How Confident Are You?
Your Career – How Confident Are You, Really?
By Pamela Mearsheimer, Chicago
Our careers are important to us; after all we are professional women. We work hard, make a good impression, and go after our goals. But how confident do you really feel?
Women have advanced in position, influence, and compensation; yet I’m willing to bet many women still feel like a little kid sometimes when they walk into a room full of powerful people. I know this happens to me.
What are the consequences of not feeling confident?
The most visible symptom is a change of body language. People who do not feel confident start to make themselves smaller. They start to take up less space. They don’t “lean in” as Sheryl Sandberg would say, and they don’t emanate confidence to others.
The next thing that less-than-confident women do is they don’t speak up. The tone and volume of their voices change. Instead of sounding strong, they sound weak, and both women and men will interpret this as indecision or lack of preparation.
Then a less-than confident woman will not propose a bold idea, or show her original thinking. She may have the best idea in the room, but if she fails to broadcast it and instead goes with the status quo, she will show she is part of the crowd, not a leader.
I’m sure we are all guilty of at least one of these things from time to time. What is the solution? How do we overcome this?
Fake it ‘till you make it. Really.
Fake it ‘till you make it is some of the best career advice I have ever heard. Do you know I was nervous the very first time I went to a PWCC meeting? But I faked it until the situation became comfortable.
The best thing you can do is to push yourself out of your comfort zone and bring on your acting skills. You will accomplish more, your peers will think more highly of you and confident people are far more likely to be promoted than anyone else.