Ivy Slater, CEO of Slater Success Coaching and a panelist on the Take Action/Make It Happen Workshop this year, asks some interesting questions and shares some unique insights on confidence. You know, that thing you used to have when you were a little girl…
Remember How Confident You Were As A Child? What Happened?
by Ivy Slater
Remember as a kid all the things we did and never worried about? A new dress? I never worried how I looked in it, I was just so happy and excited to wear it NOW. A new activity? *Huge sigh* When I started dancing, I did not think how I would look or if I could do it well; I was excited to be a ballerina, to wear pink tights, a black leotard and a pink tutu just like the other kids.
As kids, most of us had an inner confidence about so many things. I helped my mom pick out a pretty outfit and I was set to go. Now I might try on three or four different pair of black pants and attempt to figure out what looks best. In desperation I will ask my husband and he will say they all look great. Ladies, I love my husband, but let’s be real. They DO NOT ALL LOOK GREAT!
I am not alone when I ask, “Where did my inner confidence go?” As long as you are taking this journey down memory lane with me, I’ll share that I ran a 7-figure printing business for close to 20 years and you would think this would be a huge boost to my confidence, particularly working as a woman in a male-dominated industry. But I just went about my day as if I did what other people do every day: meet with clients, make projects happen on time without stress to the clients, meet deadlines even when things go wrong. No big deal, right? During this time I was a wife and mother, managing to be class parent, vice president of the school parents’ association and running the elementary school annual ski trip for 100 participants.
By the time I opened Slater Success in 2008, why was I still questioning whether I truly had something to offer other business women? Was I just part of an epidemic spreading among middle-aged women embarking on new adventures in life and feeling inadequate and dated, and just spending too much time evaluating their black pants rather than their financial assets?!
Now that you know I struggled with rediscovering my confidence too, you might want to know how I turned things around and stepped into my “confident outfit” today. It’s a journey, not a quick fix.
The first step I took was hiring a mentor who was able to see my vision and hold a space for my inner confidence until I was ready to step into it. Think back to childhood a moment. When your mom said you looked so pretty before the school dance it probably didn’t mean much. But when a boy or your girlfriends told you how great you looked, you believed them and were ready to preen like a peacock. When my family stood behind me and told me how smart I was and pointed out my accomplishments, it did not have the same impact as when my mentor made me do the work of writing down what I have done in my life and business. She helped me to acknowledge my accomplishments, look at them in a different light, create a dialogue to express them and then develop a system to support other women business owners. I had the support to step into my confidence as a woman, as a business owner and as a leader.
Today I feel fortunate that I have created a business that helps other women be leaders in their own business because they have stepped into their inner confidence. I know this will continue to impact the world one woman at a time.
Share with me on the Slater Success Coaching Facebook page how you have stepped into your inner confidence and where you are today, or share your adventures along the journey. At SSC, I am all about sharing and support!