Confidence can be hard to come by, especially for many women in the workplace. Throughout the years, women have fought for the right to vote, to serve in the military, to have a voice in politics, and to be thought of as equals in general to their male counterparts. The business world might be a little behind but as women, we should remember to stay confident in our positions.
Here are six daily confidence boosters all women in business should try today.
1. The "power pose" is a real thing
This commanding position opens your body up. The most common pose is known as the "Wonder Woman." Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, puff your chest out and pull your shoulders back. Make tight fists with your hands and put them on your hips. You will look just like Wonder Woman, hence the name of the pose.
The idea is to take up as much space as possible. Studies show that after assuming this pose for two minutes, your testosterone levels can raise while your stress levels fall, making you calmer and more confident. It might be awkward to do this in the middle of your office so try doing it before heading to work, or in the bathroom before giving a presentation.
2. Exercise enhances your mood and confidence
When you exercise, your body releases endorphins that trigger positive feelings. Try going to the gym or doing yoga the morning of a big meeting or presentation. You'll feel better about yourself mentally and physically.
3. Smile more often
Smiling can change your attitude, whether you realize it or not. Smiling has a brain-body connection that has been scientifically measured. Smiling affects our emotions because it triggers activity in the left frontal cortex of our brains, the area where happiness is registered. Try smiling at everyone you come into contact with one day and see how much better you feel... even if you get a few odd looks.
4. Practice makes perfect
Most people don't do well when they "wing it." The age-old saying, "practice makes perfect" is still relevant today for a reason. If you have a presentation coming up, take some time out of each day to practice what you'll say, how you'll move around the room and how you'll use any applicable props (like PowerPoint slides). The more you practice, the more comfortable and confident you'll be giving the presentation.
5. Improve your posture
In addition to improving your muscles and spine, good posture can also help boost your confidence. Psychologists at Ohio State University completed a study of 71 undergrads at Ohio State. Participants were told to write down their qualifications for a potential job. The study found that those who were instructed to sit up straight were much more likely to believe in their own skills, compared with those who slouched over their desks.
6. Wear your social armor
Your social armor, or your favorite outfit or hairstyle, is absolutely linked to your cognitive processes. This connection is called "enclothed cognition," meaning that if your brain links a certain brand or garment of clothing to someone powerful and intelligent, you're likely to take on those attributes. Even perfume has been shown to make women feel more confident in social and business situations. Studies show that your sense of smell is connected to the limbic system, a part of the brain that interprets memories and emotions. Now you can prove to your friends that your lucky shirt really is lucky.
Your self-confidence shows others you know your craft inside and out, which builds trust in your expertise and brand. As women, we have worked hard to get where we are today and it's important to keep moving up in the business world. What do you do to give yourself a confidence boost? Tell me in the comments below.