I was in Sydney over the weekend and after attending some meetings, I was killing some time shopping (yes I know one of my favourite past times). I went into the Gap and was wandering through looking at the clothes and because a close friend has just announced his wife is having a baby, I decided to look at the kids clothes. My kids have all got too big for me to buy in this section, so it was a bit of a treat to look at all the cute baby and toddler clothes.
I stopped in my tracks when I saw this great T-Shirt for a little girl in a cute baby pink. But what got me was the quote emblazoned across the front. It said:
“CONFIDENCE IS LIKE A MUSCLE
USE IT MORE AND IT GROWS STRONGER”
Not 2 weeks before, I had been listening to Amy Cuddy (Social Psychologist at Harvard Business School) speak about Presence. It made me feel very inspired to see that finally here was a girl’s T-Shirt that didn’t have a fairy or a princess on the front, but had a much stronger message (even if it was still in baby pink).
Research has identified that when girls and boys aged 6 are shown a unisex doll posed in a powerful position they will identify this as a male doll. And boys and girls shown a unisex doll in a submissive pose will identify it as a girl. We need to teach our girls to stand strong and tall. We need to teach them that you don’t have to be small and submissive to fit in. We need to teach our girls to stand more like superheros. We need to teach them that when you stand tall and with confidence, you actually draw people toward you naturally.
We need to teach our girls this, but we also need to remind us big girls how important confidence is as well. Are we as women, flexing our confidence muscles enough?
One of the 4Cs of Mental Toughness is Confidence (alongside Control, Commitment and Challenge). The Confidence C defines the extent to which you have self-belief, self-confidence, confidence in your own abilities as well as interpersonal confidence.
Do you have belief in your own abilities?
Can you influence others, especially during conflict and challenge?
Do you have inner strength and stand your ground during challenges?
Consider a few questions to be asking yourself which can raise your opportunity to flex your confidence muscle a lot more often:
· Am I aware of my strengths?
· Am I using my strengths everyday?
· What is standing in my way?
· What are my options?
· How can I……?
· Who can help me?
· Do I act like I mean it?
· Do I visualise the outcome I want to achieve?
· Do I just take action?
Just a hint, if you want to focus on flexing your confidence muscle, don’t ask yourself “Why” questions, they only bog you down and keep you “below the line” and focus on reasons why you can’t. Focus on the “how”, “what”, “who” and “where” questions and you are on your way to staying focused on solutions.
And remember one of my favourite Amy Cuddy quotes:
“Stop focusing on the impression you are having on others.
Start focusing on the impression you are having on yourself”
Want to know more about increasing building your confidence muscle? Send me an email at email@example.com to enquire about coaching to build your self-confidence and your interpersonal confidence.
Michelle Bakjac is an experienced Psychologist, Organisational Consultant, Coach, Speaker and Facilitator. As Director of Bakjac Consulting, she is a credentialed Coach with the International Coach Federation (ICF) and a member of Mental Toughness Partners and an MTQ48 accredited Mental Toughness practitioner. Michelle assists individuals and organisations to develop their Mental Toughness to improve performance, leadership, behaviour and wellbeing. You can find her at www.bakjacconsulting.com or firstname.lastname@example.org