As part of our holistic approach to helping local people into employment, our Women Off to Work project offers Confidence Skills courses. We help people to understand their strengths and teach them how to build the confidence and self-esteem they need to achieve their goals and secure the career they want. The course is led by our Business Start-up Coach, Laura, and we asked her to share her top tips to help you build your confidence and overcome the challenges you face in life.
Take small steps to achieve your goals
Often when we are setting goals for ourselves, a common mistake is to set a goal that is too big, without thinking about how we are going to reach it. If a goal is too big, it can actually demotivate us and knock our confidence as we feel like we have not achieved what we set out to achieve. This can make us doubt ourselves and our abilities. Having big goals to aim for is fine, but what actually gets us moving forwards is taking small, achievable steps. Before we know it, we are looking back and realising how far we have come.
Courage comes first, and confidence follows
Not feeling confident when we are faced with a challenge or a new situation can feel like a reason not to act. We might tell ourselves that we need to work out how to feel more confident before we do something. However, what if confidence is not a starting point, but the outcome of taking action? Perhaps what we really need in these situations is courage, and the question to ask ourselves is not, ‘How can I feel confident enough to do this?’ but ‘How can I find the courage to do this, even though I am afraid?’.
What is the best that could happen?
People are amazing storytellers. When we are faced with situations where there is some uncertainty, we tend to fill in the gaps with what we think might happen. This often leads us to focus on the worst-case scenario, and then act as though that scenario is what will definitely happen. But what if we also ask ourselves what is the best that could happen? And what is the most likely thing that will happen? This reminds us that there are many possibilities, of which the worst-case scenario is only one, and all of them are just hypothetical. They are just stories.
Know your ‘why’
When we are faced with a difficult choice or something that is challenging us, we can become overwhelmed by the problem, or feel stuck going round in circles trying to solve it. In these situations, what can help is to refocus on the outcome that we want, and why we care. What is it we are trying to achieve, and why is that important to us? What difference will it make to us to resolve this problem, and why does that difference matter? Connecting with the ‘why’ behind the problem or challenge can help us to find the courage to face it, and bring clarity about what we need to do to move forwards.
You’ve only failed if you’ve failed to learn
Being afraid of failing is a very common fear. We might associate failing with uncomfortable and unpleasant feelings, like rejection, embarrassment, disappointment or shame. But making mistakes and failing is an important part of learning. In fact, it is almost impossible to learn something new without making mistakes and failing along the way. If something does not go to plan, what will you have learnt? If you look back on that experience or situation in 5, 10 or even 20 years’ time, what will it have taught you? When we look at things from this perspective, it can help us to shift our mindset to recognise that failing is how we grow, not how we fall.
We can help you achieve your goals
We all face obstacles in life, and we cannot expect to always achieve our goals. It’s important to understand how it affects you when you fall short of your own expectations. This will help you to learn and grow from these experiences, and build your confidence to take on any new challenges you face in the future.
If you would benefit from further support to build your confidence and adopt a positive mindset, you can sign up for our Confidence Skills courses here.
We offer a variety of other workshops and courses to support your personal development. You can read more about our Women Off to Work project and the various services we offer to support local people into employment.
2 May 2023