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How To Unlock “Her” Confidence: 7 Secrets That All Successful Women Leaders Know

How To Unlock “Her” Confidence: 7 Secrets That All Successful Women Leaders Know

Do you focus on improvement and growth or not making a mistake? This could be the key difference in boldly stating “ I woke up like this!” or “I just rolled out of bed.”

Confidence is the best accessory to put on before stepping out into the world and even the highest, most powerful women struggle with not feeling good enough.

In society, we’re taught men are the leaders and rarely do we see women in powerful positions running corporations and changing the world.

These 7 secrets from successful women leaders throughout history will reveal, why that is a lie and how to create your own mindset of excellence. Even if you choose to maneuver through life with lipstick and high heels on.

1. Self-Care is Top Priority

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successful women

    “I’m getting better, each day, at doing something good for my body, mind and spirit.” – Oprah Winfrey

    One of the most powerful names in television history puts herself as top her priority. Oprah understands that in order to pour into others, her needs will have to be taken care of first. If you are depleted, there is nothing left for you to give to those you care about and sharing your gifts becomes a burden. It is a disservice to the world not to put your best foot forward in life for yourself. It’s not selfish, it’s smart business.

    2. Know What You Want

    successful women

      “Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else.” – Sara Blakely (Founder of Spanx – World’s Youngest Female Billionaire)

      Sarah was far from intimidated when she roped in one of the biggest billionaires, Richard Branson to believe in her vision and financially back her foundation. She had a clear vision of her future self. Knowing what you want keeps you from being taken advantage of and turning up empty handed. Even when Sarah didn’t know how to get where she wanted to go, knowing what she wanted to accomplish was enough to form a path and attract the people who could help get her there.

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      3. Pay No Attention to the Critics

      successful women

        “You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.” Eleanor Roosevelt (Longest-serving First Lady of the United States)

        Noted as the controversial First Lady of her time, mainly for her outspokenness on racial issues, Mrs. Roosevelt was a force to be reckoned with because she did what she knew in her heart was right. Having a strong belief in something allows you to take on the world, regardless of any naysayers. Critics are there for one purpose — to remind you where you don’t want to end up, on the sidelines. Keep your head forward and your faith activated.

        4. Be Yourself

        successful women

          “In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.” — Coco Chanel

          Raised in an orphanage, she grew up to revolutionize the fashion industry. Chanel undoubtedly challenged the status quo and imprinted her unique mark on the world. The secret sauce to her success was simply, doing things her way, not what she constantly saw in the media and not because so and so did it this way for years, but by solidifying her place in the world as an original. It’s very easy these days to be one of a kind if you stop following trends and do what works best for you.

          5. Invest in Yourself

          successful women

            “I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.” – Marissa Mayer (CEO of Yahoo)

            At age 20, Marissa was heading a Fortune 500 company. Maybe your goal isn’t to head a large corporation or be the next leader of the free world, but to acknowledge your inner leadership qualities. That begins with taking a leap of faith in yourself and applying the knowledge you already possess. Begin to chart a course of action to recognize the gifts you are innately great at and use them! Over time your confidence grows and true leadership is knowing how much more valuable you become when you continuously grow your knowledge base.

            6. Embrace Your Rhythm

            successful women

              “Don’t get seduced by the “overnight” success stories. Most of them are total B.S. My financial and business success has grown slowly, steadily and organically over time. I’m not willing to sacrifice my quality of life to impress people I’ll never meet with “how fast” I can go. Discover your own rhythm.” – Marie Forelo (Coach, Motivational speaker & Author)

              This is most definitely a true hustler spirit story. Marie grew her business from nothing but her YouTube channel. She found out what she was killer at and killed it! This is where paying attention to how you best operate and communicate come into play. Figuring out your natural rhythm of accomplishing goals will create a system to crush them every time.

              7. Determine What’s Important

              successful women

                “I had to grow to love my body. I did not have a good self-image at first. Finally it occurred to me, I’m either going to love me or hate me. And I chose to love myself. Then everything kind of sprung from there. Things that I thought weren’t attractive became sexy. Confidence makes you sexy.” Queen Latifah

                She was able to turn her rapper moniker into a brand while giving women a voice and crossing over to film and television. Queen Latifah had finally realized what was truly important for her continued growth and success. Many times we hold ourselves back from what we want out of life because we haven’t determined what is truly important. Is it how you are viewed by others? Or should you focus on becoming the woman who is confident in her skin?

                Once you’ve decided which one is most important, your confidence will start to peek and life will become one big playing field of possibilities.

                Now that you’ve unlocked “her” confidence, you know how attainable your success really is. Carve your path.

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                Last Updated on April 8, 2020

                How to Calm Down When You’re Stressed and Anxious

                How to Calm Down When You’re Stressed and Anxious

                Overwhelmed with work, family responsibilities, financial challenges and health issues are common culprits which catalyze stress and anxiety symptoms that show up differently in each and every one of us.

                Whilst many of us are becoming much better at identifying what can trigger us to feel these, we’re not always that great at recognizing our individual thresholds; we don’t know exactly how to calm down when the mental, emotional storms erupt.

                We can almost see you eye-rolling upon hearing commonly recommended stress antidotes such as taking a bath, lighting candles or going for a walk. Let’s face it. These simply aren’t practical things you can do when you’re on a red-eye flight at 5:30am to run a full day of training interstate and then fly back the same evening not to mention juggling a young family.

                You want to know your triggers, predict the impact of them and have your own suite of tools up your sleeve to calm down that impact for the long-term.

                Doing a little ground work to gain a strong self-awareness of your likely reactions puts you smack bang in the pilot seat to develop a robust mental and emotional toolkit that will work wonders for you.

                A few simple but well-practiced techniques may be all you need to simmer down the cyclonic intensity of emotions, and disparaging thoughts pecking away at your self-esteem and confidence. However, it’s important you do this self-reflective groundwork first to gain maximum impact for long-term effect.

                1. Strengthen Familiarity with What Triggers You

                When you have arguments with your loved one, do you stop and look to see if there are certain things you fight about? Are there certain behaviors they display that drive you bananas?

                Take your focus off them and ask yourself: “What is my usual response?”

                Perhaps you feel the anger welling up inside your chest and you then spurt out that you’ve told him or her ten times before to not leave their underwear lying across the bedroom floor.

                Think a little deeper. Ask yourself what values, standards and expectations you have that are not being met here. You’ll likely be attached to certain ways you believe things should play out. Are there assumptions and expectations as to how you believe people should conduct themselves and principles about how you feel you should be treated?

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                Having a strong attachment to these for yourself is one thing. Expecting others to have the same attachment is often what can make the hot water start simmering.

                It is often when people behave in ways inconsistent with our belief systems and events unfold in discord with what we expect and are prepared for that we feel the most stress and anxiety.

                Make a list of the common circumstances in different areas of your life that cause you to become anxious and stressed. Against each of these, describe your stress response:

                What happens? What do you feel?

                Now think about the values, principles and expectations you have attached to these. You’ll see you have a few options:

                • Change my values and expectations
                • Try to change other’s values and expectations
                • Recognize and be in allowance of others having different values, standards and expectations

                Reviewing how you react when you’re stressed and anxious, and identifying which of these three options above is going to best serve you, can greatly increase your ability to feel and be in control of calming your reaction.

                You move closer to being able to choose how you want to respond as opposed to feeling helpless and the world is spiralling out of control.

                2. Have Coping Statements on Hand

                When you have a washing machine of chaotic thoughts churning in your mind, trying to implant thoughts that are the complete opposite of what you’re thinking and feeling can be pretty hard.

                Not being able to do it can also add another layer of us feeling disappointment in ourselves. We feel we’re failing.

                Having coping statements that you can literally latch on to to help you calm down in those stressful and anxious moments, can be particularly helpful.

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                Look at creating palm cards and just have three to five of these you can have in your pocket or in your purse. Here are 6 examples:

                • Even though I am feeling this right now, I am going to be alright
                • What I am feeling right now is uncomfortable. I won’t feel this way forever. Soon the intensity of what I am feeling will pass.
                • I’ve survived these feelings before. I can do it again.
                • I feel this way because of my past experiences but right now, I am actually safe.
                • It’s ok for me to feel this way. My body and brain are trying to protect me but I am actually safe right now.
                • Ah, here you are again, anxiety. Thanks for showing up to protect me, but I don’t need you right now.

                Choose words and dialogue that feel true and accurate for you. Read the statements out to yourself and test how fitting they are for you. What feels more assuring, calming and right for you?

                Make these statements your own. The aim is of these statements is to de-escalate the intensity of what you feel when you’re anxious and stressed.

                Remember, you want to refrain from having blunt statements which feel or sound like they’re self-reprimanding because they won’t be pacifying in a positive way.

                If you are unsure as to how to come up with statements that fit for you, look to work with a psychologist or licensed therapist to give you a strong start.

                3. Identify and Develop Physical Anchors

                You actually have within you resources to provide some of the most effective ways to calm yourself down in heightened moments you feel stressed and anxious. Renowned clinical psychologist Dr. Peter Levine and expert in treating stress and trauma, teaches us how techniques which do this, such as Somatic Experiencing®[1] can significantly help us calm down.

                By learning to be fully present and applying touch to certain areas of your body (e.g. forehead and heart space), you increase your capacity to self-regulate. You also learn how to attend to and release your unique symptoms that your body has been containing in a way you have not been able to before.

                Here’s one technique example:

                1. Get in a comfortable position
                2. Have your eyes open or closed, whatever feels most comfortable for you
                3. Now place one hand on your forehead, palm side flat against the skin
                4. Place the other hand, palm down across your heart space above your sternum… the flat of your chest area.
                5. Gently turn your attention to what you feel physically in the area between your two hands. Observe and just take notice of what you physically feel. Is your chest pounding? How strong are its beat and the rhythm? Do you notice any other sensations anywhere else between your two hands?
                6. Don’t try to push or resist what you’re feeling. Try to just sit with it and remain this way with your hands in place until you feel a shift, a physical one. It might take a little longer, so try to be patient.

                You might feel a change in energy flow, a change in temperature or different, less intense sensations. Just keep your hands in place until you feel some kind of shift, even if gradual.

                It might take you even 5 to 10 minutes but, riding this wave will help you to process what discomfort your body is containing. It will greatly help to release it so you gradually become calmer.

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                Purely cognitive exercises can be tough at the outset. Learning somatic experience techniques is particularly helpful because you’re engaging in exercises where you physically can feel the difference. Feeling the changes helps you increase confidence you can control and reduce the discomfort you’re feeling. You’ll be motivated to keep practicing and improving this skill you can take anywhere, anytime.

                4. Move and Get Physical

                If you’re not one to exercise, you’re robbing yourself of some very easy ways which help you calm down and reduce stress and anxiety responses. Many neuro chemical changes take place when you engage in exercise.

                At certain levels of physical exertion, your brain’s pituitary gland releases neurotransmitter endorphins. When they bind with certain opiate receptors in your brain, signals are transmuted throughout your nervous system to reduce feelings of pain and trigger feelings of euphoria. You might have heard the term ‘runner’s high’.

                For the last 20 years, University of Missouri-Columbia’s Professor Richard Cox has conducted research showing that high intensity interval training (HIIT) is more effective at reducing anxiety and stress levels than other forms of aerobic exercise.[2] However, if you would rather slay dragons than turn up an F45 class, it’s essential you still find something that will physically shift you and alter your current mental and emotional state of mind, even just a fraction to start with. It’s 100% ok if this is not your cup of tea.

                So in a day full of back of back-to-back meetings, what can you do?

                If you’re sitting, stand. Change your posture and open your body up. Have a suite of discrete stretches you can do regularly as you deepen and engage in diaphragmatic breathing.

                If you’re looking down at your desk at work and feeling increasingly stressed, look up and change what you’re looking at. Give yourself more than a few moments to decompress.

                The main thing is to change your disposition from the one you’re in when you are experiencing anxiety and stress symptoms. You’re shaking it up to calm it down.

                5. Transform Your Unhelpful Inner Dialogue and Its Energy

                Learning cognitive restructuring techniques can truly work wonders in helping you recognize and re-frame unhelpful dialogue and negative critical thinking patterns. This involves a little preparation being transparent with yourself about what exaggerated perspectives you might ascribe to what’s happening when you’re feeling stressed and anxious.

                When you open your email inbox and see a flood of requests which require more time and energy you have for that day, dread starts to settle in and the following comes to mind: “This is impossible. How can they expect me to be able to do all this? It’s completely unreasonable!”

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                Instantly, many other thoughts that reinforce this line of thinking as well as the emotional energy of your first conscious thought start unravelling. A 4-step process you can engage to calm the eruption is:

                1. Catch and notice that first thought you had. What was it? What did you think and/or say to yourself?
                2. Recognize that what you’re feeling and be in allowance of the initial intensity of whatever those emotions are.
                3. Breath deliberately a little more deeply and slowly for a few seconds.
                4. State to yourself: “Right now (in this moment) I’m feeling overwhelmed by this, however maybe I can look at what I can make good progress and headway with as a start from here on.”

                Notice the language in step 4 is tentative, supportive, soft and not resistant nor defiant of what your original thought was. You accept your original thought, but gradually you become stronger at pivoting it.[3] You’re expanding your growth mindset language.

                It’s definitely worth working with a coach or trained therapist to learn how to tailor re-framing statements which can truly help you calm down.

                Final Thoughts

                We know, in our minds what we should do. When we’re in the thick of experiencing mental and emotional turmoil, it’s actually harder to implement what we know. In those moments, you’re unlikely to have capacity to think about what you need to do, let alone do it effectively to help you feel calmer.

                The key is to practice so that when the storm is brewing, your toolkit and supplies are in easy access. You already know your safety drill well.

                Knowing you have strategies and prepared processes up your sleeves helps you not only become better at calming yourself in amongst currently stressful situations. You have more confidence now to face more anxiety-provoking stressors because you have developed the resources to handle it.

                How you invest time and energy into getting to know your triggers and thresholds will influence how effective these strategies will work for you. We’re not denying relaxing baths or regular massages are helpful, however these band-aid-like solutions don’t really confront the root causes.

                If you truly want to turn your experience of your stress and anxiety symptoms around, dig deeper, do the groundwork and that which rattled your cage will quickly become a thing of the past.

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                Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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