The Confident Mother is about celebrating and loving life as a woman and as a mother. I do what I do because I want all children to have happy memories of family life. And the easiest way for me to do that, is by helping mums to feel confident. Everything I do and run, it’s about helping you to create a feeling of confidence. For me that confidence comes from five elements.
How you balance those elements is unique to each woman and will change at different stages in your life. Get these five in balance that’s just right for you and you will love your life – you will have more confidence, energy, clarity, focus, fun with your family and you will feel fulfilled. The five elements I’m talking about are:
- Work – whether you have your own business, whether you have a career, or whether you are a stay at home mum. It’s about being valued (and paid) for the work that you do.
- Wellness – it’s hard to be confident if you’re not confident in your own mind and your own body. You need both mental and physical strength and health to go out and do what you want to do in the world.
- Contribution – the contribution that you make to the world. Some might call this your purpose or calling. It could be your contribution to your family, your community or to the world.
- Family – obviously one is about family, your relationship with your children and with your partner, if you have one.
- Feminine – it’s also about being a woman, and not just being a mother. It’s about accepting, embracing and actually enjoying being a woman, and the challenges and opportunities that brings.
I want to share with you simple tips that anybody can put into action to grow in confidence.
Most women come to me because they are ready to go back to paid work after a career break – whether that’s back to their previous career, a career change or to start a business – or they want help to grow their existing business. So, let’s start with Work.
Five Ways to Feel more Confident at Work
1 – Positive body language
When somebody walks into the room, we tend to make a snap judgement on that person based on the way they carry themselves. When you think of a confident person, what body language comes to mind? Use this to your advantage. First impressions do count. Stand tall. Think about your body language at meetings – do you wrap yourself up to make yourself small? This might be subconscious but next time you are in a meeting, notice what you notice about the way you sit. Sit up at the meeting table. Speak up. If this doesn’t feel comfortable or natural, then fake it until you are it. My interview with Susan Heaton Wright shared some great tips on how to talk with confidence.
Action: notice what you notice about your body language when you walk into a room or when you attend meetings.
2 – Know your strengths
Take time to identify and acknowledge your strengths, skills and experiences. Nearly all of us know our weaknesses or what we find difficult or challenging. What I notice when I work with women, is that often we don’t know or accept our strengths. It is important to do this – simply recognising your own strengths, what is unique about you, can be incredibly powerful. Don’t be frightened to remind others of your strengths and your particular expertise. I was talking to a woman just today and she was saying how she’s uncomfortable with ‘self-promotion’. Rather than think of it as self-promotion, reframe it so that instead you are better serving your team, your manager, or your company when you highlight your specific experience. Don’t assume that your manager will remember that you have particular experience on a product or industry. Managers cannot remember everything.
Action: write out a list of your strengths, skills and experiences.
3 – Don’t try to be perfect
Perfection IS impossible. You can’t be perfect. When you aim for perfection, you are setting yourself up for failure. I can say this because I do see myself as a reformed perfectionist. However over time I have learned to let go of perfectionism and therefore it doesn’t matter if I make mistakes. When we want to be perfect, very often that leads to procrastination. We wait to apply for that promotion because we want the perfect skillset on our CV; we wait to start a business because we want the perfect timing. And yes, absolutely if you are a person with high attention to detail, that’s super helpful. Forgive yourself – and others – when you make a mistake. Don’t be perfect, take action.
Action: write down everything that you have been putting off because you have wanted to be perfect and then pick ONE thing from the list and take action on it.
4 – Self-love
Give yourself permission to look after yourself. Self-love is about valuing yourself. Working mothers often don’t do enough of this. Self-love can be shown in many ways – it could be a nap at the weekend, a long soak in a hot bath surrounded by candles while listening to music, good quality chocolate, a walk in the woods, practising mindfulness. Discover what works for you and give yourself permission to do it. What helps you feel less stressed? How do you best cope with overwhelm? It is OK to have ‘me’ time. In my book, Toni Brodelle explains how as human beings, our only real emotional need is to be loved. When you prioritise your own needs by showing love to yourself, you can in turn give more to others. If you noticed your self-talk is negative, practise positive self-talk. Reframe what you say. Instead of saying “I can’t do that”, “Every time I do this, I get better results and more experience each time”.
Action: Write down 50 things that you like about yourself.
5 – Journal your progress
As I look back over the past 12 months, I am able to celebrate my successes, my wins and my achievements. In fact, I can look back over the last 6 or 7 years and see how much progress I have made. Simply because I journal and record my progress. It doesn’t need to be complicated or time-consuming. When I worked for an employer, at the end of every month, I would spend just 10 minutes reflecting on what I had achieved and record in simple bullet points. At appraisal time, I had a ready made review of what I had created or achieved during the past 12 months. Now I write in a journal every Monday morning and reflect on the past week’s successes, challenges, what I am grateful for and what I will focus on for the next week.
Importantly, make sure that your journal is something special. Not a scruffy notepad or scraps of recycled paper stapled together. See your journal as something valuable. It’s part of your self-love. Buy yourself a journal you’ll love. To me, journalling is so important that I give all my mastermind participants a special journal in which to record their progress.
Action: start a journal.
In summary, my five ways to feel more confident at work are about self-love, positive body language, recognising and knowing your own strengths, don’t try to be perfect and finally finding a way to journal your progress. I shared these tips in more detail in a recent online training session. You can listen to the recording here.
Pick one of the actions above. Comment below to let me know which one you will take.