It’s the most fabulous time of the year—a time we get to celebrate International Women’s Day! March 8th is the day we get to show our sisters from all walks of life just how fabulous they are.
In my many years as an influencer, impostor syndrome has crept in. Have you ever felt it? It is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts his or her accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud.” Women especially suffer from it—way too much!
It’s incredible still how many women I speak to who feel like absolute failures despite their astronomical accomplishments. We do it to ourselves, we do it to each other, we get in our heads, and it serves no one.
Public speaking is something I still fear with a vengeance. As I have matured and grown into my role as CEO of a national media company and the co-founder of ETTWomen, speaking in front of others happens frequently. With time, instead of fear, I’ve learned to channel joy and excitement. My fear is now left where it belongs—at the door!
Still, finding that confidence hasn’t come without a lot of self-love. Impostor syndrome is real, and I believe that when women give themselves a way out of the self-deprecation and the discomfort of self-promoting, they not only are more effective in their roles, they dramatically improve their confidence and performance. They also unconsciously help set up other women up for success.
When you can see yourself in someone else, it can motivate us to strive to uncover our true potential. Do you sometimes struggle with your self-confidence?
Confident women power pose in the bathroom. They’ve got that positive visualization thing down. But they also keep in mind these subtle strategies when they really need to shine:
- THEY ACTUALLY DON’T “KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON.” When people are already experiencing pre-performance jitters, it’s much easier to shift into a state of excitement than calm. Think about it: It’s easier to trick ourselves into thinking we’re psyched about something that scares us because the physiological symptoms are so similar: sweaty palms, thumping heart, the release of the stress hormone cortisol.
- THEY UNDERSTAND THE POWER OF A PAIR OF DIRTY SOCKS. Well, sort of. Serena Williams has said she’ll wear the same exact pair of socks when competing in tournaments. Beyoncé has an hours-long pre-stage ritual that involves prayer, stretching, and listening to her favorite music. And motivational speaker Tony Robbins says 10 minutes of high-energy movement and repetition of incantations help him take the stage with the confidence he’s known for. Some of the greatest artists, athletes, novelists, and thinkers of our time have relied upon their own quirky pre-performance rituals to help them get in the zone—and produce their best work
- THEY DON’T FEEL SORRY ABOUT SAYING “I’M SORRY.” Chronically over-apologizing can be a dead giveaway that our confidence is flagging. Apologizing for circumstances that are obviously beyond our control (“Sorry you ran into traffic”) actually demonstrates empathy and increases people’s trust in us.
- THEY DISTRACT THEMSELVES IN THIS KEY WAY. You know the feeling: It’s that prickle of heat up your neck and/or the knot in your stomach when you’re asked to talk about your successes. We all know that flush of discomfort strikes most women (social norms, unconscious bias, etc.). But there’s a way to outsmart the anxiety that keeps us from bragging. Before you’ll need to brag, get your heart rate up by running up the stairs or playing a pumping song. You’ll be able to blame your racing heart and jangled nerves on those activities instead of what you need to say, and you’ll perform at the top of your game.
- THEY CELEBRATE OTHER WOMEN….PERIOD. When one of us wins, we all do. Why? We subconsciously give other women permission and courage to pursue their own dreams. It’s almost always true that every woman we meet is fighting a battle we know nothing about. Have compassion and empathy. Admiring other women’s strengths actually helps us all come out as stronger individuals. It’s cool to see other women climb the ladders of success—even if you’re still debating that climb yourself. It’s an indirect, “If you can do it, so can I!”
There is is no more time for competition, no more time for envy, and no more time for fear. The time to live the life of your dreams is now. So, let’s get to it! Let’s roll, chicas!
Want to create a shift in your world and in that of another woman? Find one woman in your community today to simply reconnect with and ask how you can support her—easy as pie! Remember, doing something with another woman creates momentum, it’s not as lonely, and can actually be really fun!
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