This year I’ve truly realized the importance of having self-confidence.
I cannot count the number of times I have hesitated when applying for awards or dismissed opportunities simply because I insisted I didn’t meet all the criteria or I wasn’t the perfect candidate. In all honesty, sometimes I thought that by applying, I was being very narcissistic.
It’s painful thinking that this underlying self doubt is common in so many women in the workplace. A study conducted a few years back revealed that, out of people who met 60% of job criteria, men were the ones most likely to apply, while, on the other hand, women will generally only apply for a job when they meet 100% of the criteria. This study blew me away. It is insane.
When I stumbled across the post below 2 weeks ago, my perspective of self-confidence changed. It’s like a light bulb lit up in my head.
I realized that my self doubt was leading to self sabotage
The idea that people were giving themselves the best opportunities because they had self-confidence was something that I couldn’t ignore. I knew I had to change… give myself grace and have faith in my ability and work. If I want to give myself the best opportunities, I need to just go for it and believe in myself. Even if I only satisfy 60% of the criteria, the worst that can happen is a rejection and honestly, I’ll gladly sleep well at night knowing I applied anyways 🤷♀️. A rejection will not kill me.
In saying that, I know the journey of having self-confidence is not easy. It won’t happen overnight. I wish though 😩. Would it not be great to wake up and magically be 100% confident in yourself and your work? Well, it might not happen overnight but these three steps, which will help to build my self-confidence in my work and abilities, will ensure that it does one day:
This seems like a no brainier, but it is super important that we constantly keep on thinking positively. Who doesn’t want to have freedom from self-doubt and negative thoughts?
With a negative mindset, it is so easy to slip up and begin doubting yourself. You start thinking you aren’t good enough or if you’re like me, and suffer from the classic impostor-syndrome, you start thinking that applying for something you feel you don’t meet the criteria for may come across as narcissistic. Thinking positively is super important, it allows us to give ourselves grace and faith in our work and ability.
2. Reaching out to my support network
I cannot emphasize this enough. We all need cheerleaders to push us out of our comfort zones. If you find yourself slipping into self doubt, whether it may be applying for a job or doing a presentation, reach out to your support network. This could be a friend, mentor or family member. It is vital to reach out to the person you deem most appropriate in giving advice for the opportunity you are applying for. For example, reach out to your mentor if you have self doubt in applying for a job etc.
Yes, just do it! The worst that is going to happen is a rejection email in your inbox. It won’t kill you.
Written by Esther Abiya
Girl Shaped Flames past Camp Courage attendee