On Friday I was at the Woman Who…Awards in Coventry because the founder of Damsels in Success, Lucie Bradbury, was a finalist in one of the categories. She founded Damsels some 8 years ago in Warwick and now there are groups all over the country, including Croydon which I lead. One of the things that struck me was the level of confidence in the room.
The event was well attended by local business women (and a few men) and we had a lovely lunch as well as some inspiring speakers. Both the speakers made a point of emphasising how important is was for women to persevere with their ideas and dreams as they had done, in spite of being told that they couldn’t. But in order to do that you have to feel confident and so women fall at the first hurdle.
I’m beginning to notice a bit of a theme- at our Damsels yearly planning meeting we agreed that for our members and for us, lack of confidence and self belief is probably the most important thing that keeps us from realising our potential. It doesn’t matter how successful you are, there’s always a new barrier to break through. Our April meetings were ‘Consciously Connected Confidence’ and our May groups will look at ‘Taking Personal Responsibility’ but the over-arching theme of the coming year will be to raise confidence and self-belief in our community.
I also attended an event in London at the end of March with American business coach, Fabienne Fredrickson, and one of the first things she said was ‘ The one predictor of success in business is … Confidence’. I would say that was also true of success in life in general.
What I do know is that women thrive more if they live and work in communities that support them in their dreams, but sadly many of us have friends and families who just ‘don’t get it’ and can’t give us the support we need. If that’s you, find a local group or mentor that can give you the support you need, you will increase your levels of confidence. If you are near me then contact me for more information about what I can do to support you or what is available local to you.