We all know confidence is a crucial element for success in your career or business. But women are prone to lacking self-confidence: in our knowledge, in our abilities, in our appearance. We far too often believe we're not as good as we should be.
This lack of self-confidence is something that has been ingrained in us by advertising, by popular media, even by literature -- all of which set up the expectation that we don't 'measure up'... and we have survived despite it.
On one hand, that survival is good. But on the other, it helps perpetuate that a lack of confidence is something we should just live with... "I won't try to be more, I'm happy with what I am and have now"... but that's a lie, and we all know that.
But a lack of self-confidence has even more long-term negative consequences that have ripple effects across all areas of our lives.
You don't realise your full potential
If a women regularly doubts herself and is likely to listen to negative thoughts -- and, of course, the negativity the world pushes onto women -- then she will not take risks. These risks, whether small or big, are the stepping stones to realising our potential... to become the woman we were meant to be.
You stop dreaming
Women who lack self-esteem/confidence give up on dreams before they happen. They doubt their ability to reach a goal instead of believing in themselves enough to give it a try. It is our dreams that sometimes are the only thing that keeps us going. If we lose that, we lose a lot.
You lose business and contacts
No one really likes being around insecure people, let alone doing business with them. And even though they may not notice it at the beginning, people will soon pick up on a lack of confidence and start to distance themselves. Nobody wants to do business with someone who doesn't believe in themselves and no-one will promote a woman who spends her time doubting all her decisions.
You attract attackers
Wolves in the business world prey on women with low self-confidence. They use flattery and promises but don't back it up with any tangible pragmatic substance. Confidence is a barrier, a shield that protects women from anyone who tries to take advantage of their situation or gender.
Gaining self-confidence requires one very important step. Focusing on the positive and not on the negative -- even if this means you need to create the positive in the first place.