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Confidence… It’s an area we all find ourselves struggling with at one time or another. It’s as ever-changing as the seasons are. Some days if you’re like me, you’ve have it under control, and others, especially when outside factors come into play (like you get called into an unexpected meeting, the CEO calls you into his office and you’re not prepared), you tread the deep end of the pool hoping the lifeguard will pull you out soon.

So what exactly is it that makes one more confident over another? Is it their smile, the clothes they wear, their sentence structure in conversation, what?! I want to know too. Believe me.

I don’t think one answer alone will solve this ongoing dilemma with women in the workplace. Wait, keep reading. I know what you’re thinking. What’s the point if you don’t have the answer? Well, I do … it’s just not the typical answer you’re expecting. Unfortunately, in the realm of confidence, there is no one way approach to gain it and quite frankly, there’s no guarantee, that even after you’ve obtained it, you will keep it. It’s as shifting as the sea tide.

But what I will share with you is perhaps the biggest inside secret to re-ignite the confidence that you already have. Yes, you already have it.

We all have something we are really good at. For some, it’s technical, it’s practical, or analytical.

Whatever the “it” is, that then becomes the actual secret to building your confidence. At one point you weren’t good at what you didn’t know how to do. But as you did it more frequently, you talked about it, you thought about it, perhaps you even went out and tried it, and eventually you became better. Past behavior informs future patterns.

Building confidence begins with telling yourself the following message:

“I’ve succeeded in this area of my life (name it). So therefore, I will succeed in another (in my personal relationships, in the office, in my career or educational goals, etc.)”

And so is the case with confidence. It’s taking small steps to align what your brain signals to your body, “Smile, because what you said was correct and everyone liked your idea,” or taking control of your brain to stop negative messages, “Why are you going to that meeting right now? You don’t know the answer. You don’t know what to say— STOP! Tell yourself stop right there. Go ahead – practice.

Yes you can.

Say that with me, “Yes, I can … I will and I can.”

The more you do it. The more confidence you will have. So start today. Remember what you’re good at. Tell yourself you can learn something new and be just as good as something you’ve already mastered. It all starts with the conversation in your mind.

Written by Linda E. Alberty, M.A., Latinas On The Plaza Mastermind Leader & Advisory Board Member

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