This article is on the ubiquitous topic of ‘confidence’. Because, well, who couldn’t do with learning how to feel even a little bit more confident in their work life? And yes, confidence is a skill you can learn. People aren’t born confident.

But it is a skill we all need to learn if we’re to find more happiness and success in our work lives. After all, without confidence, your thoughts, ideas, aspirations and dreams won’t ever come to fruition.

Mindset is everything


Mindset is everything and your thoughts are not facts.


How many times have you heard those words before?

Our incredible, wonderfully complex brains are wired to keep us safe and cannot tell the difference between a real and a perceived threat.

So if you think something bad might happen (such as not getting that amazing job if you apply for it or no one buying your new offering), your brain will respond as though you are facing a real threat; triggering your autonomic nervous system and flooding your system with stress hormones.

This kick-starts your flight, fright and freeze response; causing you to either panic, run for the hills or stay rooted to the spot. (ie you don’t even bother applying for that amazing job or launching your business for fear of rejection).

Thanks for nothing, brain.

This primitive response has served the human race well for millennia. It’s kept us safe from the likes of sabre tooth tigers who used to lurk outside our caves.

But in a world where tigers are less common in the work place (unless perhaps you work in a zoo?), how do we manage this natural response and push through the fear to get what we truly want out of life?


In this Instagram Live from earlier in the year, I shared a few tips on how you can overcome this primitive response, beat the paralysing effects of imposter syndrome and make progress in your work life.


What else affects your mindset?


In short, lots of things!

  • your beliefs
  • your experiences
  • your assumptions
  • your social and personal constructs


The truth is, we all see the world through our own filters which are shaped by so many factors. These filters then influence our thoughts and ultimately our actions.

A handy model to help you deconstruct your own filters is The Ladder of Inference, where each rung of the ladder represents another filter through which your thoughts will have passed before they actually come to fruition as actions.


In this video, I explain how these filters and rungs can really get in the way of you taking action if you let them!



Sarah Clarke is a Partner Coach with Careering into Motherhood.