Confidence is not just a trait - it's the sense that we can trust ourselves and our environment to hold us in case we fall. Confidence forms as a result of a support system in place. Whether it's more external or internal depends on each individual. Confidence propels us forward, allowing us to conquer challenges and embrace opportunities with courage and resilience. For women, confidence plays a vital role in excellerating personal and professional relationships, career and leadership positions. However, societal pressure, chronic self-doubt, and lack of support can often chip away at our self-assurance, leaving us feeling hesitant and unsure of our abilities.
In this article, I'll explore the three most common reasons women struggle with confidence in relationships and the workplace and offer practical steps to help unlock your inner confidence and, hopefully, empower you to thrive.
From a young age, both men and women are bombarded with societal expectations and gender stereotypes that dictate who they should be at their core. Women are pressured on how they should look, behave, and navigate their careers and relationships. These unrealistic standards create a breeding ground for self-doubt and insecurity, as women feel pressure to conform to narrow definitions of success and femininity.
To change this, we must challenge biased attitudes, societal double standards, and self-limiting beliefs to redefine ourselves in the context of success and what it looks like in our terms. It is essential to address the subtle urges to please and appease others, focus on centering your experience, clarify and follow your values, recognize your unique qualities, be authentic, and advocate for yourself in moments of injustice. Recognize that your worth is not determined by external validation but by the strength of your character and the depth of your contributions.
The fear of failure is a universal experience, but it can be particularly debilitating for women due to societal pressure to excel in all areas of life. Fueled by the desire to meet impossibly high and conflicting standards, perfectionism can paralyze us with chronic self-doubt and prevent us from taking risks or pursuing our goals wholeheartedly. Too often, taking risks without a proper systemic and societal net to catch us in case we fail can simply be too expensive, so don’t ditch the fear; instead, use it to assess your situation.
There is no shame in assessing and having a realistic view of your actual limitations within the context of your life; often, your personal limitations reflect more on your non-supportive environment rather than on your internal will and capacity. Instead of striving for perfection, embrace the concept of "progress over perfection." Remember that failure is not a reflection of your worth but an opportunity for growth and learning. You did a thing. Learn from it and move on to do another thing. Cultivate resilience by reframing setbacks as stepping stones to success, and celebrate your efforts and progress along the way. Remember, it's not about being flawless; it's about knowing your limits, embracing your imperfections and learning from them with grace and humility.
In many industries and leadership positions, women continue to be underrepresented, making it difficult to find relatable role models and mentors who can offer guidance and support. Without an adequate representation and support systems, women may not be able to envision themselves succeeding in male-dominated fields, leading to a loss of confidence and motivation.
To address this, seek out communities and networks where women are celebrated and empowered to thrive. Set boundaries and surround yourself with mentors, peers, and allies who champion your growth and believe in your potential. By building a supportive ecosystem of like-minded individuals, you can gain invaluable insights, guidance, and encouragement to navigate the challenges of the workplace and relationships with confidence and resources.
Confidence varies for each individual and, more often then not, for women confidence looks different due to cultural upbringing. For women it's a journey of reminding yourself that your worth is ingrained in your being and you get to define it. You are here, and that makes you valuable. Don’t let the societal pressure to define your worth. You define your worth. Inform others about your definition and walk away from those who don’t respect it. Confidence is not about what you do but how you relate to yourself and your surroundings. By acknowledging and addressing the underlying reasons obstacle, you can restore your inner strength and empower yourself to thrive in both your relationships and careers. Let's challenge societal norms, embrace our imperfections, set new realistic standards, and support each other as we boldly pursue our dreams and aspirations. Together, we can unlock our confidence and unleash our full potential as women in a world that desperately needs our unique perspectives and contributions.
I've crafted a coaching program specifically tailored for women, aimed at restoring confidence and self-esteem by tackling the three key factors I discussed above: first, understanding the impact of societal expectations on your relationship with yourself, your skills, and your aspirations; second, incorporating somatic techniques to address and process your fears, working in harmony with your body's nervous system; and finally, supporting you in cultivating a fresh perspective on your goals and values, ultimately fostering self-assurance and ambition. The goal is to empower you to prioritize your own well-being and that of your loved ones, embracing your authenticity and pursuing your dreams with renewed vigor and purpose. Book an assessment call to determine if I can help you get your confidence back.
Disclaimer: I write my content with the help of AI. My content is educational and should not be interpreted as professional medical advice. If you are struggling with mental health issues, please seek professional help from a certified human and don't rely on online content.