How to Cultivate Confidence for the Modern Woman

I was recently asked to speak to a team of beauty consultants to help cultivate confidence given the myriad of challenges and experiences that have happened over the past few years. With life changes and transitions of any kind, our confidence can be shaken. When this happens it can create a resistance to taking action and leave us feeling stuck. If this resonates with you, read on for strategies to build confidence even when it doesn’t seem possible. 

First of all, let’s break down the definition. Confidence is the belief or conviction that an outcome will be favorable. The word confidence comes from the latin word, “fidere” which means “to trust,” so having self-confidence is having trust in one’s self. 

“Confidence is the stuff that turns thoughts into action.”
– Richard Petty, Psychology Professor

That’s great, but you may be wondering, how do I build confidence when I’m feeling doubtful. Let’s take a step back and look at the big picture by taking the time to reflect on the below questions.

Reflection Questions To Build Confidence:

  1. What are my strengths, talents, interests and priorities? Knowing who you are, what you are good at, what lights you up and what’s important to you will help you create a “North Star” for your life and provide clear direction.
  2. Am I making choices that align with who I am, my values and what I want for my life? Knowing more about yourself and what’s important to you will give you a huge advantage as you can make choices that are aligned with your priorities. 
  3. Am I taking action? Small, achievable steps are recommended. In fact, our brain prefers to be comfortable, so big steps are not recommended. Be sure to celebrate your small wins to help with motivation and momentum. 
  4. Do I have a growth mindset? This is the belief that you can develop the tools to learn and solve problems vs. a fixed mindset which believes that your skills are innate and fixed. Having a growth mindset can help you view potential setbacks as learning and growth opportunities vs. failures or proof that you are on the wrong path. For more on growth mindset: Carol Dweck is a pioneer on growth mindset research.
  5. Am I surrounding myself with supportive, confident people, mentors and/or coaches? Who you spend your time with matters and has a huge impact on you and your mindset. You’ve likely heard that you are most influenced by the five people you surround yourself with the most. Make an effort to surround yourself around people that have a growth mindset, take positive action in their lives and uplift others. 

We do need to be aware of “Confidence Stealers” as well: 

  • Comparison – It can be tempting to compare yourself to others, which can be very discouraging. We all have unique gifts and skills meant to be shared in the world, so comparing yourself to someone else can distract you from your own unique path. Also, keep in mind that we never know what’s truly happening in someone else’s life or what they have endured to reach that point. It could be the equivalent of comparing your beginning to someone else’s middle. 

“Comparison is the Thief of Joy” – Theodore Roosevelt

  • Limiting Beliefs – These are thoughts or beliefs that may be holding you back whether they are true or not. Limiting beliefs keep you from seeing the different possibilities in the world and can prevent you from taking action. For more on limiting beliefs, check out, “The Life of Your Dreams Starts with Your Beliefs.” Having awareness of your thoughts is important. 
  • Boundaries – Not setting clear boundaries with your time and energy can impact your confidence. It’s key to note that when you say “Yes” to something you are also saying “No” to something else. Be thoughtful about your choices regarding your time and energy as there is only so much to go around. 

The most beautiful thing a woman can wear is confidence.

Confidence may not happen overnight, but it’s something that you can build with practice and time. Our confidence will wax and wane in different situations and life transitions. However, having clarity with the above reflection questions will help you turn your thoughts into action and cultivate confidence. 

If you are feeling stuck, overwhelmed or too busy to figure out your next steps for your ideal career or life, download my free guide, “Creating Your Next Chapter.” The short guide provides additional reflection questions to help with confidence and clarity to live with energy, purpose and joy. 


Show Up With Danielle
Life and Career Coach

I help moms find more time for themselves, explore career direction and create fulfillment without the mom guilt.

Top Featured Photo by Priscilla Du Preez, Unsplash

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