A common problem I notice with my clients is that they often have a lower level of self-confidence.

Lack of confidence stops them from achieving their goal, whatever that goal might be: finding a new job, changing careers, finding a new partner, talking to their boss about a salary raise, getting a new client and so on.

International women & Self-confidence

In particular, I have found that international women tend to suffer from low levels of self-confidence.

There are many possible reasons, but the most common ones are:
› moving abroad
› having been out of the job market for some years (due to travelling, raising children etc.)
› being fired
› breaking up with a partner

As our life changes, we often have problems catching up with reality. This might be connected to a change in identity.

As a result, we often find it difficult to see ourselves in a positive light. We start not only to lack confidence, but sometimes we even belittle our experience and talents.

Self-doubting & Common mistakes

When starting on a self-doubt tour, you might find yourself making the following mistakes:
› withdrawing yourself from social life
› placing limits on your great ideas (starting your own company, changing careers, etc.)
› applying for jobs below your actual level
› being excessively nervous during a job interview and downplaying yourself
› procrastinating when looking for a new job (not responding to a job advert, not going to a networking event, not setting up your LinkedIn profile, etc.)

“Hidden” pay off

In psychology it is said that every negative behaviour has a “hidden” pay off for the person who demonstrates it. For example, a person might get sick in order to get more attention from a partner.

So I would like you to ask yourself now: what is my pay off for lacking confidence?

Do I feel safer that way? Do I want to avoid rejection? Once you have identified the hidden pay off it will be easier to combat your lack of confidence.

There comes a moment for all of us when we want to do something new, something different or something big in our lives. For this you need to have full confidence in yourself in order to have the energy to make that change.

How to boost your self-confidence

So what can you do to boost your self-confidence?

  1. Make a list of all the things you like about yourself, both in your personality and physically. Read it aloud to yourself.
  2. Make a list of all the things you have accomplished so far. The longer and the more detailed the better. Take pride in it. Read it aloud or ask someone to read it aloud to you.
  3. Write down a limiting belief you have about yourself. Then write down three reasons that support it and three reasons that prove it wrong.
  4. Re-write the limiting belief (from point 3) into an empowering belief about yourself.Put it in a visible place and repeat daily for at least three weeks. That is how long your brain needs to form new connections and for you to truly believe it.People often say that this practice does not work, the main reason being that they stop repeating it after three days. So go for it! Remember it takes three weeks.
  5. Ask five people around you (family, friends and colleagues) to give you feedback on your strengths and talents.Very often it is difficult for us to pinpoint what are we good at. It comes from the fact that we often believe that our talents are common and that everyone else can do these things just as well.That is why one of the best ways to find out what our talents are is to ask people around us for their feedback.
  6. Make a list of people you have helped recently and any other positive contributions you have made (projects / organisations / ideas).
  7. Join a community of people who also want to make positive changes in their lives.

You will then find that you are not the only one who sometimes struggles and you will meet positive people who will make you feel great about yourself.

Please feel free to share your own ways you boost your self-confidence!

Photo by Noah Silliman on Unsplash