Confidence is one of the key elements that influence a woman’s ability to lead. This was a key learning from a 2015 KPMG Women’s Leadership Study: Moving Women Forward into Leadership Roles.

Low confidence has at times held me back from achieving my own leadership potential. Do you resonate with that?

Having confidence in yourself is feeling trust in your own abilities, qualities and judgement. It permeates your thoughts, feelings and actions. Self-confidence leads to enhanced decision‑making, risk-taking and commitment. It also increases the ability to effectively engage, influence and lead others.


Nurture your confidence with the actions outlined below and watch your leadership flourish.

The brain needs to feel competent to trigger a confident exterior. Like any other learning, as you repeat thoughts, feelings or actions associated with confidence, the neural pathways in your brain strengthen. As a result, your confidence is reinforced.

Build confidence through setting yourself up to succeed. Firstly, create a small goal around something you don’t feel confident in and that takes you a little outside your comfort zone. Most importantly, design the goal so that you have greatest chance to succeed.

For instance, it might be speaking up in a team meeting, having a difficult conversation with a team member, or admitting you made a mistake. Or it might be being more assertive when you know your advice is right.

Secondly, even if you don’t quite meet your success threshold, look for and celebrate the growth. This will strengthen your confidence neural pathways.

The next day, stretch yourself a little more. And the next day a little more.

Like any learning, it’s important to practice, practice, practice your confidence. The repetition will change your brain to accommodate your newfound confidence in a lasting and meaningful way.

Building confidence in mindset, communication, and influence is a core focus of Aya Leadership’s WOMEN WHO LEAD Mastermind: a high-impact leadership program for early-mid career leaders who want to develop enduring and resourceful leadership.

The Mastermind provides education, resources and coaching in a supportive and nurturing environment that empowers women to be strong, impactful and inspirational leaders that unite people. Leaders ready to navigate the challenges of an increasingly complex global environment.

If you would like to know more about the WOMEN WHO LEAD Mastermind and if it’s right for you or your emerging female leaders, download the brochure or register for the wait list.