There has been a notable rise in the number of female entrepreneurs and women-led startups. But there is still a gap when it comes to the confidence and self-assuredness of men and women. Studies have shown that men consistently rate their ability, competency, and skills higher than women do. All the while there are no actual discrepancies when it comes to performance or success. But the fact that women don’t lead with the same confidence has significant impacts. It affects income, business growth, and overall personal and professional development.
This can not be untangled from upbringing, societal standards and expectations, and some biological elements. But the important and exciting part is that it is absolutely possible to cultivate more confidence as a woman or female-identifying creator. Which can lead to so much growth both in your business and personal life and self-confidence.
When you feel more confident, you’re more comfortable being visible. This can lead to benefits like charging prices for your courses that are aligned with the value of what you’re offering. Or having the gusto to try new things without the fear of failure holding you back.
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So, how do you cultivate more confidence? Feeling confident is just that—a feeling. It’s a state of being that’s possible to harness from within, without major shifts in your external world needing to happen. That’s to say, you can start feeling more confident and empowered today. Without your social media being perfect, without your website being complete, or anything else you think you might “need” in order to be more visible. Read on to discover how you can do just that in a way that caters to your mind and body!
Cultivating a confident mindset
Reflect on your current confidence
Feeling confident has a lot to do with trusting yourself, and giving yourself grace when things don’t go according to plan. Take some time to make a list of all the areas in which you’re already feeling confident. This can be something as simple as “I’m confident that I’ll respond to emails in a timely manner” or “I’m confident in my driving.” Or even “I feel confident that I’ll continue to treat others with kindness.” Think of as many areas possible that you already have that trusting confidence in yourself. You can also reflect on what it took to get you to that level of confidence (likely, practice!) If you cultivated this feeling in other areas of your life, you can absolutely do it as a creator as well.
You can create the most valuable course that people will really benefit from. But it’s not going to help anyone (or make you sales) if no one knows about it. Being visible on social media and using video is a powerful way to enhance your message. But hitting record and chatting to a camera can bring up a lot of nerves, especially if you’re going live. The body registers and responds to the emotion of nervousness and excitement in the same way. So the next time you’re feeling nervous about being visible, remind yourself that you’re also experiencing excitement, and that’s a good thing!
Do your best to be comfortable with being judged.
This might sound harsh, but it’s an inevitable part of being visible and confident with your course and content. The fear of judgment is a huge obstacle when it comes to being confident and visible. And the imagined response of what others will think about what you’re doing can stop some creators cold in their tracks. When you remind yourself that others’ judgments of you are oftentimes projections and overall their opinions have no bearing on who you are (unless you let them,) you’re building confidence in a situation that could otherwise drain your sense of self-assuredness.
Cultivating confidence in the body
Mindset will only get you halfway there when it comes to cultivating more confidence. Harnessing the power of your body and nervous system is integral if you want to think and feel more confident. When you’re feeling nervous, doubtful, and worried, it causes a physiological reaction in the body—your nervous system will activate. This can look like feeling on edge, anxiety, a tight chest or difficulty taking a deep breath, temperature changes in your body, the feeling of a “pit” in your stomach, and more.
This is occurring because your subconscious mind and body is perceiving that there’s a threat. So it will trigger a fight or flight response to keep you safe. And while your conscious mind may know you’re physically safe (going live on Instagram hasn’t caused any bodily harm that we know of), your body may be running on high alert without you even realizing it.
When you can calm the nervous system, your body and mind are more relaxed. This allows you to engage in higher levels of thinking, creativity, and confidence. Here are ways you can work with the body to induce more of that yummy feeling of unshakeable confidence in the body:
If you’re feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or activated, calm your nervous system.
Pay attention to the signs your physical body is sending you. If you’re noticing you’re on edge while writing sales copy or are nervous to post during your launch, stop and observe what’s happening without judgment. What thoughts are coming up with this feeling? Where do you feel it in your body? Is this a feeling that you’ve experienced before? And if so, when else has it arisen? The discomfort can increase as you pay attention to it, but that’s part of the process. (It usually reaches a height of feeling uncomfortable before it starts to subside.) Remind yourself that you’re safe to experience these emotions. Once you take full stock of what’s happening, tend to the body. This can look like diaphragmatic breathing, splashing cold water on the face, or going for a walk. There are many ways to help the body’s internal systems calm down.
Practice power poses
There have been studies that demonstrate the impact that the body’s state has on how you’re feeling, and it’s shown that this can be a helpful factor in cultivating more confidence. Standing in certain poses, like with your spine straight and arms open or placed on the hips, for example, can help boost your confidence. These are naturally expansive poses that humans take when they want to appear more powerful and/or strong. Before your next podcast interview (or whatever it is that your confidence feels shaky about), take two minutes to stand in a power pose beforehand. Let the mind-body connection do the work of fostering more confidence and ease.
Connecting with your creative energy
Creativity is an inherent skill that everyone has access to. When you feel more confident in your creations instead of doubting your creativity, you’re much more likely to share it with your audience. Even if it feels vulnerable to do so. This is especially true for women, as our bodies are designed to produce the ultimate creation—life. Without getting caught up in the biological details, anyone who identifies as a woman has access to this creative energy. And you can tap into more of it by connecting with your womb space. Simply placing both hands on your lower tummy and breathing into this powerhouse of creation (or the space that’s there) can help your body relax and allow you to be a more creative space. When your creativity flows with more ease, it’s much more likely you’ll feel more confident about sharing, instead of doubting yourself through the whole process!
Go forth and be confident
Beyond the tips you read about in this article, it’s most important to trust the process and keep showing up. Whatever aspect of being a creator you’re feeling shaky about will become easier over time as you continue to practice. And you’ll become more confident and skillful the more you stick with it. In the same way that getting behind the wheel for the first time could have been nerve-wracking. And now you can drive without giving it a second thought. Being visible and confident with your courses will follow the same unfolding of growing your self-assuredness.