Breathe… You Already Are. You Don’t Have to Prove Yourself!

Apr 10, 2017


Nancy Fredericks

Nancy Fredericks pens Women Lead Change's "Mindful Mondays" column, appearing the second Monday of every month. Fredericks is a preeminent Business Executive Strategist, Author and Thought Leader. Corporations like Johnson & Johnson, PepsiCo, Adobe, Allergan and Transamerica have retained her to optimize individual and organizational performance. You can find her at www.CareerStretchZone.com. The views of Nancy Frederick's blogs represent her own and not necessarily the views of Women Lead Change.

As I a strategic coach, I am involved in the ups-and-downs as well as the in-betweens of an executive’s career. In the midst of rough spots, a common tendency in women is to beat themselves up as they question their ability, all while working harder and putting in more hours to be recognized as valuable.

In such circumstance, rarely, do you see women confidently standing on the firm foundation of “who they are” and “what they bring to the table.” Facing the same challenging situation, a man will shrug it off thinking: This isn’t on me; it could have happened to anyone. Or it’s not that big a deal. Understand I don’t want you ever to become a man; however, I do want you to recognize where you may be collapsing your career without realizing it.

Why is confidence such a crucial factor? It is your self-assurance that has others trusting in you and judging you as the high-performing employee you are. A study by Ohio State University explains the level of self-confidence an individual has positively influences their career trajectory. This research reveals the reality that is success correlates just as closely with confidence as it does with your competency.

Perhaps you think to yourself. “Some people are born confident just not me.” There’s no such gene! The truth is self-assurance is a skill that develops through time, awareness, practice and then, it is fortified from within.

When I ask clients: “What came first your confidence or your success? Everyone responds, Confidence. How would you answer? 

If you allow circumstances to determine your worthiness, your confidence is standing on a faulty foundation. Since self-belief is integral for a long-lasting, growing career; and it can be acquired, how do you build it.

  • Know Who You Are: Dig into your experience and remember all the victories along the way that have made you a powerhouse. Remind yourself; you are unique, created to fulfill a purpose no one else can. You do a disservice to yourself and your company when you collapse rather than remain confident in your abilities.
  • Practice Being Temperate: Women often are the harshest critics of their achievements. Stop measuring yourself based on perfection, and instead embrace yourself for all your know-how.
  • Solidify the Experience:
    • Celebrate Your Achievements: Yes! Giving a shout out to yourself in the midst of a triumphant moment deeply embeds your successes in your subconscious. This memory builds a reserve of positive emotional energy for you to tap into when facing uncomfortable times.
    • Keep a Folder: In the avalanche of work, it’s easy to lose your identity. So, keep a file on all your wins and triumphs. During performance downtimes, you can remind yourself how valuable you are to the organization. It’s also handy for completing a performance evaluation that includes all your exceptional undertakings for the year!

When things go awry, breathe and interpret the challenge as an “expansion moment” rather than a “failure moment.” The reality is you already are a talented woman. You don’t have to prove yourself. Simply be confident in the difference you make, and will continue to make as you tap into your exceptional abilities—ones your company needs.

Category: Mindful Monday