Does your mouth go dry when you get asked a question at a meeting? Your stomach tightens as you fumble over your words. Then you mumble something incoherently about something praying it made sense. Finally, you are ever so grateful when the attention turns to someone else.
There is a lingering annoyance with yourself that you can’t quite get it together when it counts. You berate yourself because others sound confident, self- assure and composed when they talk, why can’t you? You are not alone!
Women Leaders lack confidence
In my coaching calls, women leaders are constantly telling me they are afraid to express themselves. They are anxious and uncomfortable in front of more senior team members. These women doubt their words, messages, and their decisions. They are worried to step outside of their comfort zone and try new things fearing they will look stupid, incompetent or silly. And sadly, they are not incredibly happy with themselves or their lives either.
Fear holds women leaders back.
The women I talk to are stuck. They are frustrated where they are at, but they lack the courage to step into new places, to bring forth new ideas and to be fully their best selves. As such, these women don't utilize their full potential nor get the impact they desire.
I help women increase their courage
As I work with women, I help them to see themselves as individuals. They start to get to know themselves better. As I encourage them to learn more and grow more, I also nudge them to try new things. OK, I often challenge them to do something they've been resisting or avoiding. They wouldn't do it with just a little nudge!
Sometimes the new things women try are in their personal lives. Women begin to write, paint, exercise, set clearer boundaries, asks for help or go out with friends more often. Other times women expand outside their work comfort zone. They practice being more decisive in their decision-making. Women leaders in my programs present new ideas and new ways of doing things to their teams. For example, one woman introduced mindful practices to staff meetings, and another developed a new supervision practice for her meetings with her subordinates.
It's time to grow your courage, increase your confidence and become more self-assured.
As they grow courage, their best selves emerge
Each time a woman stretches herself, I see her stand a little taller. I sense her inner confidence growing. I notice more enjoyment in their day and fulfillment in their lives. They share story after story of feeling more authentic and real in their leadership. It’s a powerful experience for them.
Are you looking to grow your courage?
If you’ve read this far, I suspect it’s because you are looking for that magic pill. I bet you want to feel more confident in your work and yourself. You are like most women, me included! We want to feel good about the work we do and that we are contributing fully and providing value to the work at hand.
It's time to stop avoiding "scary" situations
Many women I know are tired of shrinking every time the spotlight shines their way. The old “avoid eye contact” strategy only goes so far. You can't keep running to the washroom when it comes time to give opinions or look for volunteers. It's time to do some uncomfortable things.
Start by trying new things outside your comfort zone
There is no magic pill nor is it difficult or impossible to grow your courage. It starts with trying new things outside of what you normally do. When you try new things, you are stretching. You then get more comfortable doing those things and thus your comfort zone widens. When you get comfy with the new things, it means you are ready to stretch and try more. The more you do, the more you can do.
You've done this already lots in your life
Think back to when you first started driving. You were nervous. Your movements were choppy, and the person beside you was not feeling all that safe and confident in your skills. But the more you drove, the more comfortable you got. Driving day after day, longer trips and more frequently, your skills and confidence as a driver increased. Now, you likely don’t think about your every move while driving. You just do it. It is the same with other new things. Did you learn to ski some time ago or play golf? How about putting on your makeup? I am sure you don’t do it the same now as when you were a teenage girl. Your confidence has grown. You did something new. Practiced it. Got better at it and then your self-confidence grew.
It's time to grow your courage and your leadership!
Increasing your courage will increase your happiness
By stretching outside of your comfort zone, you will increase your confidence and become more courageous. By becoming a more courageous woman leader, you will both lead more powerfully and have a stronger impact. Maybe even more than that, you will feel so much happier and fulfilled!
Question: What will you commit to doing to grow your courage today?
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Women leaders often hit a point where they find themselves in over their heads and wondering if they have what it takes to lead.