To be an influential and successful leader, it’s not just what you know but also how confident you feel about your abilities that will make the difference. As women leaders, in particular, find themselves striving for greater heights of ambition, one factor holding them back from achieving success on all levels can be self-confidence.

So much of how we move forward in leadership and life has to do with confidence. As women leaders, people will make evaluations about us and our leadership by what they see. How we portray ourselves physically, the actions they see us taking, and what they sense from us as we take those actions. Self-confidence can be a deal-breaker when we want to move to the next level, even if we have the skills to back the move up.

So, is self-confidence something you’re born with or something you build up over time?

In my opinion, it’s both. It’s not just about how much you think things through but also about when your confidence is tested. For example, you can develop self-esteem and become more confident doing ‘work’ that makes an impact by using your skills or talents in the successful completion of tasks. On the flip side of the coin, it can also come from the process of making mistakes and being able to recover from them, allowing you to feel more confident through your resiliency.

How about genetics? Yes, that too. We all know that our genetics play a significant role in who we are, but did you also consider what has been encoded into them through the generations? Consider things like passed down DNA and learned behaviors that factor into our self-confidence.

If you were looking for definitive steps 1, 2, and 3 of building confidence, I’m sorry to disappoint you.

To help you feel better, I have five tips to help you build up your self-confidence as a woman leader or someone who aspires to be.


These have helped me become more confident in my abilities as a keynote speaker, coach, and leader in the organizations I serve. I hope they help you too.

The first tip is to define success for yourself.

This is your personal definition of what it looks like to achieve success in your life or career. It’s not about what society tells you success should look like, but rather what you believe constitutes success in your own eyes. When you can measure success based on your own terms, it’s easier to feel confident that you’re achieving it.

The second tip is to find a role model or mentor.

This is someone you can look up to and learn from. They don’t have to be in the same field as you, but it helps if they’re doing something you want to do or are passionate about. Seeing someone else achieve success in an area that you’re interested in can help motivate and inspire you to do the same. And the bonus is that if you see it in someone else, it’s already within you. That may not mean you know how to get there, but it definitely means you can figure it out!

The third tip is to celebrate your wins.

It’s important to recognize and celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small they may seem. This will help build your confidence by showing yourself that you are capable of achieving things. It also helps to keep things in perspective and remember that progress is made one step at a time.

The fourth tip is to get rid of negative self-talk.

We all have that little voice in our head that tells us we can’t do something or that we’re not good enough. It’s important to recognize when this happens and counter it with positive self-talk. This can be anything from telling yourself, “I can do this” to “I am good enough.” Whatever works for you, the important thing is to drown out the negative voice with a positive one.

The fifth and final tip is to take action.

This may seem obvious, but it’s often the hardest part. Once you’ve identified what it is you want to do, it’s time to take action and go for it. Self-confidence comes into play because it can be easy to talk yourself out of taking risks. But remember, confidence is about feeling certain in your abilities and knowing that you can handle whatever comes your way. So don’t be afraid to take risks and put yourself out there!

I hope these tips help you on your journey to becoming more confident. Remember that confidence is something you build over time and that everyone has different ways of achieving it. So find what works for you, and go for it!

What are some things that you do to build up your self-confidence? Share in the comments below! And if you found this post helpful, please share it with others!

Until next time, here’s wishing you all the Clarity you deserve and happy confidence building! 🙂

Author: Debbie Peterson is a keynote speaker and women’s leadership coach. She helps women leaders build their confidence so they can achieve their goals and create the impact they want to make in the world without sacrificing themselves in the process.