Confidence: your superpower or not?

This month’s guest blog is from Fiona Austin who is a positive psychologist specialising in wellbeing at work. Here she expands on how exposing our superpower can be a win-win for both companies and individuals. Many companies go searching for staff when they’ve already got the gold in front of them. Fiona helps you bring up that shine.

Confidence is a secret driver humming behind everything we do. From taking that proverbial first step to every subsequent first we undertake.

If you consider your actual first step, imagine if each time we fell over on this great frontier of life, that we recoiled and gave up. The world would be full of adults just rolling around the streets, wishing they could walk but just not having the confidence to stand up! Everything we’ve done to bring us to where we are now, has required confidence, we just haven’t acknowledged it effectively.

A lack of confidence is not just a loss to the realisation of an individual’s potential, what is so rarely considered is how it’s a large bottom line loss for a company as well as directly on its productivity, performance and edge. I recently heard a story from the talented Shola Kaye, author of How to be a Diva at Public Speaking. She spoke about how many years ago she was let go from a high ranking job in New York. It was not due to the great work she was doing, but because she simply smiled in meetings, and no confidence to flag up her achievements. A fear of her own voice strangling her. A terrible reason to be fired! 

In that case Shola lost her job, but the company also lost Shola. It worked out for her but, so often, this is not the case. A talent, a potential lost. Insecurities are reinforced and self-worth reduces further. Confidence, essentially reduced to an inhibitor.

When it comes to women and confidence, let’s face it - the phrase ‘the woman behind the man’ has not been coined without reason. PAs, wives, secretaries and assistants - all taking second place. There are often times when these women know the ropes better than their bosses, but with no confidence to stand up - or worse, harbouring that debilitating notion of ‘knowing one’s place’ - dynamics are lost. There are so many women out there who take second best for no other reason than their lack of confidence. 

The key to unlocking your superpower is to take stock of your achievements. This is not akin to drawing up your CV. This is going back to day one and recalling your life’s achievements. So many women are quick to disregard their successes. You need to explore your history and pull out the resources you have within you. It’s important to understand how important these milestones are.

With past accomplishments to the fore we create a different self-image, a foundation for change. Your story is rewritten so you can rebuild and ultimately step into the best of you. Once you realise what you’ve achieved, a seam opens and you start to have the confidence to look deeper. It’s like reverse therapy. You’re mining for the good stuff.

This process where you discover, highlight and build is called transference. It can be an exciting realisation, with a powerful outcome. Empowering you to speak at meetings, travel, return to work, go for a promotion, put forward that idea, start that business, lead your team.

Confidence isn’t just a superpower, it’s an untapped well that is released. Ideas, inspiration and new perspectives flow. A new you takes on the day.

Fiona works with individuals tapping in and releasing their superpower and with companies who want to realise the potential in their employees. Visit www.bmcc.biz for more information.

Photo credit: Miguel Bruna

Fiona Austin