-confidence, but your self-confidence is also affected by your reactions to how others respond to your decisions.
How you react to decisions in everyday circumstances and during emergencies can be entirely different. Confidence is what enables you to make sound judgments in times of crisis. The more confident you are, the better the decisions you will make when you find yourself in an elevated level of stress.
Step 1: Name the emotion initially triggered as soon as you are in a heightened stress state. For example, say you are in the office and somebody else takes credit for a task you finished. What did you feel? Was it doubt? Worry? Rage? Disappointment? No matter what it is, simply acknowledge it. Don't judge yourself for feeling it. That's what we do as human beings; we feel! So go ahead and experience the emotion being triggered. By feeling the emotion, your self-confidence is raised due to having newfound knowledge ... and knowledge is empowering!
Step 2: Step up your emotion. If you are feeling rage, then look to raise your emotion to anger; if you feel doubt, then elevate your emotion to disappointment; if it's worry, then move up your emotion to doubt. The secret is to elevate your emotion so that you can begin to notice a new perspective on the circumstance. With a new perspective, you are open to boosting your confidence regardless of how anyone else responds to the situation.
Step 3: Execute! There are two parts to this step. First, you must execute the inferior emotion and elevate the inferior emotion. Then you must take action or execute the step(s) necessary to reinforce your self-confidence. Take at least one step to resolve the situation that is triggering your stress. Going back to our illustration of someone taking the credit for your job well done, a good action might be to approach the person who got the recognition and congratulate her on her victory while making sure to give yourself a pat on the back for taking the high road.
Out of self-confidence grows assurance and resilience. With every stride you take, the greater your resilience grows.
To your success!
Coach Karen K
Life Coach and Business Coach Karen Kleinwort is the founder Therapy in Transition and is a Certified Professional Coach specializing in the integration of her clients' mind, body and spirit into her Personal Empowerment Coaching practice. For more information, visit www.coachkarenk.com. www.therapyintransition.org or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.