Sarah Boyd


The 9 most powerful questions to get perspective in a difficult situation

How To Uplevel Your Confidence In Leadership

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Whether you are a seasoned leader or about to take the leap into your first leadership role, your personal confidence is a key factor in your success.

(image credit @jshnaaa)

(image credit @jshnaaa)

It may appear obvious why a new leader may lack some confidence in their leadership abilities.

But it is often those who have been in leadership for some time that can become stuck in self-doubt, causing them to sink below the possible new levels in their leadership.

Mistakes made, wrong judgement calls, not meeting goals or even having individuals leave your team or organisation can be just some of the triggers that cause us to doubt ourselves.

So not matter if you’re new in the game or if you’ve been at it for awhile, there are some simple exercises you can do to significantly uplevel your confidence in leadership.




1 Break Perfection

In her book “Lean In” Sheryl Sandberg notes that female leaders are much more likely to believe they need more experience and learning before they even consider putting their hand up for promotion.

This trend can often be because we are waiting for everything to be perfect.

In order to take risks and rise to new levels in our leadership we need to embrace the imperfection of doing.

As Sandberg says, “Done is better than perfect”.


2 Resolve The Past

As individuals we all create stories about why certain things occurred in our past.

We add meaning to events.

This means that if, for example, a project failed, we then add our own meaning as to why.

If you have lost confidence in your leadership, it is really important to consider – what meaning have you created from events?

Not the reason that you tell other people.

The reason that you tell yourself.


Usually we have attached a ‘shame story’ to these events.

Brene Brown in her book ‘Rising Strong’ gives great advice to dealing with these situations.

She says that “Shame cannot survive the empathy of your people”.

This means that if you have the courage to share these ‘shame stories’ with a trusted friend, you will find that the empathy and the insight from this person will break the negativity you are feeling.


If you have acted in a way that has harmed others or compromised your integrity then you need to take practical steps to resolve this. But for most of us, these ‘shame stories’ have nothing to do with either of these things.


3 Reframe The Past

Now that you have recognised the negative stories that you are telling yourself in regards to past events, reframe it from a different perspective.

You were learning.

You did the best with what you knew.

It grew your capacity

It taught you things nothing else could

It taught you what you don’t want to do.


The key is to separate the events that occurred, from your personhood.

It’s so easy to say “ABC happened because I AM ___________________”

As opposed to “ABC happened because I DID / or circumstances WERE”

When you attach events to your personhood it’s only a matter of time before you will have a significant drop in your confidence as a leader.


4 Power Pose

Our physical body has so much impact on our psychology.

Studies have shown that standing in a “Wonder Woman” pose for 5 minutes significantly increases confidence levels, and even make you appear more confident to others hours later.

So stand up where ever you are, and get your “Wonder Woman” on!


5 Pass It On


So much of our negativity comes from focusing on ourselves. One of the greatest gifts you can give your own leadership is to pass it on to other women.

Be an advocate and encourager of other female leaders (no matter how long you have been in leadership).

Be a safe place for them to share their ‘shame stories’ and help them gain perspective.

As much as this will be of great benefit for them, it will be of even greater benefit to you personally.


Building a positive self-confidence is essential to leadership authority and effectiveness.

No matter what has happened in your leadership past (or even if you don’t have a leadership past yet), you can take control of self-doubt in order to uplevel your leadership.

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The 9 most powerful questions to get perspective in a difficult situation.