By Cathy Zimmermann, Performance Coach & Moderator |
In my job as a presentation, communication and performance coach, I am always surprised how insecure many women become as soon as they must communicate something effectively. There is the bank director who has a bombshell job and expertise to the power of ten and then – inside – she feels like only two feet tall. Funny, isn’t it?
I can tell you that I was similar.
On the outside, the radio, stage and TV presenter for almost ten years, confident in her profession. On the inside, I was far from secure, I had the classic lack of self-worth which subsequently allowed for little self-confidence and self-assurance. Today, a few years and a journey to my personality later, during which I tried out a lot, things are different. Today, I stand by myself and would like to share how I did it.
Here are four tips on how to strengthen your self-worth and confidence from within:
TIP NUMBER ONE
GET TO KNOW YOURSELF
There is this beautiful saying „You’ve got to know yourself, so you can at last be yourself”.
Well, if you don’t know what makes you tick, what your values are, what you stand for, which milestones you feel are your greatest, what you are good at, what you’d rather not do and so on, then it becomes difficult to carry your own personality confidently and sovereignly to the outside world. We can bring these things to our awareness (again) and be proud of them. And I’m not just talking about the big things like graduating from university or having a child. I’m talking about the small, subtle everyday things.
My advice: Get yourself a nice booklet, a pad, a pen, whatever you like, and write down your thoughts on the above points. Don’t just think, write them down. For example, you can read through your goals again and again and see what you have achieved and where you are. Writing down, preferably by hand, is a powerful tool for manifestation.
I’ve filled up three notebooks in the last few years, a super simple and very effective method.
TIP NUMBER TWO
SAY GOODBYE TO ENERGY VAMPIRES
How do you recognise an energy vampire?
It’s simple: you feel drained, tired or frustrated after meeting this person. And not just once, but all the time. Time to rethink the contact.
Unfortunately, it is often those closest to us, such as family or closest friends, who always see everything negatively and give us little encouragement. I’m not saying that this always happens on purpose, but the problem is that the outcome is the same at the end of the day: we don’t feel well.
Many underestimate how incredibly important the right environment is for one’s own growth. Example: I had to “separate” from my mother for several months because I was on my way to self-employment. She projected her fear onto me and tormented me over a regular period of time with statements like “Are you sure this will work; well I wouldn’t do it.” “How are you going to make money doing this?” “Don’t you want to finally do something safe?” … The classics, you know.
I went into defense mode because I wanted to explain and prove to her that I could do it. But it made me insecure, sad and empty in the long run. So, I had to change that for my own sake, and that’s what I did.
My advice: You don’t have to break off contact completely but examine people in your environment who always talk against you. This does nothing good for your energy. Surround yourself with people who want to lift you, encourage you and see you grow.
TIP NUMBER THREE
DON’T SELL YOURSELF SHORT
While the man, without giving it much thought, says: “Yeah sure, I’ll give the presentation!”, the woman thinks twelve times about whether she is good enough for the job and cancels at the end of the day. It may sound like a cliché, but unfortunately the truth often looks like that.
I experience this myself time and again and am told by organisers of talks that they have already found five men as interview guests, but only one woman. “I’d rather not. I don’t dare” is the reason for the refusal. What a pity!
It is often the same with remuneration, i.e. how much money we charge for our services. So, here’s my appeal: please don’t sell yourself short! Have more confidence in your abilities and value your talents yourself first.
Sure, you also have to look at the market and see what others in your field are getting, BUT: no one can pay you for your way, your experiences, the mistakes you have made with 40, 70, 80 euros per hour.
My advice: move away from hourly rates and towards packages if that is possible for you. Great business tip here for women entrepreneurs and the self-employed. There needs to be a switch in your head and a new mindset here! For example, I took two coaches who flipped my business model overnight. It was the best decision.
TIP NUMBER FOUR
INVEST IN YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
A lot in life has to do with mindset, that is, your attitude towards how you deal with certain situations in life. Are you more of a “growth mindset” or a “fixed mindset”, more positive or negative?
Experts say that we think 60 to 70 thousand thoughts a day. Mind matters! Thoughts can now be measured; they literally carry weight. Wouldn’t it be wise, therefore, to pay close attention to what we think?
To consciously “reprogram” my mind, I started meditating and listening to affirmations a few years ago. I was totally inexperienced with both and I can honestly tell you here, it was life changing.
The meditation has had the effect that I have learned to control my consciousness better in the silence, to bring it back to the now as soon as thoughts intervene that make me think about tomorrow’s coaching, dinner or the retrospective tax payment. “Aha!”, I then always say to myself inwardly and consciously bring myself back to the now, to my living room. This way you also train your concentration perfectly.
What meditation has brought me the most is dealing with problems. The problems themselves don’t change much, but instead of “I could kill everyone!” I think to myself, “Well, what can I do? It is what it is. I’ll solve it somehow.” That was a milestone for me. I became much calmer overall, friendlier, laughed more, had less anxiety, I just felt much better overall. My connection to nature and the earth also suddenly became much stronger.
I am linking my favourite meditation here. I did it two times a day for twelve minutes for almost three months, I felt the first effects after about two weeks.
It has long been scientifically proven that “mind training” is at least as important as “physical fitness training”!
Finally, I would like to express a wish.
Dear women, show yourself! Show yourself on social media, talk about yourself, about your expertise, about your path. Others will identify with you and not feel alone. Show yourself in real life, no matter how male-dominated your job may be. Be proud of your achievements, even the “small” daily exploits, like being a good friend. Show up in podcasts, talks, interviews. The world needs more heroines who perform with confidence and thereby inspire young girls and women to do the same.
Cathy Zimmermann is a performance coach and independent presenter for live events and has also written an e-book on the subject of presenting. Cathy Zimmermann – Präsentation Coaching, Auftritt & Moderation