Podcast: The building blocks of core confidence

Why don’t we get what we want? That promotion? That raise? That speaking gig?

The answer often could be a lack of self-confidence.

Our guests this week are trying to change all of that. They are Kate Boorer and Fiona Pearman, two leading Australian business experts who have joined forces to write a book aimed at helping people “own their talents, face their fears, and create their futures.” That’s the sub-head of their extraordinary book Core Confidence.

Kate is one of Australia’s leading experts on career, confidence, and personal brand. Fiona is co-founder of Pearman & Partners, which is devoted to supporting gender-balanced workplaces that harness the collective strengths of a diverse workforce.

Their book acts as a blueprint for how to build your confidence and achieve more success as a result. “Having admired the ideas expressed in Lean In and The Confidence Code, we found through Core Confidence workshops that the missing piece of the confidence puzzle was having access to a practical how-to guide that highlights both the external and internal building blocks of core confidence,” they write.

Those building blocks of core confidence are:

  • Get clear.
  • Set goals and take action.
  • Know your stuff.
  • Work hard.
  • Build relationships.
  • Be focused and present.
  • Maintain resilience.
  • Be authentic.
  • Ask for help.
  • Face fear.

“Our research found there’s a common thread for many women as they move through their career, particularly as they head into their late twenties and beyond,” they add. “For a variety of reasons, they have become disconnected from their inner resource of ‘core confidence’, and this is impacting their career progression.”

We discuss why that happens, and what we can do with these building blocks to re-tap into that core confidence and walk away with a positive mindset.

In this conversation, we cover:

  • Systemic and gender biases and how they play out in the workplace.
  • What we can do to overcome some of these biases.
  • The role men play in women’s workplace confidence.

Listen to our conversation here.

Imposter syndrome
There’s a phenomenon known as “imposter syndrome,” which Time defines as “the idea that you’ve only succeeded due to luck, and not because of your talent or qualifications.” And it’s a real thing. Psychologist Audrey Ervin said imposter syndrome can apply to anyone “who isn’t able to internalize and own their successes.” In fact, Time cites research that shows 70 percent of us have experienced these feelings at some point in our lives.

But it can be particularly hard — and prevalent — among women. According to the UK-based Daily Telegraph, “60 percent of women who have considered starting a business did not because of a lack of confidence, not feeling like the type of person who could start a business or feeling they did not deserve to succeed despite their skills. This is one of the reasons why just one-fifth of UK businesses are run by women.”

The Telegraph’s website also reported that “the research showed that 28 percent of working women feel like imposter syndrome has stopped them speaking in a meeting. It also found 21 percent have been prevented from suggesting a new or alternative idea at work, and 26 percent have failed to change career or role.”

And all due to a lack of confidence.



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