Build an Action Plan
So now we reach the end of our course, very well done! In this final lesson, we’ll learn how to put what we’ve learned into action. This plan can cover anything—traveling the world, changing careers, volunteering, getting married, and having kids. It should include personal and professional goals. And, it should be based on your strengths and resources.
Number 1: Develop an action plan and put it in place. Think about your areas for personal or professional development—what is calling you right now? What’s your passion? Set some tactics out on a short, medium, and long-term timeline. Every step you take (small and big) will be a brilliant boost to your confidence!
Your tactics could be as simple as making an effort to stop apologizing (the Just Not Sorry Gmail plugin is a good start) and saying “no” to a friend, writing a blog about your work, applying for that fantastic job.
Going after a goal will make you feel proud for taking action. It will help you to feel confident because you’ll have proof that you can make your dreams happen.
Number 2: Stick with it. Try to do something towards your goals every day. Keep the momentum up. Confidence is built up the more you do it. Real confidence develops from an increasing belief that you can rely on yourself—that you have complete trust in yourself.
Number 3: Define your values. Working to your personal values will help you to keep your plan on track. For example, these could be around, honesty, integrity, loyalty, justice. Personal values motivate you to be the person you want to be and the work you want to do.
Number 4: Find a mentor. Do you know someone confident and who you admire for their values? Watch how they behave, follow their social media accounts. Ask them to meet you for coffee and talk to them about your plan. Most confident women are happy to help. Because they remember the courage and effort, it’s taken them to get where they are today.
Number 5: Perfectionism is a huge confidence killer. Typically, women don’t speak up until we’re sure we know the answer. We don’t hand in that report until it’s beyond perfect. Push yourself with small steps like sending that email without re-reading it a billion times. Staying in your comfort zone is safe and cozy—but it’s stopping you from growing and experiencing anything new.
Number 6: Slow down, breathe better, and be still. Being still not only calms us down but also changes the pace of the conversation. Breathing better calms us down.
Slow, deep breathing is so powerful, it has helped me so much. It hacks into your nervous system and causes it to change its state to one of calm. Make deep breathing and mindfulness a habit.
Number 7: Learn to accept compliments. If someone says to you “good job”, or “well done on that report”, or “nice dress”. Do you say thanks and feel good afterward? Or do you hide and delegate the credit to someone else?
If you shy away from compliments, then stop. Own it and feel good about it. Next time someone pays you a compliment. Smile, say “thank you”, nothing more.
I want you to learn how to say “thank you”. This is how you know how to stand in the spotlight when it’s shone on you. No more “thank you but, this old thing is from a charity shop”. Or no “thank you but it was actually my colleague who set this project up”. Learn to say “thank you”, nothing less and nothing more. This is how you start to accept credit and claim the credit.
And, so this is where I leave you.
In the future—if you’re asked to do a presentation, or lead a meeting, or speak at a conference, say “yes”. Do it even if it scares you and makes you want to hide because we all have a responsibility to be seen and heard. Other women might need to listen to our stories; our experience could inspire other women.
Confidence and self-esteem are essential to living a fulfilling, happy, and values-driven life. You deserve this!
Thank you for allowing me to share my knowledge of building your self-confidence with you over the last ten days. I wish you all the best with the implementation of your action plan. And, I encourage you to regularly go back and revisit some or all of the lessons. You can improve your self-esteem and learn to be confident—you can do it!
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