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by Alice Olins

Top 3 Tips to feeling and appearing more Confident

If there’s one uniting factor between all of the women that I coach it’s times of low confidence. Extroverts sometimes lack confidence. Introverts struggle with self-esteem. Even Oscar-winning actors, like Emma Watson, struggle to see themselves as good or Confident enough. 

Low confidence is a universal leveller. And yet, there is so much we can do to build our confidence reserves. It’s a given that we’ll all have bad days on the Confidence front: that we’ll buckle under nerves, fail to speak out in an important meeting, or not sell ourselves with gusto when we’re sitting there in front of a future employer. 

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Sure, Confidence takes time and effort to grow. But we all have the power to fill our reserves and feel strong and capable, both in work and in life. 

Here are my Top 3 Tips to feeling and appearing more Confident. 

CREATE A POSITIVE BELIEF RECORD: So, if you are anything like the rest of womankind, you’ll likely hold onto the negative comments around you, rather than focusing on the positives. You had a feedback meeting, it went brilliantly, and then your boss gave you constructive criticism on one tiny facet of your work – and that’s all you’ve thought about ever since. Here’s what to do: create a positive belief record, or an email brag file, if that’s easier. And by that I mean, a place where you can either write down or file away positive comments and remarks that others have made about or to you. These could be specifically about your work, or they could be more general – your parenting skills, say. Then, at the end of every week, commit to re-reading all of the positive comments. Research tells us that doing this regularly helps retrain our brains to think more positively about ourselves, and that builds Confidence. 

FAIL WELL: Ok, so no one wants to fail at anything, that’s a given. But when we fail with grace and intelligence, these failures become part of a useful learning curve that ultimately builds Confidence. In general, women shy away from risk, because we fear a potential fail. The problem with that is, when we don’t take risks (a big new role, going for a pay rise) we limit ourselves in the workplace. What I say, is have a growth mindset when it comes to risk and failure. That way you’ll end up taking on more challenges, which will feed your Confidence. Start small and see how you go. Set yourself one challenge this week. If it goes well, you’ll definitely feel the benefits. If it doesn’t: stop, learn and assess. The likelihood is, the failure wasn’t as bad as you thought it would be, and just knowing this, will give you the Confidence to try again. 

CONFIDENCE IS A STATE OF MIND: Confidence is not a personality trait; no one was born Confident. Rather it grows within us and that is exciting because it means we all possess the power to increase our Confidence stores. Next time you catch that voice inside your head telling yourself that you’re not good/clever/experienced enough, change the rhetoric. It takes effort to switch off that negative mental voice, but when you do, you free yourself from so many internal barriers. 


Step Up School is London’s top female-focused career and business coaching course. Delivered by Alice, Step Up’s expert founder, it will teach you practical skills to positively influence your career, develop your networking skills, give you a personal template for the future and so much more. You will also become part of a brand new female network to support you in your journey.  



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