How to Build Self-Confidence and be Empowered

Every day, I see or work with an army of women who struggle with confidence.  In so many ways.  From the basics of trying on a new dress in front of a shop assistant and going for an interview, to putting their name forward to work on a committee or speak up in a team meeting.  So many of us tend to struggle.

We read books or Google ‘how to build confidence’ and ‘personal empowerment programs’, which we register for but mostly don’t attend. And when we see women around us, particularly those on the screen or on social media, we marvel at how they do the things they do and wonder where they got the confidence they seem to have.

But guess what?  Many of them struggle with self-confidence in the same way you do, although it doesn’t look like it. I remember seeing an article a while ago about Jennifer Lawrence, star of Hunger Games, and surely one of the most gorgeous looking women on the planet.  In it she explained how she used to struggle with confidence and her self-esteem, but now doesn’t care what people say about her or the fact that her weight fluctuates at times.  How can somebody as beautiful as she is, have struggled with self-confidence? Surely not?

Simply, the definition of self-confidence is ‘a feeling of trust in one’s abilities, qualities and judgement’.

So, when we talk about having self-confidence, we mean in ourselves we trust that we know what we are doing, we feel good about ourselves and we have a belief that we can do what we set out to do. Being self-confident makes us feel stronger in ourselves and more empowered.  We start to feel that there are many things we can do, and don’t focus on those things we can’t.

There must be reality in there too.  For example, if you believe you can be the Prime Minister of Australia next month, it’s probably unrealistic and over-confident.  But if you say you will lose 5 kilograms within the next six weeks, and really believe it, then nothing will stop you.

What does a confident person do? 

  • They look at their strengths and build on them. For example, if they feel they are good with people, they keep doing that.  Building new relationships personally or even at work.  The point is that when we are good at something and keep doing it, we master it.  When we master something, and know we do it well, it builds our confidence. And so the positive cycle continues.
  • People who are self-confident realise there are things they don’t do well and work on them. If they are impatient, for example, they take that feedback from others and put into place steps to change that. They aren’t defensive and don’t blame others for the feedback they receive, but simply see it as an opportunity to better themselves.
  • They are realistic about themselves. Nobody is perfect and they accept this, but they try and do things to the best of their ability to become more confident and a better person.

Self-confidence makes us happier

 A recent study shows that self-confidence makes up happier.  When you feel you do things well, and others tell you that, you feel more confident in yourself and more content.  Content means happy.  And when you’re happy, you tend to be more purposeful about what you want to achieve and go out and kick goals.

Which means that building self-confidence is important if we want to be happy.

Tips to build your self-confidence

It’s no good wishing you were confident.  To be so, you must swing into action and do things to be confident.  It won’t fall in your lap. Try these:

  • Decide that you want to improve how you feel about yourself, your abilities and build your self-confidence. Your decision to change your life is critical.
  • Make a list of the things you are good at. Yes, that’s right.  What you’re good at.  Some women I ask to do this cannot think of ONE thing they do well.  Which is not true, because we are all good at many things.  Now make your list. If you’re still struggling, try to imagine what your best friends would say if they were asked to make this list. Write that down.
  • Make a list of the things you want to be better at. This means those things that you don’t feel confident about and want to improve.  For example, you may feel shy in front of a large group of people and tend not to speak up and lack confidence in crowds.  Write it down. Work out how to action it.
  • Set some realistic goals. What are you going to do to improve those things you want it improve? SMART goals mean they are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound.  Google more about SMART goals if you are unsure what they are or how to use them.
  • Get a buddy to help you design your goals. Sometimes it’s easier to have another person who can help us and keep us accountable for achieving our goals and following our plans. Team up with someone you trust and admire, who is a positive and confident person themselves – steer clear of anyone likely to bring you down.
  • Follow your plan relentlessly. To achieve your goals, you must have a plan outlining what you will achieve, how you will do it and when. Dates to do things by are very important because if you don’t have them, often time goes by and things slip away (including following your strategies to grow your self-confidence.)

Why is self-confidence important for women?

 I have worked with women of all ages, in all life stages and at different career levels. And there is one common thread that connects us all and impacts our personal growth – we remain unaware of, or undervalue, our own true abilities. This is a real issue for women, because we are already fighting the battle for equality – in our homes, in our jobs, in leadership and business and in society.

So many women don’t achieve what they could or should because of their own self-limiting beliefs about things they can’t do.  If you believe you can, you will.  But in the first instance you don’t believe you are capable, have the ability or can achieve something, then you most certainly won’t.  Weight loss is an example. If you don’t believe you will lose those 10kg you have put on over the last year, you won’t even try.  The weight remains.  You must believe you can, and will, so give life a try.

Statistics about women’s self-confidence

In light of gender inequality and even the rise of the #MeToo movement, these stats show us how far we have to go as women to increase our self-confidence, speak up and improve our ability to be empowered.

Self-Confidence and Self-Image

  • Latest research found that only 4% of women worldwide consider themselves ‘beautiful’.
  • Over half of women agree that they’re their own worst beauty critic.
  • By the time girls reach the age of 17, 78%are ‘unhappy with how they look.’
  • 47% of girls aged 11-14 refuse to take part in activities that show their bodies in any way.

Learn more about women’s empowerment and building confidence here:

Self-Confidence in the Workplace

  • Women’s confidence declines (yes, declines) with experience – 27% of new female employees are confident they can reach top management but this drops to 13% in experienced female employees.
  • 67% of women said they need more support building confidence to feel like they can be leaders
  • Women lack the confidence to pursue a job opportunity beyond their experience (73%)
  • 65% of women are uncomfortable to ask for a promotion
  • 61% of women don’t have the self-confidence to ask for a raise
  • 56% of women don’t have the self-confidence to ask for a new role or position (56%).


If we don’t, who will?

The real issue here is that if we don’t learn to value ourselves, to see what we bring to our workplace, our lives and to others, who is going to do that for us?

Building self-confidence and becoming empowered is an individual journey.  It is ours alone and nobody can do it for us.

The Dalai Lama once said ‘the world will be saved by women.’

Never a truer statement has been said. Learn to love yourself, build your self-confidence and know that you are an amazing woman with so many great things about you.

In short, the world is lucky to have you.

Now go out and do it! After all, you are a Wonder Woman !

Link to:

Are you ready to start your journey? Are you ready to achieve self-confidence and build your personal empowerment?

Would you like a little help?

Have a look at our Be Unstoppable Online Women’s Empowerment Program.  It’s written just for you.

Stage 1 of the Be Unstoppable empowerment program for women is all about the topic of Personal Empowerment – making good decisions and choices, having control over what you do and setting goals. Learn how to take charge of your everyday life by becoming more empowered, focusing on what makes you happy and feeling in control of you.

Head to and learn more about the Program that will help change your life. And try the first stage absolutely FREE!

If you’d like to discuss any concerns or ideas you have about personal empowerment book a free discussion on today!

Photo by Dennis Magati from Pexels

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