The word confidence comes from the Latin confidere: have full trust (con = completely, fidere = to trust). Confidence is a hard-to-grasp and hard-to-measure quality within us. It is determined by the degree to which we trust ourselves, trust to our word and do what we have said we will do. By our capability to deal with the things life throws at us. How resilient we are under pressure. How much we live an outer life that is in alignment with and an expression of our inner values, convictions, and passions.
Sadly, most corporate environments are not designed to strengthen the confidence level of their female workforce, even though higher confidence correlates with higher performance – a measurable benefit for the bottom line of the company! A corporate environment, with its politics and often-outdated management styles, is the brain grandchild of a generation based in knowledge-hoarding, status, control, and personal power-seeking patriarchy.
As women seek something different in their careers, such as a greater sense of fulfillment, and appreciation for their creativity and ability to make a difference, they subconsciously experience a conflict with this established patriarchy. That gap leads to irritation and makes women feel less safe. Women often feel they need to be someone else to fit in with the male-dominated business culture.
In the 1970s and ‘80s, the myth that women had to be more “masculine” than their male peers haunted them. In the ‘90s and the first decade of the new millennium, the imperative was to be a perfect super-women who had it all together – including an impossible-to-achieve work-life balance. In the second decade of this millennium, women have begun to grow a subtle yet strong sense of awareness that something else has to be possible – a corporate culture more humane and healthier that calls forth the whole human self of both genders. The dawn of this new era of true partnership between men and women needs confident women more than ever!
The following 10 Commandments are “I-Statements” designed to empower you to reach higher levels of confidence. While standing with your right hand on your heart, look into your own eyes in a mirror every morning and read these statements out loud. Do this for as many days as you need to truly feel and believe them; 30 days is suggested.
1. I know who I am, and utilize all my passions, my strengths, and my quirks.
2. I am safe and trust myself.
3. I care daily for my own well-being: physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
4. I take full responsibility for my thoughts, feelings, and actions.
5. I chose a career aligned with my values and who I am.
6. I walk my talk, and keep my promises and my integrity high at all times.
7. I respect others and myself in everything I do, allowing new forms of collaboration with others to unfold while setting healthy and clear boundaries.
8. I always speak my truth – even in the face of adversity.
9. I step out of hiding and actively engage to leave a positive mark.
10. I am happy to be me.
Secret tip: Speak them into the recording app on your smartphone, and listen to them again and again and again while you commute to work! Watch the woman you are meant to be unfold as a powerful leader, leaving her mark with confidence!
About Your Columnist
Sylvia Becker-Hill is a featured columnist for Women Taking Charge, the official blog of Connected Women of Influence, where she covers the topic of women’s empowerment. An award-winning executive coach on both sides of the Atlantic since 1997, she is also a published author and professional speaker. Sylvia is the founder of Über Women International Inc., a global empowerment company on a mission to turn more professional women into powerful leaders shaping the world.