Anne is a good fit for her corporate legal practice and could really enjoy the work and her colleagues but she is constantly in fear of making an error. Joanne is at the office long hours and yet her billings are low because she under rates her value as a lawyer. Sue is a smart and talented mid-level associate who lacks confidence in her abilities. There are many challenges for women in legal practice and one important one is an internal challenge: lack of self-confidence.
In their blog post for the Harvard Business Review, Four Ways Women Stunt Their Careers Unintentionally, Jill Flynn, Kathryn Heath, and Mary Davis Holt discuss the small shifts in thinking and perspective that can help women professionals:
“What we’ve found in our work is that career momentum for women is not about adding job skills but about changing everyday thinking and behaviors. We don’t think the majority of high-performing women need to make major changes. Small adjustments in how they think and act can improve not only how confident they seem, but how confident they feel.”
I couldn’t agree more. Coaching is an effective tool for surfacing confidence challenges and addressing them. Lack of confidence is not something women just have to “live with”. If you lack confidence then I urge you to work with a coach or other related professional to help you grow your appreciation for your strengths and attributes.