Photo credits: https://stock.adobe.com/ca/search?k=yes%20you%20can
Advita Patel (she/her) helps boost confidence in her June 2021 NEST Insight Session.
What is confidence?
Confidence is the feeling of having little doubt in yourself and your abilities. This differs slightly from self-esteem, which refers to how a person values their sense of worth. A person with high confidence may not have high self-esteem, and a person with high self-esteem may not have high confidence. We want both.
Advita outlined some steps people can take to maintain confidence and self esteem.
Develop a clear understanding of you are. This can be accomplished through reflective journaling, voice or written, where you privately record your honest thoughts and feelings. Being in touch with your values, beliefs and strengths are a great start. According to Advita, “the only person who knows you as well as you, is you”. She tells us to own our story or it will be told by others.
Avoid making comparisons. If you’re active on social media, Advita reminds us that not everything is as it appears. ‘Happy social media life’ does not equate to ‘happy life’. Online, we often only witness highlights. Shift the focus to yourself and watch your progress improve.
Re-frame your thoughts. Positive language works wonders. For example, instead of saying “I can’t do this”, consider saying “This is a new opportunity, I will try and see what transpires”. It’s important to talk to yourself the way you would with a loved one or friend.
Celebrate achievements regularly. Advita diligently points out that this could be more challenging in some circumstances. As a woman of colour herself, she empathizes and says that many are “taught to be humble, to keep their heads down and avoid being seen or heard”. Avoid overthinking success. An achievement could be simple as a recent thank you email you’ve received or a compliment. Own your accomplishments, you’ve worked hard and deserve the accolades.
Trust the process. It is okay to have moments of vulnerability. Confidence is not a switch that can be turned on or off on a whim. Authenticity in our confidence brings us greater joy in the long run.
The truth is that anyone can become more confident. By using these steps, you will start to see an improvement in the way you see yourself – remember, trust the process.
A Leader Like Me is an empowered community that helps underrepresented people build courage and confidence in their work so they can continue to thrive. Our Nest Community is a safe and supportive environment for women* of colour. It includes monthly Insight Sessions to provide information and inspiration while our monthly Group Coaching creates a needed space for members to share their challenges and opportunities, failures and success authentically with leaders like them who share their workplace experience.
Join our A Leader Like Me Community and The Nest at https://a-leader-like-me.mn.co/feed
*We welcome non-binary and transgender people of colour who can relate to and benefit from the women-of-colour experience.
Additional tools, techniques and resources
The confidence test: make a list of all the hats you wear in your life: (starts at 11:20, https://vimeo.com/561023201/88549d596b)
Creating a hype/happiness folder of things that bring you joy (starts at 24:28, https://vimeo.com/561023201/88549d596b)
York University Rosenberg self-esteem scale: https://www.yorku.ca/rokada/psyctest/rosenbrg.pdf
Dr. Brené Brown, Dare to Lead and The Power of Vulnerability: https://brenebrown.com/hubs/dare-to-lead/
Amy Cuddy, Presence: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/presence-bringing-your-boldest-self/9780316256582-item.html