Self-Confidence: Are You Failing or Just Struggling with Success?

Have you discovered anything new about your confidence over the past few months?

Since 2020 has been the “perfect storm” for dealing with the unexpected, I thought it would be a great time to review. So far, we’ve been stepping into uncomfortable situations, and having conversations with people we’d really rather avoid. As such, this seems like a good time to explore what it means to tap into a confident mindset.

A recent conversation with one of my clients focused specifically on listening to her tell me that she perceived herself as critical and self-critical. She couldn’t understand why she had these “flaws” and asked for help to stop thinking this way. In reality, I couldn’t stop wondering why she considered her ability to have high standards such a liability in her professional growth.

Was she really failing, or was she struggling with understanding that her ability to accept nothing less than professionalism was leading her down a path to future success?

Here are five articles that deal with the topic of self-confidence.

1. What is self-confidence?

This is a great article from Positive Psychology that defines the differences between self-efficacy, self-confidence, and self-esteem. The article goes on to talk about self-esteem education, how it can back-fire, and nine lessons for practicing self-confidence. Hint: part of our confidence comes from our physicality.

2. 25 killer actions to boost your self-confidence.

This is a great list from Zen Habits of simple steps to take to shift the way you show up every day. Incorporating even one or two of these actions can lead to a major shift in mindset. That’s what we’re looking for here. Small changes that add up to big shifts.

3. Preparing yourself for success.

This article from Mind Tools talks about the what it means to behave in a self-confident way, as opposed to behaving in a way that projects low self-confidence. There’s a wonderful chart in the middle of the article that explains what self sabotaging behavior looks like. This is helpful if you’re wondering if someone around you struggles with low self-esteem. In addition, the article features a quiz that assesses your current level of confidence.

4. 10 things you can do to boost self-confidence.

Here’s a great list from Entrepreneur Magazine that includes 10 simple things you can do to boost your self-esteem. What makes this article interesting is that it focuses on understanding emotion. It’s an interesting perspective that plays a large part in how confident you are in specific situations.

5. Is the confidence gap between men and women a myth?

I’m including this article from Harvard Business Review because my conversation today was with a woman executive who felt she needed to change her behavior in order to feel like she would be a better leader. She never indicated that someone told her to change, and that’s what makes it interesting. She just believed that her behavior would hold her back. The concluding paragraph makes an important point, “Although no single study can provide a definitive understanding of gender biases at work, our results highlight the importance for organizations to monitor how high performing men and women are perceived — by their peers and especially by their supervisors — and how they progress in their careers.”

And if you’d like to hear more about my takeaways from my coaching call today, please take a look at my Instagram account. I’m now going to post more video insights from the topics I share with you. If you have any questions or situations you’d like me to address, please feel free to respond and forward them to me. I’d love to cover more topics in the coming weeks.



Christina Holloway is an executive coach and business coach. She helps executives and entrepreneurs grow their companies faster, create results-driven teams, and increase profitability. She has been featured in ForbesThe Huffington PostAddicted2Success and Fast Company. If you’re interested in working with Christina, take a look at her strategy sessions and contact her to get started.

Christina Holloway