Confidence isn’t a destination, it’s a process…
Let’s address the TOP core reasons for low confidence in women and why it drives poor career decisions in our lives.
Firstly I’d like to ask you a question: are you tracking your cycle?
If NO – why not?
If YES – well done – let’s apply this data to ensure confidence isn’t something you chase but something you arrive at based on your terms.
A quick story…
I was 10 years old, ready to take on the world. Bolshy, loud and knew exactly what I wanted!
My parents enrolled me into a grammar school and I needed to take an aptitude test. I wasn’t given any support or external advice on how to prep but I was told how great this school was and how amazing this opportunity would be for my life!
I was super scared!
I knew nada about the test system!
My parents had no one in their network who could talk to me about what was going to happen!
I was surrounded by loads of little boys (this made me even more scared – there was no one who looked like me!)
My confidence plummeted, my mind went fluffy, I couldn’t concentrate and I did so badly on the test my parents never spoke to me about it again!
My confidence was shattered, and instead of applying for another one my parents deemed this result enough for me to go to a normal state school and not apply anywhere else.
My confidence was even lower!
I was always pitted in a system surrounded by people and programs that were not created for me in mind and I kept losing.
The important bit and spoiler alert the CORE reason!
I then started my period, aged 10. Deep cramps, painful headaches, my body was changing and I didn’t recognise myself.
Every medical doctor told me the PILL* was my answer.
Synthetic hormones pumped around my body.
Every month my body was ready for a baby triggered by external chemicals.
Then the social element of being on my period hit me and I felt even more confused. I felt like my natural bodily occurrences didn’t have any relevance in our world.
Asking for a sanitary towel or tampon was whispered.
Bleeding every month was the joke of male banter, on the street, on TV, radio and online.
No one talked about their periods, we just got on with it!
* I will never use these unregulated hormone blockers again!
SPOILER ALERT: Tracking your cycle is the KEY CONFIDENCE feedback system that nurtures and nourishes YOUR needs so you can make better decisions for yourself and family… but I didn’t know this when I started on my career journey so I went into the workspace and began my media career. Maybe you can relate!
How I was perceived
I had to present myself professionally in grey boxes filled with people who didn’t look or speak like me!
Who didn’t have a foreign accent or a foreign surname.
I had to add all my skills and present myself in a competitive market onto one A4 bit of paper called a CV!
Some days I was more quiet, other days I was more social and vocal and because of these layers to my character I was told I came across disingenuous, not the right fit, maybe next time.
Every month I only took notice of when I was on my period actually bleeding and not the 24+ days in between.
I had to do a test of my character and skills – in a room with a spotlight and dressed in ‘professional’ attire that I wouldn’t wear once I got the job!
I was just grateful to get the job offer – my low confidence was getting a hit of dopamine, hearing yes you got the job! – that it didn’t matter that I didn’t ask any questions about my terms and conditions.
I never listened to my cycle or where I was hormonally and said YES to any interview date I was given and would have to find a way to artificially source confidence on days that I felt like snuggling under my duvet.
Got the job
I was surrounded by men who spoke in “banter” language with no translation. Environments filled with micro-aggressions towards my womanly sensibilities. **
Working in air-conditioned offices that played havoc with my skin, hormones and depending where I was in my cycle would either support or hinder my performance.
And I chose to repeat this process every single time!
** A few of many reasons women often don’t have a linear CV.
Let’s go back…
I take ownership of my lack of information.
My career advisor at school wasn’t qualified to discuss.
Tracking my cycle to understand what tasks I should be concentrating on to maximise my career plan.
How I would manage my self-worth during my career journey.
How to manage my confidence when it depletes.
How to manage my self-care in unnatural working environments.
“If confidence was something that we wore on our face, everyone would go out and buy it!”
Allia, first time mum getting back to work 2021
Above a quote from one of the amazing mothers I coached. Allia had spent over ten years working at the height of her media career in Jamaica. Her family decided to settle in London and she applied for the first role she saw. Got the job but wasn’t happy.
“But where do I go, whom do I speak to, my skills aren’t aligned to the UK market, my accent is super strong, I don’t have a network here?”
We spoke at length about her needs, discussed mapping her cycle and created a Boss Lady plan and then began the work.
Three months later, she was met with abundant choices and a role in a reputable media company that paid her on her salary terms and working requirements.
I’ve sped up the tears, the painful moments, the funny exchanges and the elated WhatsApp voice notes. The process of arriving at confidence…
Allia had an ‘Aha’ moment in our session and of course went on to boss her interviews and salary negotiations and is now living in Boss Lady Mode! Feel free to check out Allia’s feedback.
Why does this lack of confidence problem exist
Are you tracking your cycle/ hormones and transferring that data to match your life terms?
Are you investing in your self-confidence?
What tools are you using to ensure when running low you can grab a self-confidence juice and keep going?
If your teeth fell out today, you wwould go and get them fixed tomorrow. Why not do the same for your confidence?
I wonder if you are stuck in a job you don’t like or seeking more significant meaning in your career, or thinking about a career change?
March 25, 2022