When I heard that the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day was #ChooseToChallenge, I was immediately reminded of Amanda Gorman’s powerful rendition of her poem “The Hill We Climb” at Biden’s Inauguration Ceremony. Gorman stole the show with her confident and challenging call for “togetherness and unity.” We all have a hill to climb. The secret to reaching the top is to banish the self-doubt that holds us back by developing the confidence to choose to challenge and make change happen.
How to develop a confident mindset & #ChooseToChallenge:
- Keep your inner gremlin in check
It takes real confidence to challenge the status quo. If your inner voice is saying negative things about yourself or your ability, then proactively replace those thoughts with positive ones. Find evidence of when you successfully turned around a situation that seemed impossible at the time. By believing in yourself, you are more likely to convince others that you are a force to be reckoned with.
- Break out of your comfort zone
Moving outside your comfort zone is often easier said than done – it’s called a comfort zone for a reason. However, as the saying goes, what doesn’t challenge you doesn’t change you. Have the confidence to face your fears and make a plan to move into your stretch zone. By saying ‘yes’ to new challenges, you will prove to yourself what you are truly capable of.
- See your glass half full
Try to change the way you think about failure. When things go wrong, think like an optimist – simply take the learnings and move on. Don’t be tempted to blame yourself or take things personally – this will simply fuel your self-doubt. It takes resilience and determination to climb your hill. Look to the future and think creatively to find a new way forward and become an agent of change.
- Be proud of your success
Remember to own your successes – don’t put them down to luck or being in the right place at the right time. Being proud of yourself and your work are powerful ingredients that drive success. By picturing what good looks like you are more likely to develop a confident mind-set.
By believing in yourself, moving into your stretch zone, adopting a positive outlook and owning your success, you will be well on your way to developing a confident mindset that empowers you to #ChooseToChallenge. Finally, take inspiration from Amanda Gorman’s words of hope, “we lift our gazes not to what stands between us, but what stands before us.” to help you keep challenging the stereotypes and make the changes you want to see.