For women who Rock their Role in work and life

Confident Female Breadwinners

Have you noticed that some people just ooze confidence? They walk into a room and it’s like they have never failed at anything, never felt nervous, and never said the wrong thing. Sometimes you may feel inspired by these people; other times their gravitas may make you feel a bit small.

I looked up the dictionary definition of confidence – it said confidence was ‘belief in oneself and one’s powers or abilities.’ How much do you believe in you? Or are you letting those less positive voices get in the way? Ones that tell you, you can’t.  I watched Ashley Banjos Secret Street Crew  recently, where he transforms groups of people into street dancing groups, and one talented young woman kept on saying that ‘she couldn’t’.  I wondered whose voice that was; a parent, a teacher, a partner or a minister perhaps, being recalled.

Those ‘I can’ts’ get lost in translation. What I mean by that is that my family would often tell me not to do things because in their eyes they were protecting my safety.  They didn’t necessarily want to dampen my adventurous spirit; they just wanted to keep me from harm. So the intention of the person may be good but occasionally ends up causing more harm or makes things more difficult.

Sometimes it can be a teacher who wants you to fit into the box of what is acceptable – you must have neat handwriting or behave in a certain way for example, if you don’t you are not as good as the person who does. I recently went to a talk by the popular children’s author Jacqueline Wilson and she said that her work was criticised and covered in red pen by her school teacher, but look at her now!

Later on as adults we need to re-evaluate those potentially negative comments, in light of what that person was trying to express at the time.  I coached a woman recently whose mum had told her that it wasn’t good to stand out from the crowd.  This was at odds with her role, which involved presenting to groups of people.  Her mum just wanted her to fit in, but as a successful career woman, her life was about doing just the opposite and she had to make peace with that.

Your confidence is in your hands and no one else’s. You can choose not to let those negative voices interfere and live a confident life to your full potential. Tim Gallwey, in his book, The Inner Game of Work, describes it as: Performance = Potential minus your Interference (that interference is those negative voices).

Easier said than done! Here are three tips to get you started:

  1. Imagine a positive outcome – concentrate on what might be instead of what isn’t present right now
  2. Be focused – focus on what you are trying to achieve, rather than what could get in the way
  3. Challenge yourself – when you hear your inner voice say I can’t do that – ask why not?

My book Rocking Your Role – the ‘how to’ guide to success for Female Breadwinners, will be out in June 2012

If you want to chat, gain support and read the latest from other female breadwinners, join my Rocking Your Role LinkedIn Group

Or sign up for my newsletter or tweet me @jennifergarrett

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