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Are you a successful woman who still struggles with self-doubt?

Are you a successful woman who still struggles with self-doubt?

Rhian Bowler / 14 May 2018

The confidence conundrum and how to resolve it. 

Confidence comes up time and time again as being critical to success and it is!  Here’s some guidance on how to build yours. 

Boosting your confidence levels

How often has your confidence held you back from achieving your full potential?  Have you held back from a promotion, or applying for a new job, experienced nerves before a presentation?   At our recent E2W Front Office team meeting, ‘Increasing your visibility and profile’, one of the topics discussed was ‘Boost your confidence levels’.

Is confidence more critical for success than competence?  Why do some women, even the most successful seem to struggle with feelings of self-doubt?

In coaching conversations, women have stated their work and results should speak for themselves, rather than self-promotion and positioning themselves.  However, research shows that women need to learn to position themselves positively and showcase their work for maximum visibility, even though this may be uncomfortable for many women. 

Confidence is partly influenced by genetics (who you are), but it’s not fixed.  You can make changes to your thinking patterns, the way you approach things and nurturing ‘positive thoughts’. You can choose to be more confident by making a conscious decision to do things differently.  

Firstly, think about the characteristics of a confident person: they tend to be articulate, speak clearly, are self-assured, display positive body language and are happy to admit when they don’t know something.  

Secondly, think about how you can boost your confidence levels.  Here are some ideas:

  • Take stock of where you are, and what you want to achieve next, and how’ll you do this. Write down all the things you are really proud of, your achievements both in work and your personal life. 
  • Reflect on what you are good at – your strengths.  You can use a Personal SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) Analysis to capture this information.  You can also work out where your confidence gap is.  Be truthful about yourself.  Working with a coach can also help you identify the gap.
  • If you are planning on asking for a pay rise, or promotion, practice your speech with a trusted friend first.  This is called the exposure technique. 
  • Develop a positive mindset.  It’s easy to put up barriers and obstacles to progression, new opportunities, investing in ourselves and achieving your goals.  If you catch yourself doing this – STOP!  Frame the fear into a positive thought, ‘I can do this new role, what support will I need?’
  • Think less and act.  We often over think things!  Research shows taking action not only reflects confidence, it builds it.
  • Challenge yourself to make a difference, however small.   Commit to raising awareness of unconscious bias, gender differences, how men and women can work together more effectively at meetings.  Choose something close to your heart – and take action.

The road to gaining confidence may seem long but as with everything, it starts with one step.  Which idea will you take on board and make a small step towards?

If you would like support boosting your confidence levels, the E2W Coach Rhian Bowler is here to help.  Please contact for more information.

Rhian Bowler is the E2W Career Coach with many years’ experience of human resources and coaching at leading organisations.


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