For too many years of my career, fear, panic, dread, and uncertainty were my constant companions.
You might think I was a timid, mousy, thing. You might assume I played it safe and perhaps didn’t go particularly far in my career.
You would be wrong. I was wildly successful. I worked my way up the ladder in a conservative world where men ruled and women rarely made it past middle management.
There are many things I would have told younger Emily given the chance – but the most important thing would have been, “you are not alone…many of the women you work with feel exactly the same way”. What a gift that knowledge would have been at the time.
Today my passion is helping women to take action and be bold so they can fully own their power. If I could go back in time, there are 5 pieces of confidence advice I would give to my younger self:
- It’s all about you – Decide what values are important to you, (honesty, courage, tenacity) and live your life guided by those values with the goal of making yourself happy. It’s none of your business what other people think of you and when you treat yourself like your best friend and the person you respect and admire most in the world – others will do the same. (And if they don’t, it’s irrelevant – why? – because it’s none of your business what other people think of you.)
- Be grateful and kind – Practice gratitude every day. When you’re focused on the good in others and the good all around you, you don’t have time for negative energy. If the self-critic pops up in your head, thank her for wanting to protect you and ask her to kindly shush, then turn your attention to gratitude and power through.
- It’s all about connection – Surround yourself with good people and nurture those relationships. In business, find a network of friends who will help you raise your game. Your right people will always be honest (but kind), push you outside of your comfort zone, and support you when you fail. Having these connections will build your resilience, and having greater resilience will build your confidence.
- Dream big and take a step every day – Dream big and set goals. Expect to be uncomfortable and scared – everyone is when they challenge themselves. But, the definition of courage is being scared and doing it anyway, and nothing will build your confidence faster than taking action. Even when you fail, taking action builds confidence. Get into the habit of finding and taking at least one action (no matter how small) every day to keep moving forward.
- Start failing now – Nothing big, nothing important, nothing life-changing, ever happened without risk, and taking risks means at times you will win and at times you will fail. Failing gets easier and easier with practice. You get back up, dust yourself off, note what is to be learned from this failure, and try again. Because, while taking risks and living in a place of working toward your dream can be scary, it is also the most exhilarating life you can live.
Take action and be bold. Know who you are and find that dream that inspires you. Surround yourself with a posse who believe in you, and even when you are afraid, take action every day toward making your dreams a reality.
What do you wish you’d known when you were younger? Let me know by hitting reply or join us in the Facebook group, Bold in Business Community and share with us there. And if you’d like some extra support in confidently owning your power, you can sign up for your free clarity call with me right here.