Claire Shipman, co-author of The Confidence Code, shared some valuable insights about the mistakes women make in the workplace—often unknowingly—that can undermine their confidence.
“The biggest mistake is perfectionism. Women are so focused on getting it right all the time,” Claire explained.
The emphasis women place on perfectionism eats away at another essential workplace skill: risk-taking. Claire explained that all too often, women are not willing to take a risk or seize an opportunity unless they feel they can do it perfectly.
According to Claire, studies show that women only apply for promotions at work when they feel they have 100% of the qualifications, whereas men will ask even if they feel they only meet 60% of the qualifications.
“The other thing is the real fear of failure, which is the flip slide of perfectionism,” Claire told us.
Claire feels that women need to get comfortable with the idea of failing rather than being perfect at every task taken on, as men can often shrug failure off more easily and learn from it.
“We need to take the spotlight off of ourselves and think about our mission in bigger terms,” Claire said.
“That is where the power comes from.”
How confident are you? Take the Confidence Quiz here to find out now!
For more of Claire's expert confidence tips, view the slideshow below:
A calm brain is the ultimate confidence tool, and meditation is so common and valuable that it’s being taught in some of the military’s basic training courses. Meditation helps re-wire the brain. Your fear center -- the amygdala -- shrinks. You have an increased ability to control your emotions and to be clear and calm about your goals.
New research shows that gratitude is one of the keys to happiness and an optimistic mindset. Find it in the tiny things: As someone lets you merge into traffic, notice, and be grateful, instead of just zipping ahead looking for your next maneuver. Believe and be grateful for kind words said about you. It will transform your mood, and simply saying, “Thank you, I appreciate that” will also make the other person feel good.
Battle feelings of being overwhelmed by breaking it down. Teasing out the individual parts of a challenge, and accomplishing even one‐tenth of it, can give you a confidence boost. Take things one small step at a time.
A lack of sleep and exercise produces an extremely anxious brain. Being close to friends boosts oxytocin levels. Oxytocin is the hormone released during sex and other intimate gestures that has been proven to strengthen social bonds in mammals. So, indulge in guilt-free girlfriend time!
Sitting up straight will give you a short‐term confidence boost, according to a recent study conducted by Richard Petty and his colleagues. Try it now. Abs in. Chin up. Astonishingly simple, woefully infrequent. Try nodding your head. You feel more confident as you talk when you do it, plus you’re sending a subconscious signal that makes others agree with you. And, yes, always sit at the table. Otherwise, you’re handing power away by not sitting with those who have it.
Confidence isn’t about pretending, or putting on an act; it springs from genuine accomplishment and work. However, the appeal of faking it, if only for a while, is that it offers a crutch -- a way to begin. Don’t pretend to be anything or anyone -- simply take action. Do one small brave thing, and then the next one will be easier, and soon confidence will flow. Fake it till you make it sounds catchier -- but this actually works.
When all else fails, you can always use oxytocin spray. Claire tried the spray, and called it "modern liquid confidence!" "Our husbands seemed sweet, and our work and children felt manageable!" Claire says in her book.
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