When I ask people to list the characteristics of a phenomenal leader, confidence is almost always on the list. In my work with women leaders, I’ve discovered that this is one of our greatest challenges. Through our corporate clients, the SOS Gr8 Women Leaders Program, our year-long leadership development program for women, and Austin Leading Ladies, a movement of women leaders we’ve created, I’ve met hundreds of women leaders over the last few years. These women have varied in age, experience, and position, and yet the vast majority of them have shared their struggles with maintaining belief in themselves.
Some have described their confidence level as a series of peaks and valleys. They go through times when their confidence is strong and they recognize the impact of their leadership. But in the same month, the same week, and even sometimes in the same day, their confidence plummets for one reason or another, occasionally for no reason at all.
What is the solution to this leadership challenge? I believe leaders can boost confidence using a combination of the following strategies:
- Strive to be a person of gratitude. Show your gratitude daily to those who have contributed to your personal and professional growth.
- Create a file of all of the praise/compliments you’ve received and spend some time perusing it when you need a concrete reminder about how much your leadership matters.
- Surround yourself with exceptional leaders, mentors, and coaches who remind you often of your accomplishments and help you to see your progress even when you aren’t able to see it. When your confidence is wavering, connect with a leader who believes in you and talk through it with him or her.
- Have a couple of your Raving Fans on speed dial, and reach out when you need a pick-me-up.
- Keep a running list of the goals you’ve accomplished and read through it often.
- At the end of each day, consciously focus on spending more time thinking about what you accomplished rather than what you didn’t. (NOTE: I recognize that this abundantly easier said than done, and it will take time to recondition yourself to think this way, particularly if you’re a perfectionist. Nevertheless, making this change to the way you think will have a measurable impact on your confidence level.)
What other strategies work for you when you need a confidence boost?
I believe 100% that your leadership matters. You wouldn’t be reading this blog if you weren’t committed to leadership growth. It’s that simple. SOS Leadership is on a mission to get more leaders to OWN their leadership and its impact.This means believing at your core that your leadership makes a difference! Do you?