We all know confidence is key to your life, career and business. But women are prone to lack crucial self-confidence: in our knowledge, in our abilities, in our appearance … you name it. We far too often tend to believe we’re not as good as we should be.
This lack of self-confidence is something that has been ingrained in us by advertising, by popular media, even by literature — all of which set up the expectation that even as young girls we don’t “measure up” … and we have survived despite it.
On one hand, that survival is good. But on the other, it helps perpetuate that a lack of confidence is something we should just live with. “I won’t try to be more, I’m happy with what I am and have now”, (but that’s a lie, and we all know that).
But a lack of self-confidence has even more long term negative consequences that have ripple effects across all areas of our lives.

You don’t realise your full potential

If a woman regularly doubts herself and is likely to listen to negative thoughts — and of course the negativity the world pushes onto women — then she will not take risks. These risks, whether small or big, are the stepping stones to realising our potential to become that woman we were meant to be.

You stop dreaming

Women who lack self-esteem and confidence give up on dreams before they happen. They doubt their ability to reach a goal instead of believing in themselves enough to give it a try. It is our dreams that sometimes are the only thing that keeps us going. If we lose that, we lose a lot.

You lose business and contacts

No one really likes being around insecure people, let alone doing business with them. And even though they may not notice it at the beginning, people will soon pick up on a lack of confidence and start to distance themselves.
Nobody wants to do business with someone who doesn’t believe in themselves; no one will promote a woman who spends her time doubting all her decisions.

You attract attackers

Wolves in the business world prey on women with low self-confidence. They use flattery and promises but don’t back it up with any tangible substance. Confidence is a barrier, a shield that protects women from anyone who tries to take advantage of their situation or gender.
Gaining self-confidence requires one very important step. Focusing on the positive and not on the negative, even if this means you need to create the positive in the first place.
Here are seven quick confidence boosters you can use right now to put you on the right road for future success:
Stop talking yourself down and start talking yourself up. You are writing your own verbal script and there’s no point in a professional undermining herself in public.
Take note of your posture. This is how you sit, how you stand and how you walk. Practice makes perfect; several times a day take a moment to adjust yourself and correct your slouch, and soon you’ll be standing tall automatically.
Dress the part. Don’t dress for the person you are today, dress for the professional you want to become. Don’t save your “good” suits for tomorrow!
Reaffirm yourself daily. Take stock of your successes, and more importantly, how you’ve recovered from failures. Create your own positive mantra that you repeat regularly.
Spring clean your network. Say goodbye to those who aren’t on your path to success and who won’t support you on your journey. Negative people are great at killing productivity.
Get active. Whether it is going for a run or taking a swim, any form of exercise will not only make you feel more confident physically but it will release feel-good endorphins to aid brain activity.
Don’t look back. Don’t lament on the past or what could have been — focus on the future. ❐

Amanda Rose is the founding director of Western Sydney Women, the only advocacy group for women in all areas of Sydney’s west. She is a radio host on 2UE, keynote speaker and a strategic connector. She is also the CEO of The Business Woman Media.