The Challenge of Confidence

It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.” – Sir Edmund Hillary

As one of the leads of the steering committee for my Employee Resource Group (ERG), I am currently involved in planning a panel discussion around the topic of confidence. Actually, I am leading this initiative. The concept came from another ERG chapter, where they held a workshop that allowed people to explore the topic on a more hands on basis. At our location, on the other hand, we are simply trying to start a conversation.

To conceptualize and shape this event, I held a brainstorming session with several other female members of the committee. To no surprise, every single one of us has had her struggles with confidence. However, that discussion did not really go the way I intended – the girls kept steering it towards more of a situational confidence (doing the power pose before a presentation, making eye contact, using forceful gestures, etc.), rather than the type of confidence that moves the world. They asked for practical tips on how to improve the courage in a moment, rather than to build the courage to propel their lives. Yes, my vision for the panel event is more on a higher level, although not necessarily high-level.

The primary objective for the panel event is to help our members recognize how much confidence impacts their career. We would like to motivate ERG members to start thinking about their own possible root causes of a lack of confidence and how the choices they make and actions they take that can grow their confidence level overtime. The message behind this event will be “confidence has impact on every aspect that drives your career.” Hopefully, members will walk away with the takeaway of “confidence does not happen overnight. It is a sum of actions, skills, choices, attitude, connections, etc.

The dictionary definition of confidence is “a belief in the effectiveness of one’s own abilities or in one’s favorable acceptance by others”. Personally, I define confidence as knowing – knowing who you are and what you are capable of. Confidence is one of the most profound parts of my identity. Confidence is who I am – it is in every step I take; it defines every single one of my actions throughout the day; it is the choices I make for my life.  Absolutely, I have had issues with my own confidence level – probably more than you care to read about. I was not always strong, opinionated, logical, and fearless. However, life has thrown so many lessons at me that I had no choice, but to decide once and for all who I want to be, regardless of what others wanted me to be. I have taken many steps and opportunities to improve myself, my opinion about myself and who/what I should be, and to prove to myself and others that it is not wrong to be me.

Confidence is not simply being able to find your tongue in the impromptu situation. Confidence is multi-faceted and has many building blocks that strengthen it. Those monumental aspects of confidence is what I am planning to structure the panel discussion around.

My mission for this event is to give my colleagues food for thought and inspire them to reach deeper and find within themselves what it takes to get the most out of life.

Where are you on your confidence journey?



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