Are you infected with the Self-Doubt Virus?
most women are…
Self-Doubt is a psychological virus that affects most women. Our society conditions women to doubt their own power and brilliance. It’s too widespread to be an individual issue. It’s a cultural virus.
The first thing I want you to hear is: IT IS NOT YOU! You are not broken! You have been conditioned to doubt yourself.
I’ve done lots of deep work on myself because my survival strategy as a child was to be silent, invisible, and a good girl. I was taught to look outside of myself for permission.
I’ve been a tranformational coach since 2000 and it’s rare for me to meet a woman who has authentic confidence. Which is crazy, right? It doesn’t matter if you’re super successful by society’s standards, we women doubt ourselves. And it limits our potential and possibilities. Big Time.
If we had more women with extreme, authentic confidence who are the agents of their own existence, the world would be a much different place. Female energy is naturally cooperative, nurturing, and giving.
So, what does a woman need to have extreme confidence? Confidence is an inner game. However, confidence is like a muscle — you can exercise it and make it stronger.
Here is how to strengthen your confidence muscle:
Love Your Self Unconditionally.
When we are born, we are perfect. We love ourselves and don’t judge ourselves. Society and it’s institutions conditions us to compare ourselves to others and compete for grades, jobs, and accolades. Our fear-based society teaches us that, if we are our authentic selves and follow our hearts, we will most likely “fail’.
In what ways are you judging yourself and coming up short? Complete the following sentence: “I will be OK when I ___________________”. Most of us can easily create a long list of conditions for why we aren’t OK and what we need to do in order for use to completely and unconditionally love and accepts ourselves.
When making choices and decisions, ask yourself, “If I loved myself in this moment, what would I choose?”
Be a learner not a knower.
Schooling destroys our confidence by telling us that, if we don’t know something, we are stupid or unworthy. However, CEOs say they want employees who are self-starters, resourceful, innovative, entrepreneurial. Essentially self-directed lifelong learners.
To be confident, women need to have confidence in their inherent skills and abilities. They need to know that they can figure out how to do something, especially when they don’t know how to do it already.
It’s OK not to have the answers.
Give yourself permission to fail. Let go of perfectionism.
The learning process is naturally messy. Schooling is an unnatural learning process that penalizes failure. The true learning path is littered with wrong answers and mistakes. The path to mastery is paved with multiple failures.
Girls and women are constantly judged by their appearance and outer behavior which leads to an obsession with perfection. The news always comments on what a female leader is wearing and ignores the substance of her speech or work. They rarely, if ever, do this with men. So women are held to a false standard of perfection.
Let go of perfectionism. Embrace yourself as perfectly imperfect. Fail fast and cheap.
Practice optimal self-care.
You deserve health and wellness. When you feel energized and strong, you are more confident. Create a self-care routine for yourself. Build it into your daily habits. Don’t be too strict or dogmatic. Focus on what gives you energy. What foods give your energy? Which people do you enjoy being with? What activities do you love? Spend time in nature. Make sure you play every day. Get 8 hours of sleep. Drink pure water. Have quiet time each day. Give yourself a hug, a bubble bath, a smile.
Play lots. Don’t give energy to your negative thoughts. Laugh a lot.
Surround yourself with YES! people. (Create or join a positive community.)
There are plenty of negative people in the world. It is easy to focus on what doesn’t work. TV and news outlets know that negative news sells advertising. Turn off the television, limit your time on social media. Surround yourself with people who uplift you and support you.
Create a teflon coating around you for other people’s criticism. Let it bounce off of you unless they are really in your corner. They are just projecting onto you what they don’t like about themselves. Join or create a community of YES! People who will affirm your awesomeness.
Deflect all negative comments about you when they have a sting to them.
Set firm boundaries.
Boundaries are the rules that you set for behavior that is and isn’t OK for you. Boundaries are not negotiable. Don’t fall into a trap of being “too nice” which really means that you don’t have firm boundaries. Let people know how they need to act to be in your life. Let them know what is OK for you. If you let people erode or manipulate your boundaries, you will be filled with self-doubt and a crisis of confidence. Boundaries protect you and honor your relationships with good people.
Boundaries are never negotiable.
Declare your purpose. Use your gifts.
To move confidently forward in the direction of your dreams you also need Will (the strong desire to take action). Will comes from being aligned with your personal purpose. Your WHY. Purpose isn’t something hidden deep inside of you that you need to discover. Your purpose is something that you declare for yourself, for this chapter of your life. Ideally, it is connected to your unique gifts. If you don’t know what your unique gifts are, ask friends and family and work with a skilled coach.
Ask yourself, does what I am doing in this moment bring me joy?
Find mentors to support and coach you.
Level up with the coaching and support of mentors. In every chapter of your life, you will need mentors to help you get to your next level. Choose a mentor who is aligned with your personal values and who has done something that you want to do. Be bold in asking for someone to mentor you and allow them to refer you to someone else. Look for people with generosity of spirit, a loving kind nature, and solid skills.
You will become the people you surround yourself with.
Seeking a boost to your confidence? Join my powerful 30 day program: Elevate Your Confidence. Every day, you will receive an email with an audio, video, or writing from me with links to other helpful resources. You also get access to Weekly Webinars with Caprice and a private Facebook group.
Originally published at capricethorsen.com on December 10, 2018.