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Top Confidence Killers for Women – with Momentum CEO April Benetollo

April 28, 2022 in

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Have You Ever Had Your Confidence Shaken or Killed?

In this episode of Belle Curve Podcast, we talk about how to resurrect your confidence after it has been beaten up, downtrodden, maybe even killed by someone or something or some combination of circumstances. Let’s face it, confidence destroying situations happen to everyone. And if it hasn’t happened to you yet, hate to break it to you, it will.

In the immortal words of Dory from the movie Finding Nemo, “You can’t never let anything happen to him. Then nothing would ever happen to him.” Indeed, there’s simply no success without failure. You have to get into the arena and try, and sometimes those tries are messy.

And hopefully only VERY occasionally, you really just get the knockout punch. You are punched clear out of the ring, flat onto your back, gasping for breath. This is the confidence killing punch that can come from a personal or professional circumstance, but it leaves you wondering how you are ever going to get up.

Top Confidence Killers for Women

We interview April Benetollo, Chief Executive Officer of Momentum — a non-profit that advances opportunities for women in leadership through a rigorous executive leadership program, an early-career program, conferences, community events, mentor matching, and corporate training. April gives her list of the most common ways women suffer more than they should when a confidence killer strikes:

  • Superwoman trap – trying to be everything to everyone, and do it all perfectly.
  • Not living/working in strengths – sometimes in our jobs we are doing things we may be good at, but they aren’t strengths. This saps our joy and contributes to an overall feeling of unhappiness and ineffectiveness. Hint: Marcus Buckingham’s “Loved or Loathed” exercise can help: keep a piece of paper at your desk and track your day’s activities – what did you love doing? Put that in the “Loved” column. What did you loathe? Put that in the other category. April reminds us, while we can’t design a job where we love everything we do, we can try to minimize the areas we are weak in and ask others for help in those areas. Additionally — sometimes we are good at things but they aren’t a wise use of our company’s resources if we are employed at a higher level and others can do these small tasks instead.
  • Fear of failure – becoming anxious of new opportunities like going out on our own as business founders or entrepreneurs or taking a new career step because we are afraid of failure. April reminds us that sometimes we fear the next step is “the last step” and that isn’t the case.
  • Absorbing the failures & disappointments of others as if they were our own – i.e., taking on the failures of our spouse, children, or work teams by telling ourselves that if we were better they wouldn’t have failed. April passes on the wisdom of supporting others’ failures by imagining ourselves receiving the failure, then wrapping it in a bubble of love and giving it back to the person with grace in our hearts to say – we support and love you through this, but we do not own it ourselves.
  • Negative self-talk – women are far more prone to negative self-talk than men. We get in these negative mental loops that sound like: “I’m not thin enough, I’m not powerful enough, my house is not clean enough, I’m dreading this meeting because every time I get in front of this group I mess up, etc.” April reminds us that not only do we have negative chatter in our minds, we also put words into the minds of others that are likely not there (and cause us to suffer as we think of them).
  • Obsession with appearances – whether physical appearance or appearance of our homes, kids, cars, you name it — we can overextend ourselves trying to make everything in our lives look amazing.

How to Resurrect Killed Confidence

As women, most of us have developed a deep abiding resilience and support network that already guides us through the ups and downs of life. However, when we are tempted to despair because of a major confidence-killing event, there are things we should double-down on to resurrect our confidence and regain our joy including:

  • Remember your CORE identity and reaffirm your strengths – assessments like Strengths Finder and other professionl assessment tools can majorly help.
  • Develop a plan to get out of the low place with the counsel and support of your trusted advisors
  • Identify who your strong supporters are and weed out those who don’t build you up. April reminds us that when we’re down, we absolutely should not spend time with our detractors or those who don’t have our best interests at heart. We should not feel shame asking a supporter for help.
  • In moments of despair, it is a crucial time to reprioritize. For example, we may look up and realize we have been spending our lives out of alignment for the past 10 years. Maybe it isn’t a big salary or a big title we want after all – maybe what we really want is the opportunity to shape our kids or pour into our marriage, faith, or parents. Often, a big door will shut but then we have the opportunity to truly look at the open doors in front of us.

Resources mentioned:

  1. How to get your confidence back when you’ve been through a rough patch
  2. The Confidence Code by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman
  3. MomentumLeaders.org: Mentor Matching Program – fill out the form and the mentor coordinator will go into their extensive network to work with you
  4. Momentum Matters Podcast – April’s podcast
  5. April Benetollo Bio
  6. Connect with April on LinkedIn
  7. HigherEchelon, Inc.is a consulting firm providing Human Capital Services including executive coaching and training in leadership, resilience, adaptability, applied high performance, change management, and a range of mental, emotional, and psychological skillsets meant to optimize organizational performance.
  8. HigherEchelon also provides a range of technology services such as Salesforce Implementations and ConsultingEnterprise Technology solutionsGaming and Simulation services, and Cyber and Engineering Solutions
  9. HigherEchelon on LinkedInTwitter, and Facebook

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Belle Curve Podcast is sponsored by HigherEchelon, Inc. and co-hosted by Rachel Bryars, Mary Scott Hunter, and Liz Beshears