In my experience of working with hundreds of clients the biggest fear many of them have is of being rejected or not fitting in.
It was a conversation I had with a new client this week that sparked the idea for a blog. She lacked confidence in meeting new people and doing small talk, which was affecting her ability to network and progress her career, as well as her social life.
Her fear was that she would have nothing to say, people wouldn’t find her interesting and would judge her as not being of value or ‘one of them’.
From the outside it’s easy to say that’s obviously not true. But when our thoughts are telling us this story of what will happen and the feeling that comes with them is so real, it’s very difficult to ignore what they say.
The fear then builds and you start avoiding situations where your worries could come true. Which is exactly what my new client is doing.
The starting point to develop the courage to overcome these fears is to recognise that they are almost certainly not true. Just because you’ve thought them, it doesn’t mean they’re coming from your inner guru and you must believe every word. They are a story your thoughts are telling you and you can ignore them.
As humans we are rubbish at accurately predicting how others will think and behave, so we create a scenario and that is often a negative one.
Another idea is to imagine that the worst has happened and you have been rejected/don’t fit in/judged as boring. What would you do then? Yes you could allow yourself to feel upset for a short time. Then you could start the process of growing and moving on. Imagine this happening now, how does it feel to carry on being you and not being pulled down by other peoples opinions.
When did you last have to start a difficult conversation with a peer, your boss or a client? Disagreeing with someone and potentially causing a conflict can be a scary and an anxiety provoking idea.
You know you ‘should’ have that conversation, but wouldn’t it be easier to avoid it or let it go? It wasn’t that important anyway (was it?)
You probably spend days or hours worrying about what to say, when to say it and what their reaction
might be. A great loss of time, energy and emotion.
I’m sure you’ve found many logical reasons (excuses) to not initiate the discussion. But that just leaves you
with a churning feeling of guilt and shame, because you know you lacked the courage to speak up.
You’ve not expressed to the other person your thoughts. So, they’ll either not realise that something was wrong or they’ll see you as easily walked over.
Even more importantly…
It sends a message to your self-esteem that your ideas, thoughts and needs aren’t important enough for you
to speak up for them.
And guess what…
That knocks your confidence even more and reinforces the habit of not being assertive.
In my research with successful career women about 70% say they weren’t naturally assertive
and they had to learn the skill. But 100% say assertiveness is essential to achieving career success.
Of my clients, over two-thirds are looking for support to develop voicing their thoughts and needs. To be able to disagree confidently with seniors and to have the strength to stick to their ideas.
No matter what behaviours you see around you it is possible to discuss difficult issues in a calm, rational and respectful way. You just need to learn how.
Here are some top tips to help you:
1. Check your mindset. Are you feeling angry, resentful, frustrated or hurt? If you go into a difficult conversation driven by your emotion it will cloud your thinking and the chances of conflict are a lot higher. Instead take the personal out of it and go into the conversation ready to listen and understand the other person.
2. Have a plan. If you have a loose idea on a structure for the interaction you’re more likely to cover your key points. If you worry you’ll get flustered or overwhelmed then write down those points too ensure you raise them.
3. Actively listen. As Stephen Covey (of The 7 Habits Of Successful People) says “seek first to understand before being understood”. This means actively listening and not just waiting for a gap to make your next point.
4. Slow down. Whether you’re giving or receiving bad news you both need time to reflect, ask questions and offer answers. Because these conversations are uncomfortable we tend to rush through them. By slowing down and respecting each others point of view it gives a chance for emotions to settle
5. Offer a solution, compromise or follow up. Wherever you can, offer a solution or a suggestion to support the other person or to help you change your performance. If you can’t agree on a compromise then book a follow up session after you’ve both had time to reflect.
So next time you get that feeling that you ‘should’ have a difficult conversation, you’re probably right, take action!
If you’d like to learn more about assertiveness and speaking up for yourself, book a call with me at www.speakwithjo.com
Are you too accommodating in your daily life—so much so that it’s actually a hindrance to your work?
Well, you might be a people pleaser. While it’s a great set of skills to be able to work with others being too much of a people pleaser actually sets you back. It diminishes your work, undermines your authority, and—eventually—it stunts your professional growth.
Here are 10 signs that you might be suffering from people-pleasing—and how to nip it in the bud.
1. YOU AGREE, EVEN WHEN YOU DISAGREE
This is a common trait of people pleasers. Whether it’s in a meeting, having a one-on-one conversation, or in the middle of a big negotiation, people pleasers tend to agree—even when they don’t. There are certainly circumstances where sharing your personal or political opinions is not necessary. However, people pleasers tend to agree even when they vehemently disagree.
If you find yourself being agreeable for the sake of being agreeable, ask yourself a few questions:
Does agreeing with this particular opinion/direction/move go against my personal values?
Is agreeing with this undermining the work and research I have already done up to this point?
Does agreeing to this do more harm or more good?
2. YOU APOLOGISE TOO MUCH
I talk about weak language at work—a lot. Why? Because we recognize it in ourselves too often.
Apologies are fine when you’re actually sorry—or when you have something legitimate to apologise for. But, again, ask yourself a question. Are you undermining yourself by constantly apologising? We tend to use apologies to smooth over awkward events and to make room for others to be comfortable.
Try to avoid saying the words I’m sorry for a week and see what happens.
3. YOU ALWAYS HAVE SOMEONE DOUBLE-CHECK YOUR WORK
This is something people pleasers do in order to get feedback and to make sure their work is up to snuff. Like a lot of “pleaser” behavior, this isn’t always a bad thing. Generally speaking, feedback is great and we should seek it out where we can.
However, constantly asking for feedback, approval, or credit can actually diminish the quality of your work—and it can diminish how others view you. Rather than constantly asking for feedback, find new confidence in your work. If you’re looking for a second pair of eyes for edits or mistakes, create a checklist of yourself. Run your own work quality checks through a battery of filters. Is everything spelled correctly? Are the dates all correct?
Asking for help is good. However, you also need to enlist the self-confidence in your own work rather than relying on approval from others at every turn.
4. YOU ARE CONSTANTLY BURDENED BY OTHER PEOPLE’S FEELINGS
Do you find yourself constantly distracted by your boss’ moods? Do you feel personally attacked if your coworker wears her headphones for an entire day?
People pleasers commonly find themselves involved in other people’s feelings. Think of it as an empathy overload. Empathy is crucial in the workplace, but there is a line where empathy can actually manifest as nosiness in disguise. Recognise when those around you are in need of a soothing word or a walk around the block. However, also recognise that when people need a few minutes of solitude or when they are having a personally bad day, they might want to be left alone—and it has nothing to do with you.
Know when your attention to other people’s feelings is an intrusion on your work and your own well-being.
5. YOU RARELY ACCEPT CREDIT OR PRAISE
Raise your hand if you’ve ever shaken off praise by saying something like, “Well, the whole team helped, so…”
Accept your praise when it’s due, Take a bath in it. Treat yourself to a nice lunch. It’s that simple. Next time praise comes your way, recognise if you’re about to explain it away. Instead, try a simple thank you. Enjoy the victory—you’ve earned it.
6. YOU TAKE BLAME WHEN IT’S NOT YOURS
Does confrontation make you uneasy? Does dischord send your day into chaos? This behavior is a little extreme, but listen up. If you find yourself taking the blame for someone else’s mistake—maybe in the interest of settling a dispute or calming things down—you are probably a people pleaser.
if you’re not going to accept credit or praise for work well-done, then do not accept blame for missteps by others. While you feel like you are diffusing a situation in the moment, you are actually adding to long-term problems. When teams are unable to find the true root cause of a problem, it will likely reoccur and have bigger repercussions.
Next time there is unrest in a meeting or between members of your team, let the real problem come to light.
7. YOU ACT LIKE THE PERSON AROUND YOU
Everyone has a little bit of a different personality for different environments. For example, when you’re out for dinner on a Saturday night with your three closest girlfriends, your demeanor is going to be slightly different from your Monday morning vibes.
The language you use with your partner or your mom will be different than the language you use with your manager or a client. Everybody wears different hats throughout their entire lives. However, if you find yourself constantly shapeshifting at work, you might be a people pleaser.
This is not a matter of using professional language with one person and more casual parlance with another. This is when you find your views and outlooks changing when speaking to one person or another. This type of behavior can have especially damaging consequences when you ally yourself with someone who is unhappy or negative in the workplace. If you recognize this type of behavior in yourself, conduct an honest check-in. Are you doing and saying the things you really believe? Is this relationship capable of hurting your career in the long-run?
8. YOU ALWAYS SAY YES
You might be a chronic people-pleaser if you often find yourself in the office, after hours, doing work that isn’t technically yours. Once you become known as the office people pleaser, you will become a sitting duck—an easy target.
If you work with people—especially someone who is slightly senior to you—you might find work being passed on to you. Do certain colleagues seek you out and overload you with work? Since you don’t want to say no, you do it, again and again. Thus begins a vicious cycle.
Help out when you’re needed. All hands on deck are necessary in any work environment at any given moment. However, if you start to notice that another coworker is constantly pushing work onto you and leaving the office early, you need to put your foot down with a firm NO.
9. YOU NEED EVERYONE TO LIKE YOU (EVEN THE PEOPLE YOU DON’T LIKE)
When you walk into the office, do you say hello to everyone? Do you notice that Karen from accounting never responds in kind? She never even sends a smile your way—and this drives you up the wall. Why doesn’t she like me?
But, wait a second, you don’t even really work with Karen in accounting. In fact, whenever you have accounting needs, you work with Sheila. In fact, you don’t even really like Karen to begin with!
Here’s the thing. it’s great to get along with everyone in the workplace, but maybe you aren’t Karen’s cup of tea—and vice-versa. As long as it doesn’t affect the quality of your work—or Karen’s work—who cares? Don’t get caught up in who may or may not like you. More often than not, our coworker has no strong feelings about you, to begin with. Focus on your work and the harmony of your direct team. Don’t get caught up in other noise.
10. YOU AVOID ANY AND ALL CONFLICT
Are people raising their voices in the conference room? Is your coworker getting blamed for something you know is not her fault? What do you do?
People pleasers tend to avoid any and all conflict. Nobody really loves conflict, but when you’re actively avoiding conflict, it can do more harm than good. The next time there is conflict, instead of sticking to the sidelines, consider whether or not you have information or a point of view that could lead to a resolution.
In short, avoiding conflict is not always a good thing—especially when you might hold the very key to a solution.
If you struggle with a ton of people-pleasing behavior, it will help to work on building mental strength to let go of it. Remember that people-pleasing behavior comes from an intrinsically good place. However, over time, it can damage your professional and personal relationships.
If you’d like to discuss how you can change your people pleaser mindset then book a call with me at www.speakwithjo.com and I’ll share a plan of how you can start to overcome it.
P.S. If you still haven’t watched my webinar ‘The 4 Steps To Get More Impact and Recognition At Work – Without Being Bossy Or Pushy’ then don’t miss out just click here
You might be surprised to hear that in a survey of professional workers only 43% said they were satisfied and happy at work.
I find those figures quite shocking.
From my research and work with thousands of women I’ve found the key thing that makes people negative about their career is the constant chasing for greater achievement and reward.
The mistaken belief that when you’ve reached success and you’re recognised for it you will be happy. This leads to stress, anxiety, a fear of failure and low self-worth, and not surprisingly unhappiness in your career.
This self-sabotaging behaviour has 4 key mindsets behind it, which are:
A need for power, money or status
It’s understandable to associate career success with these 3 elements, society tells us that. However if you also define yourself and your worth by these you are heading for a never ending crusade that will lead to disappointment.
My Tip: Gain clarity on what career success actually means to you. Is it to always be challenged and stretched, or to reach a seniority where you have influence or perhaps to have respect and add value whilst ensuring a flexible balance around your family? Spend some time exploring this to find out what success is for you and maybe you’re there already?
Do you have a real fear of making a mistake and give yourself unrealistic expectations? This need to be perfect isn’t the positive motivator that many women think it is. It’s actually a trap that stops you being productive, creative and inspirational.
My Tip: Change your focus from a fear of not being perfect to a drive for excellence. Excellence is being outstanding or extremely good, and still allows for mistakes. It means you are on a learning journey of development and innovation to achieve it.
3. Window Dressing
By this I mean showing the world your flawless self, how everything is wonderful and your life is just great (think Facebook). You may not want to share all your problems at work but hiding behind your invulnerable mask will stop people trusting and building rapport with you.
My Tip: Develop self-awareness of your perceived flaws and recognise that by showing them sometimes your vulnerability and authenticity will make you far more inspiring and trustworthy. None of these traits are fatal flaws and accepting they make up the whole you is a first step.
4. People Pleasing
This is the consequence of allowing other people’s opinions to have greater influence than your own. You are allowing your perceived status and success to be determined by others rather than your own self-acceptance. Society gets to decide your self-worth rather than you and that can lead to bad decisions such as keeping quiet about harassment or spending too many hours at work.
My Tip: This comes back to self-awareness and working out what is actually important to you. Is it essential your boss thinks you’re the best or that you’re liked by everyone at work? What would really make you happy?
If you recognise yourself in any of these mindsets and know that you self-sabotage then you will find my latest free training webinar very helpful. Just click the link below
Behind any person’s lack of confidence is a FEAR of some form. A fear that wants to keep you small and to stop you stepping out of your comfort zone.
It could be a fear of failure, a fear of being judged or a fear of losing control. Whatever your fear is it wants you to stay stuck. It wants you to think about all of your mistakes and the skills you don’t think you have. So it can stop your confidence from growing.
The antidote to fear is action. Movement. Once you move forward, proceed, engage, fear loses its grip on you. It tries really hard to hold on, grasping and clutching at you as you start to shift, making you scared and uncomfortable.
You need the courage to take that step.
Courage moves you out of a paralysed fear state, into action. And it’s action that builds your confidence more than anything else.
We build our confidence by taking small steps consistently that move us toward the best version of ourselves. That inch us closer to what we know to be true, not what we worry others will think. Steps that help us move into our power. And we need the courage to get ourselves into gear. Here are some steps you can take to support your confidence journey.
What are the situations that suck the confidence right out of you?
Is it speaking up in a meeting filled with senior managers?
Perhaps it’s giving a presentation in front of your boss, or your boss’s boss. Maybe it’s being unprepared in a project review. Not having all the facts on hand for a client. For some women, they are full of confidence at work, but when they drop their kid off at the school gate the other mums are enough to drain all of their confidence and make them feel unsure of themselves.
It can be anything, but most of us have a few main triggers that impact us more than anything else. Work out what they are, and how to counter them. Do you lack confidence giving a presentation?
Work with someone to improve your mindset and skills. Being unprepared? Schedule time in advance so you have space to get up to speed. Afraid of speaking in front of senior managers? Work out what sits under that fear so you can address it. Triggers are small things that cause major havoc. Start here. You may need to tap into your courage to look at what’s really going on.
Think about your life or career for a moment
If there was one thing you really wanted to do, what would it be? If you knew you could take one courageous step toward that goal, what would your next right action be?
Write out a list of 10 small steps, actions that will move you forward and commit to taking one small courageous step. Taking an action is enough to build our confidence and propel us forward.
It’s what we do every day, not what we do sometimes, that matters and changes our lives. Get to really know yourself, your triggers and what lifts you up. Remember that it’s the small things done with courage and consistently, that will make all the difference.
What small step to kill your fear will you take today?
If that small step is to get support then do book a Career Breakthrough Call with me today at www.speakwithjo.com . We’ll get real clarity on your fears and I’ll share a personalised plan with you to take action.
Have you ever had that creeping feeling of dread in a meeting, when the time is ticking by, the discussion is moving on and you haven’t shared your opinion yet?
It might only happen in meetings where you’re not the expert on the subject or when senior and intimidating people are present. It could be that not speaking up is a habit you’ve fallen into and now it feels too uncomfortable to break out.
One reason women find it difficult to get their voice heard in meetings is brilliantly illustrated in this metaphor by Havana Nguyen. She describes conversations as ball games and depending on the culture, the personalities and the group dynamics, the type of ball game (discussion) varies. For example:
• Tennis – complete sentences bounce back and forth between people
• Basketball – people spontaneously but naturally picking up the topic as it jumps and shifts around multiple people
• Bowling – people take turns, and everyone gets ample time to plan what they say and complete their sentences
• Rugby – where everyone is clamouring to get their say and sentences get cut off all the time
When women talk together we tend to play bowls or basketball, whereas men may prefer to fall into a game of rugby. Can you see how someone taking their turn to bowl won’t make an impact in a game of rugby?
How can you improve your ball skills?
Firstly, identify the game that’s being played. Which category of ball sport would you use to describe most of your meetings?
Secondly, decide on your tactics. Are you going to jump in and play the same game or are you going to wait and observe for an opportunity to contribute? Make sure your decision is based on authenticity and not just an excuse to avoid playing.
If you recognise yourself as a bowler in a rugby game and would like some strategies to help you get heard then do book a free Discovery Call with me and I’ll share with you EXACTLY how you can raise your game. You can book a call on my calendar at www.speakwithjo.com
Judging others and making comparisons between yourself and them is a natural human behaviour. But, if you take other people’s judgement of you as real, it allows them to have control over you and how you live your life.
If you have ever been on the receiving end (and most of us have) of colleagues, friends or strangers judgement. Then you will know how it can paralyse and make you feel powerless.
I remember a time in my life when things were going well. My career was taking off and I was excited about the future. That was the exact moment when a colleague I thought of as a friend, began making negative judgements about me.
I recognised that their comments and behaviour came from their insecurities, but that didn’t stop them from being hurtful and triggering my self-doubts. Over time I realised I had 3 choices; I could either continue to be upset, be held back and controlled by their judgement, or fightback defensively, causing conflict and distracting me from my goals or choose to move forward regardless, trusting my own intuition and value.
I chose number 3, and although it wasn’t easy, with practice I now find it much simpler to carry on regardless of others judgements.
What was the powerful secret?
For me, the moment I realised I didn’t have to be ruled by others judgement, was when I recognised I had the option to value myself and my life rather than worry about others.
When you make the choice to focus on you and being your best, rather than worrying what others think. You keep a hold on your power and energy, instead of giving it to those that judge.
Yes, it can be uncomfortable if you think you will offend others or they will disagree with you. But every time you choose to trust yourself and internally validate your decisions, you take a step towards a more positive life.
Challenge yourself today. The next time you are judged negatively or fear you might be judged, choose to value yourself and your beliefs instead.
You may be surprised at the positive and unexpected changes it brings.
One choice you might fear to make in case you are judged is to reach out for support in your journey to confidence and career success. If you are looking to make that choice then I’d love to have a chat with you and I promise I won’t be judging you!
“To be passive is to let others decide for you. To be aggressive is to decide for others. To be assertive is to decide for yourself. And to trust that there is enough, that you are enough.”
― Edith Eva Eger
I love this quote and here is the story of my client who learnt how to be assertive with a colleague who was undermining her expertise.
If you have ever had a member of your team dismiss your authority and undermine your expertise. Then you will know how Claire felt when she came to see me.
Claire was employed to work alongside a colleague at the same level when she first joined a large engineering company. Two years later a restructure led to her promotion, and the recruitment of two new team members to work with her old colleague Nick, managed by Claire.
Claire knew it would be difficult for Nick having to report to her and hoped that their previous relationship would continue.
Six months into the role and it was evident that Nick was not acknowledging Claire’s seniority. He would ‘hold court’ in team meetings; disrupting the discussion and undermining her expertise.
Claire had tried to manage the situation indirectly and by having a chat with Nick, but felt very uncomfortable to tackle the issue directly.
From our work together, she quickly identified her behaviour as passive-aggressive and understood that there were ways she could speak to Nick directly and still maintain their relationship.
Claire worked hard at developing her assertiveness and tried out several assertive statements to get Nick on board.
“I understand that a lot has changed since the restructure and we are all settling into our roles. I am working to develop our new team members and would appreciate your support in sharing your expertise with them.”
It’s not just the outcome that matters
Also “You have a lot of knowledge and experience in this department, which I value and I do consider it when I allocate projects. I need you to take responsibility for the delivery of the projects on time. Do you have any concerns about this?”
Nick did improve but was still affecting the team’s performance. Claire realised that she needed to be increasingly direct with her assertiveness to hit the ‘sweet spot’ with Nick. She also needed to take ownership of her role as a manager and worry less about her previous relationship with Nick.
She found this very uncomfortable, but with support has found her own way of approaching the issues assertively.
“Since our last discussion, I have noticed that in our team meetings, your contributions tend to be negative and undermine the ideas that the others and I suggest. Is there anything concerning you that is behind these behaviours?”
Nick did acknowledge that he could be more supportive, but he didn’t open up about any issues. As a result, Claire had to continue being direct in response to his performance, and eventually, Nick moved company.
Despite the outcome not being what she wanted, the whole situation was a significant development opportunity for Claire. She found her voice and now has no concerns about speaking up to her team or the top level of the company.
If you struggle to voice your opinions and needs and want to speak up without coming across as bossy or aggressive I’d love to have a chat with you and share with you how to achieve it.
I’ve written blogs about perfectionism many times before as it’s a common trait of many of my clients
When we explore challenging their perfectionist traits my clients often worry that if they give up perfectionism they’ll be lowering their standards.
So, in this blog Im going to look at the difference between excellence and perfectionism and why one is far healthier for you than the other.
Perfectionism is a personality trait characterised by the person striving for flawlessness along with being highly self-critical.
Although perfectionism will drive you to achieve well it comes at a very high cost. That’s because it’s all about you and how others perceive of you.
Perfectionism is selfish as you’ve no room to focus on others. It comes from a place of fear and ego and can be very exhausting.
If you’re a perfectionist you can end up playing small as you don’t want to risk feeling uncomfortable and you want to avoid making a mistake.
However, this can lead to hiding from new opportunities and always thinking your work or you are not good enough.
What does perfectionism look like?
There are some classic perfectionist traits and you may have some, all or none of them:
All or nothing thinking – Something is either 100% or a failure there’s no grey area between and no room for ‘good enough’
Being in control – You find it hard to delegate, because others never do it to your standards so it’s easier just to do it yourself
High expectations – Your standards for yourself and others are extremely high and probably unrealistic
Failing to finish – There’s always something more you can do on a project to get it just right which, means you find its difficult to finish and share with others
Lots of rules – ‘Should’ is a frequent word in your vocabulary and means you have reams of rules for yourself and others
Procrastination – Because you don’t want to make a mistake or fail you find it hard to start some projects
Rumination and overthinking – You spend a long time thinking about situations that didn’t go the way you wanted and situations that might not go perfectly
Dips in confidence – Your confidence fluctuates according to your achievements or lack of them and to the feedback you receive
Reading that makes me feel exhausted so I’m sure you can imagine the pressure and pain that perfectionism can bring. Let’s talk about how you can overcome perfectionism.
Excellence However, is defined as being outstanding and or extremely good
When you look to master a career or specific area of your life rather than striving to be perfect, it feels freeing, innovative and optimistic.
Excellence is a value rather than a personality trait like perfectionism. It’s a value you may have at your core or an element you can choose to develop.
Achieving excellence requires you to put in time, be ready to learn and to think in an unstructured way.
It can also be risky and touch on your vulnerability, but comes from a place of curiosity rather than fear.
How do I develop excellence?
I’ve found these ideas really helpful for clients looking to overcome perfectionism and achieve excellence:
Focus on the good – Every career or part of life has aspects you won’t enjoy. Look for the positives and focus on solutions rather than problems
Be curious – A mindset of curiosity rather than negativity will bring out the best in you and others. If a colleague behaves badly, be curious as to why rather than taking it personally
Take a risk – Too be successful you are going to need to risk failure and as a lot of motivational quotes say ‘you can learn more from failure than any success’
Commit to hard work – Excellence doesn’t come easily but as a perfectionist I’m sure hard work doesn’t scare you. Being passionate about your career or activity helps to maintain motivation
Challenge yourself to grow – that doesn’t mean setting unrealistic standards but instead acknowledging your successes and then moving onto another challenge
When you’re working towards excellence you’ll feel in touch with your intuition. If you’ve fallen into perfectionism you may feel frustration, irritability and fear. Remember perfectionism is a game you can’t win.
Now you know the difference between excellence and perfectionism, which will you choose?
If you have perfectionist traits and would like to be released from the pressure and stress then do book a free Discovery Call with me on my online calendar at www.speakwithjo.com
A study of women’s confidence commissioned by vitamins, minerals and health supplements firm Healthspan was announced this week. The study was reported in the press below:
The research of 2,000 females aged 50 and above found levels of confidence are low among one in 10.
The results suggested that a lack of confidence and self-esteem is causing women over 50 to feel depressed, anxious and even ‘trapped’.
Researchers identified the triggers which cause this negative impact on confidence as weight gain (27 per cent), a feeling of isolation (23 per cent) and a loss of libido (18 per cent).
Worryingly, a lack of confidence has prevented a quarter from socialising with their friends, held 22 per cent back in their career and had a negative effect on family life among nine per cent.
It also emerged the menopause is a huge trigger on a woman’s confidence levels with 29 per cent saying the impact of ‘the change’ is under-rated.
A third even went as far as to say they no longer feel like the person they once were.
Dr Meg Arroll, a psychologist specialising in health who works with Healthspan, said: “This survey has highlighted the degree to which women’s confidence and mental health can be affected by getting older – and our ageist society has played a role here.
“The more we discuss this openly, the more we can protect women’s mental health as nearly 30 per cent of the survey respondents said they felt the impact of the peri-menopause and the menopause was under-rated.
“However, we must also celebrate age and experience, as over a third of the women stated that they felt comfortable in their own skin, with more saying that they believed confidence was highest during their 50s than any other decade.
“Therefore, it’s important to both tackle the underlying triggers for confidence drains, whilst focusing on the areas that make women in midlife unstoppable.”
The study found poor memory recall, not feeling as fit as you once were and going through the menopause are among the triggers most likely to affect a woman’s confidence. With four in 10 said hot flushes at work have also had a negative impact on their confidence.
But it’s not all doom and gloom, with being of an age where you feel comfortable in your own skin named as the biggest confidence booster, along with a ‘killer’ outfit and hearing the words ‘I love you’.
Other confidence boosters revealed in the survey carried out via OnePoll, include taking part in hobbies, being self-sufficient and spending time with friends.
TOP 20 CONFIDENCE BLOWS FOR WOMEN OVER 50…
Feeling less fit than you once were
Having a bad night’s sleep
Feeling tired generally
Forgetting things that you once easily remembered
Inability to lose weight no matter how hard you try
Having to buy an item of clothing a size bigger than usual
Experiencing a bad hair day
Someone thinking you are older than you are
Feeling like you have inferior knowledge to the person you are speaking to
Hitting the menopause
Waking up with bad skin
Experiencing brain fog at work
Not being invited to a social gathering with friends
Having sweat patches that show through your clothes
Having a hot flush at work
Finding a grey hair
Realising that you are the oldest in your team at work
Seeing your partner look at younger women
Someone asks if you are pregnant and you are not
TOP 20 CONFIDENCE BOOSTERS FOR WOMEN OVER 50…
Feeling comfortable in your own skin
Feeling positive about your weight
Wearing an outfit that is flattering in all the right places
Being told ‘I love you’
Receiving a compliment from someone you know
Waking up feeling refreshed from a good night’s sleep
Spending time in nature
Spending time with your close friends
Receiving a compliment from a stranger
Receiving a compliment about your youthful looks
Having perfectly styled hair
Working on your hobbies
The feeling of being self-sufficient
Receiving a smile from a stranger
Returning from holiday and feeling great
The feeling of having good knowledge of a subject
Being good at your job
Being complimented on a new outfit
Feeling like a valued member of your community
Wearing a full face of make up
Do any of the blows or boosters resonate with you?
If you’d like to discuss your personal confidence challenges, then do book a free Discovery Call with me at www.speakwithjo.com