You have goals, you’re smart, and you’re ambitious. Yet, there is something about how you present yourself to others that cause them to underestimate your capabilities. If you have difficulty knowing what to do or how to respond when you find yourself in this situation, here are some important tips to help others see what you’re capable of:
Take a good look in the mirror: As much as we would all be better served in a world that didn’t put so much emphasis on outer appearance, the reality is that we all get judged by so many external aspects of our make-up. While these judgments are purely biased and many times may not provide insight into a person’s character or capability, it’s important to present as someone that is confident if you want to be entrusted and want to obtain your ambitions. So, ask yourself how are you coming across to others? Do you portray yourself in a manner that suggests you feel unqualified? If so, it’s time to work on creating a professional stance that exudes determination and sureness.
Talk to yourself like you would your best friend: Far too often, we are extremely hard on ourselves. If you are full of negative self-talk and overly critical of yourself, then it’s time to have a different conversation with yourself. You would never say the harsh things you say to yourself to your best friend because you know that would likely cause your friend to doubt herself. So, how can you expect to come across as someone who is in control and full of confidence if you are constantly bombarding yourself with negative talk? Instead, start talking to yourself like you were talking to your best friend and trying to encourage her in her next endeavor. As you grow more self-assured, others will be less inclined to doubt your qualifications.
Be clear and assertive in your language: The way you choose to communicate your thoughts and ideas is critical if you want to ensure that your capabilities are not being miscalculated. Obscure and unsure language that is riddled with conditional verbiage is a disastrous cocktail for undermining yourself. Stop speaking in a way that suggests you have questions and doubts about your position. For instance, do you say things like, “I was just wondering…” or “I kind of think that…” This style of communication immediately strips away your power. Instead, be concise and assertive in your communication. Use “I” statements framed in affirmative sentences that demonstrate you are confident about your idea or thought. For instance, instead of saying, “if you were to consider working with me, I kind of think I could complete the project in less time than…” Instead say, “When you choose me to manage this project, I can assure the deadline will be met by…”
Actions speak louder than words: It may sound cliché, but it’s true. The sure-fire way to silence all the naysayers about your ability is to prove them wrong through your actions. So, ignore and block out the chatter of critics and get to work on executing that plan of action. Create measurable and clear goals that when met, will censor the cynics for good.
– Cynthia Santiago, empowerment coach and founder of Latina Wellness