Though any person, male or female or outside the gender binary, can have confidence or lack confidence, women often face some of the same confidence killers in the workplace. Here are 5 of the top confidence killers and the ways you can overcome them: for women, or for anyone looking to feel better about themselves at the end of the day.
- The Mansplainers
You know the type: the men who take a moment to “explain” to you that which you already understood. Or maybe your workplace has one or more of the men who ask another man right next to you to just verify whatever you said, as though a woman cannot answer a question.
The fact is, many women get used to a workplace environment where their voice isn’t heard, and consequently experience a decrease in confidence.
Antidote: be willing to repeat yourself, and try to stay calm. One of the surest ways to get your voice heard, eventually, is to just keep speaking up.
- The Backstabbers
It’s not just the men of the office who might be killing your confidence; women too have been known to sometimes engage in workplace cattiness. Unfortunately, women have developed a bit of a reputation for not supporting one another in the workplace.
Antidote: find female mentors who will support you. Build your network of female friends. You’ll turn the tide and gain confidence in your own voice along the way.
It’s not really fair to go blaming them men and women of the workplace for a lack of confidence without turning an eye inward. Perfectionism is first on the list: a debilitating disease that can even lead to inaction. Perfectionism even robs us of enjoying our successes.
Antidote: this one can take practice. Try to find the things you have done well in a project or a scenario, even if you find you first tell yourself everything you did wrong. Take a stab at a project you might be able to do, even if you are uncertain you will do so perfectly. Go out on a limb. We need not fear failure and rob ourselves of success.
If you haven’t seen that anonymous quote floating around in meme-land: “Comparison is the thief of joy,” check it out. Short but wise, it reminds us that when we stop to examine what another has, instead of being grateful for our own, we suffer. Workplace success, confidence and joy are much more attainable without that beastly comparison bug in our ear.
Antidote: “an attitude of gratitude.” Did your grandma tell you that one? It seems the antidote to comparison and envy is gratitude. When we pause to reflect daily upon what we have, on what we have accomplished, and on what we love, we lose the comparison and earn back our joy.
Like comparison, worry is a road that leads nowhere. In this case, we’re talking about worry over what other people think of us. So we said something that sounded out of place or kind of stupid. Or we are having a bad hair day, where we spilled coffee on our blouse. Or we worry about what someone else will say. Whatever the worry, it robs us of our confidence.
Antidote: Connect with people who value your input and ideas. Build a more positive inner voice by removing negativity in your life. If the people we love would genuinely think less of us if we failed, it may be time to choose more positive people.
When we look both within and without for the confidence killers, we become our more authentic, confident version of ourselves.