Confidence doesn’t come as naturally to women as it does to men, simply because we don’t live in a world that encourages female confidence the way it encourages male confidence.
Women are often taught to be quiet and subservient, to wait before speaking so that people will like them, and to be soft and agreeable.
But women can embrace confidence the same way men can, and still be successful in their lives.
Here are 11 rules every confident woman follows to find success so that you too can be confident and successful just like them:
1) Embrace Your Authenticity
Authenticity is one of your primary assets.
Everything else might have diminishing returns but staying in touch with what makes you a unique player in the field sets you apart from the competition.
You can attempt to take a page out of someone’s playbook or perform a role that just doesn’t fit your personality, but those efforts aren’t going to work in your favor in the long run.
Being performative might get you a few steps higher but it’s not enough to take you all the way to the top.
People want to follow leaders who are real.
The same goes for customers who are looking to buy into a brand that is genuine and authentic about their values.
There’s a reason why you are where you are right now.
When the impostor syndrome kicks in, just remember that you’re here for a reason, and that same thing is what’s going to take you straight up.
2) Don’t Underestimate Your Value
Wage gaps between men and women aren’t unheard of.
Despite budding awareness and more efforts to equalize pay between men and women, it’s difficult to escape this mindset as an entrepreneur.
When you constantly hear anecdotes about the challenges women face in the workplace, it’s difficult not to let that inform the way you see yourself in relation to the world.
With this narrative, a lot of entrepreneurs unknowingly develop an inner critic resembling a lot of what they hear from the rest of the world.
Doing a self-check and seeing if this voice is present in you is one of the most crucial steps to advancing.
Ask yourself, “Is this voice really mine, or is this something that I’m projecting?”.
Calling your own judgments about yourself, and your position in the world, can give you a more objective understanding of where you stand, and make your achievements and contributions that much clearer.
3) Know Your Success, And Own It
Being apologetic about success, chucking it up to luck, or downplaying just how far you’ve come are just some things that you might find yourself doing.
In a world that’s still very much dominated by men, even the most confident women in the field can feel a little self-conscious when asserting their position.
In this case, practice definitely makes perfect.
If you feel apprehensive about calling yourself successful, start there.
You, of all people, should be able to receive that news well.
Allow yourself to talk about your success without couching it in “inoffensive” statements. Don’t worry about sounding braggy and staying humble.
Chances are a part of you already knows how successful you are, and wants to embrace that openly.
Give that part of you a voice and the freedom to express herself unapologetically.
4) Drop The Labels
You’re not a boss bitch, or a female entrepreneur, or a woman in business. You’re an entrepreneur, period.
These qualifiers were created to help recognize marginalized groups and make their achievements stand out for what they truly are.
But a lot of it is empty virtue signaling and pandering.
At the end of the day, you’re not successful or ambitious because you’re a woman.
You’re standing right where you are because you’re hardworking, resourceful, and creative.
Being caught up in the “boss bitch” narrative could be the very thing holding you back.
Just like the “alpha male” identity, it’s a cultural trap that creates this mold of what a confident entrepreneur should be.
The trouble begins when you start feeling like you have to adopt a certain persona to fit what a boss bitch looks like.
5) Stop Saying “Sorry”
And not in an “I’ll never own up to anything ever again.”
Studies have shown that women tend to apologize more than men.
If it’s deeply embedded in your vocabulary, it’s almost inevitable for it to spill over to how you see yourself in a professional environment.
It’s almost instinctual for a woman to want to try and sound more cheery or more upbeat than their male counterparts. Don’t.
Stop adding exclamation marks to serious emails, or second-guessing yourself for speaking up when male colleagues speak over you.
The minute you tell yourself you don’t need to say sorry, you’re giving yourself more freedom to use language that truly reflects your value as a capable professional.
Remember: words have power.
6) Know You Can Say No
As a woman, you sometimes get the feeling that you always have to be agreeable if you want to succeed in any work or social environment.
No one wants to be thought of as the b-word in the office; you have to be game for anything that might happen so that people will like you.
But that’s not necessarily the case.
Saying yes to everything will get you nowhere; people might think you’re fun and nice, but they might not take you seriously.
Remember: you can always say “no” if you don’t want something.
Respect your wishes, your path, and your goals. Don’t let anyone else change your mind for you.
7) Don’t Be Afraid To Let Others Know You’re Awesome
One big difference between men and women — or what men feel they can do and what women feel they can do — is men feel the freedom to promote themselves.
Men can brandish about all their achievements and accomplishments, and get paraded and applauded for it.
Women, however, feel like they have to take a backseat and let other people talk on their behalf.
Don’t let this be you.
If you’re awesome and amazing, let the world know you’re awesome and amazing.
Don’t be afraid of the voices in your head saying, “Don’t be too loud, don’t be too boisterous”.
This is how men climb up the ladder; why shouldn’t you do the same?
8) Find Mentors and Role Models
The business world has been dominated by men for so long, that the higher women climb up the corporate ladder, the lonelier they become.
As a successful woman, you might start to feel more and more isolated the more you achieve success, to the point that you end up feeling held back because you don’t have anyone to turn to or look up to (besides men).
Don’t let yourself become isolated in a male-dominated industry.
Connect with other women around you and above you; find mentors, role models, and other women who have experienced the same difficulties you experience every day.
And even more importantly, become the mentor and role model for women looking up at you.
9) Make Time For Self-Checks
It can be so easy to get caught up in the rat-race of the business world.
You feel like you never have the time to stop moving, to take a breath and catch yourself, because a thousand people are behind you waiting for you to slip and take your place.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Living and working like that is the fastest way to burn out, and burning out is good for no one, especially you.
Give yourself the time every now and then to step out of the current and check on yourself.
Ask yourself, are you happy? Are you still becoming the person you want to be? Are you still on your path?
10) Leave Ego At The Door
It’s a tough world out there, and the higher you climb, the more you’ll be scrutinized; not just by others, but also by yourself.
But remember — it’s just business.
When someone criticizes your company, your work ethic, your techniques, it’s not necessarily about you.
Don’t let it affect you emotionally, and don’t let anyone control the way you feel.
So keep your ego in check. Always ask yourself if you’re feeling the right things, or if your feelings are being defined by something other than logic and reason.
And once you achieve more success than you’d ever dreamed of, don’t let your ego inflate to the size of a blimp.
Remember where you came from, how hard you worked, and who helped you along the way.
Never forget your roots because your ego convinced you you were something else.
11) Focus On Getting Better, Not Being The Best
We always want to compare, compare, compare.
Are you better than the other people around you?
Are you smarter, more cunning, more of a boss?
This type of self-motivation will only get you so far before it turns against you the moment you realize that you’re not the best in the world.
So don’t try to be the best in the world. Don’t compete with everyone else. Your biggest competition is yourself.
Get better by your standards, not by the standards set by everyone else. If you’re better than you were yesterday, last month, last year, then that’s progress.