Did you know your body language can bolster our confidence?
In this TED Talk, Amy Cuddy walks through some of the science behind how poses can mood. (You can watch a condensed three-minute version here.)
Power poses may seem or even look silly, but the truth is confidence is key to getting the most out of life, including our professional lives. It helps us successfully reach for bolder opportunities and to branch out in business. It helps us ask for higher pay, and to negotiate through tough situations. Courting and cultivating confidence is particularly critical for female entrepreneurs and executives. Research shows successful women sometimes suffer from “imposter syndrome;” it can also be difficult to feel confident as the only female face around the boardroom table, or as a female leader in a male-dominated industry.
Optometry sees a fairly even gender split among optometrists, but that doesn’t mean female ODs don’t struggle with challenges in confidence. It’s true of anyone juggling a business (and employees, a family, recreational activities – the list goes on).
This led me to this piece in Entrepreneur about how we as women can boost our confidence. Interestingly, it’s written by a woman who was a minority – even at her own company.
How to start
Doing your homework, programming your mind, setting the tone and paying attention to body language are some ways to get started. These apply specifically to female executives, but could be applied to a number of situations handled by female optometrists. For example: applying for a business loan, in conversations with venders, dealing with a difficult customer.
I work a lot with optometry staff – who are predominantly women – and these tips can be applied in their careers: when applying for a job, negotiating a raise, raising a concern.
Have a read, and let me know if you have any tips for boosting your confidence.