5 practical ways to improve your confidence

Imposter Syndrome

Feeling like you have no idea what you're doing? 💥 Newsflash - no one does 💥⁠

Imposter syndrome is REAL. In fact, it's in the dictionary defined as 'the persistent inability to believe that one's success is deserved or has been legitimately achieved as a result of one's own efforts or skills'. Basically, it's a mindset in which we tell ourselves that we're not good enough. 🌧️⁠

Long story, but this affects women significantly more than men, and it means that women can often be their own sabateur.🗡️⁠

We are statistically less likely to speak up in meetings, to push for payrises or promotions and can really get in the way of our own progress, allowing others to 'get ahead'.➡️⁠

First thing to know is you're not alone - we all feel like this at one time or another. 💖⁠

1) Store positive feedback

To combat imposter syndrome we need to separate fact from fiction 👽⁠

A useful tool to do this is using *drum roll please* The magic of an email folder 📥⁠

Step 1: If you're at work or uni, create a new folder in your inbox. If you're at school, find a spare notebook to write things down. Call it ':)', 'positive affirmations', 'love letters for myself'...whatever you like ✅

⁠Step 2: When you receive an email/message that has some good feedback pop it in here 📨⁠

Step 3: Having a bad day? You've got a handy catalogue of all the times you've been really great (everyone else said so). Keep it up. 👏⁠

2) Harness the power of communication

The way that we communicate (written or verbal) can project how confident we are to others.🗣️⁠

Think of the confident people that you know and how they speak. Here's a few things you might notice🧐⁠

  • They avoid hesitating - saying 'erm' or 'just'.

  • They project their voice.

  • They don't fill silences when they speak (great public speakers can command a room with silence.)

  • They might be the first to speak in a meeting or team discussion (there's research that this person will command the conversation from that point on).

  • They curate the narrative: instead of saying 'sorry I'm late to reply' say 'thanks for your patience while I got back to you'.🧡⁠

3) Focus your energy wisely

Know your 'no' ❌⁠

It's important to know when to say no at the start of your career because it sets a precedent for how you continue 👩‍🎓⁠

We think learning to say 'no' when you are taking on too much work is an fundamental skill for women to master. Take it from us that regularly working in the evenings, weekends or over holidays might feel like something you have to do at the start of your career, but it doesn't always pay off, and can lead to you burning out eventually. 🤯⁠

It's important to figure out early on what's right for you, where your boundaries are and find ways to communicate this with people around you. If you have too much work to do ask your manager to help you prioritise your list so you know what you need to focus on for the next day or so, and try to streamline your tasks to fit around that 🤓⁠

At the same time, it's important to know when saying 'no' might hold you back. We believe that learning doesn't stop when you leave education (we are still learning now!) so you have to make sure that you take advantage of the opportunities around you, especially at the start of your career. 🌏

4) Make success manageable

When you're at the start of a project it can often feel overwhelming. Like, UGH, where do I even start? 😧⁠

A few things to help when you're feeling overwhelmed with any challenge, project or goal that you're working on ⬇️⁠

1) No one knows it all from day one. Imagine walking into a lesson at school or university and your teacher asking you to run the class. Absurd, right? Don't expect yourself to be the expert at the start. It's (more than) ok to ask for help 🤩⁠

2) Go at your own pace. If you have a big goal or ambition, you're not going to do *everything* to achieve it today, but *something* towards achieving that goal is manageable. What shall we cross off the list today? or this week? Make sure it's something that's achievable - or you're setting yourself up for failure from the start 😵⁠

3) Be kind to yourself. We all have productive days and unproductive days. If there's something else going on in your life, you're feeling distracted or just not yourself - try to let it go. Sleep. Tomorrow is a new day. You got this ✨⁠

5) Now go for it!

This sounds like such a cliche but you'd be surprised that pretending that you know what you're doing really is half the job! But how do we do this? 🤯⁠

Think about a time you were feeling confident in a task you were set at school, university or work. Now, consider the skills you used when you were completing that task. Try and apply the same knowledge, process or confident feeling that you already know to solve the problem in front of you. 🧠⁠

Still a little unsure? Go to your manager, teacher or a person you trust and say: "I was thinking of solving x by doing y, can I check that's right?" Eventually, you'll find you're checking in less often, as your skills and confidence grow. 🌱⁠

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