4 Simple Actions to Improve Your Self-Confidence

At the core of most successful people there’s self-confidence. This doesn’t mean they were always (or even that they are still always) self-confident. But that they built their self-confidence enough to get them where they are. And that they continue to reinforce it so they can keep going. Don’t miss these 4 simple actions to improve your own self-confidence.

Definition of self-confidence


ˈˌself ˈkänfəd(ə)ns/


  1. a feeling of trust in one’s abilities, qualities, and judgment.
synonyms: morale, confidence, self-assurance, assurance, assertiveness, self-reliance, self-possession, composure

Differences between self-esteem and self-confidence


Knowing your power helps strengthen your self-esteem. Believing in what you can do and proving yourself increases your self-confidence.

Knowing your power helps strengthen your self-esteem. Believing in what you can do and proving yourself increases your self-confidence.

So that we are all on the same page, let’s start first by understanding the differences between self-esteem and self-confidence, the subject of today’s post.

Self-esteem is the confidence in one’s own worth or abilities. It refers to your self-respect. It’s slightly different from self-confidence in the sense that self-esteem refers to how much I value myself. Example: I deserve/don’t deserve to be successful. Whereas self-confidence refers to how much I believe in myself. Example: I can /can’t reach my goals.

It is useful to recognize that all of us at some point may falter in our conviction and need someone to remind us of our value, be it our families, friends, colleagues or social media followers. Someone who tells you: “you deserve it,” “you are worth it.”

But one thing is to have a moment of weakness and another is to harbor constant doubts about your worth, your knowledge, skills, etc. This is a feeling that fosters anxiety and can prevent you from developing a fulfilling career. So if you suffer from chronic low self-esteem, you may need to consult a specialist such as a therapist or a coach.

Today’s conversation focuses on self-confidence, a state of being that occasionally, even the most successful people also need to reinforce.  And the good news is that there are very effective ways to give yourself a shock of self-confidence whenever you need it.

Self Confidence Definition

Self Confidence Definition

Let’s explore these four self-confidence boosters.

1Powerful appearance

Many experts will recommend that you explore the root of your lack of self-confidence. And looking inside is always a good way to go. But today I suggest that you begin working from the outside in. Starting off with what is generally considered “superficial”. Your appearance.

There are many studies that indicate that clothing affects how we feel. And feeling good is an important step when it comes to building or reinforcing your self-confidence.

Choose a look that suits you well and with which you can connect with the world. That in itself will affect your attitude. It will give you the courage that you may lack to face certain situations or to accept a challenge. Carefully consider every detail of your outfit, including accessories, shoes (and if they are red even better!), Purse, briefcase, or bag, etc.

The same goes for grooming. A good haircut can renew your image and help raise your self-confidence. A little makeup, lipstick, and a good manicure can have a very positive effect on how we face the world. These seemingly superficial changes have a very favorable impact on how we see ourselves and therefore, how we feel.  I for one, don’t feel the same when I wear sneakers than when I wear high heels. When I wear sweatpants than when I wear a dress pants. It’s not better or worse, just different. And as different situations call for me to feel and project something specific, I always wear outfits that help me feel my best in that particular situation.

Here's a great post on how to use color to dress for success!

2Powerful postures

Amy Cuddy did the research around power poses ability to increase your self-confidence.

Amy Cuddy did the research around power poses ability to increase your self-confidence.

Maybe you heard about certain power postures that send the message of self- empowerment to the brain. Although this research by Amy Cuddy and her colleagues could not get replicated, holding the postures may influence your attitude. Try them every day when you get up and also just before an event in which you want to stand out.

  • Hands at the waist, legs separated in superhero style.
  • V-shaped arms, legs separated in the style of a sprinter who just won a Gold Medal.
  • Standing in front of a desk or table, hands on the table, legs apart, a defiant boss-style look that says: “This is the right thing to do”.
Here are other ideas to explore

3Powerful words

Human beings are verbal beings. We are the stories that we tell ourselves and others. The words we use to define ourselves, explain situations, and make sense of life determine who we are and the results we get.

If you want to increase your self-confidence, watch your words and eliminate from your vocabulary those that disempower you. So instead of saying: “I’m not good at this,” you can say: “I choose to take on this challenge and learn what I need to conquer it.” And very concretely, instead of “I can’t speak in public,” you can say: “I will find a coach to help me develop my public speaking skills.”

Getting rid of disempowering words will also help you find new actions that will help you achieve your goals. New actions lead to new results and positive results breed self-confidence. You see, as you repeat this cycle and build on small successes, you will continue to boost your self-esteem.

Get rid of words that disempower you. Acquire new ways to talk about yourself and what you want.

Get rid of words that disempower you. Acquire new ways to talk about yourself and what you want.

4Powerful mantras

And keeping with the theme of words, it is very valuable to create a mantra that you can repeat daily. Particularly just before a situation when you are about to get relevant exposure. Some examples:

  • I achieve everything that I set my mind to
  • I choose to be successful
  • I am an excellent negotiator
  • I give myself permission to make mistakes and learn from them
  • I got this!

I assure you that if you consistently repeat these four actions you will reap the benefits of a strong self-confidence.

And if you are looking to build your self-confidence alongside a community of like-minded professionals, join our Step Up program where we work on all the soft-skills needed to take you to the next level. Get a dose of daily inspiration on Instagram.

Join the Step Up program and be you, amplified!

Join the Step Up program and be you, amplified!

3 Sure-Fire Negotiating Tips for Women to Get Hired

Three amazing negotiating tips that will turn you into an irresistible candidate!

It’s ironic that we still need to discuss negotiating tips for women when women have a ton of advantages over men when it comes to negotiation. We are great listeners, we have a cooperative style, and we are naturally equipped with the most powerful tool of all – empathy!

The problem is that, unless you are ultra aware of your advantages and you learn how to use them for your own benefit, they are worthless. Keep them front and center and combine them with these powerful negotiating tips, and you’ll never complain that you make less than your male counterpart again.

3 Sure-Fire Negotiating Tips for Women

1Showing (not telling) your value

Angie was looking for a job as director of training and development in order to leave her current position. She felt that her employer lacked real commitment to professional development of women employees. A friend referred her to an opening as a manager of training and development, which was below her current pay scale. But because it was at a company Angie really liked, she applied nevertheless.

More negotiating salary tips you can't miss!

She went through three levels of interviews, and at every step she asked lots of questions regarding the company’s vision and the short- and long-term goals for retention and promotion of female personnel. Armed with this information, Angie offered valuable suggestions. She also brought up potential challenges that the company might face, along with ways to overcome them.

Show the value you bring to the table - 3 Sure-Fire Negotiating Tips for Women

Show the value you bring to the table
Photo taken at NAHJ workshop conducted by Mariela Dabbah

Through it all, Angie remained honest, was generous with her ideas, and avoided attaching herself to the outcome of the interview process, which enabled her to be authentic. She knew that the best way to start a new relationship with a potential employer was by being herself.

As a result, the interviewers were so impressed with Angie that they decided to create a new job description so that they could hire her as a director, rather than as a manager. This would enable them to pay her what she really deserved. So before Angie had even begun to negotiate her salary, the hiring team already knew they needed to sweeten their offer to entice her to leave her current job and come to work for them.

2Projecting your experience into your future potential

It’s a well-known fact that women candidates are more often judged on their experience while men are judged on their potential. So what’s a woman to do during the interview process to set up the stage in her favor?

Lily Benjamin, VP Global Talent Management and D&I PVH Corp., suggests that you integrate your past experience into concrete examples that demonstrate the depth and breadth of that experience. Choose examples that show how flexible you are during periods of change and ambiguity. And then take it all into the future to paint a clear picture of where you could take your skills next. What you could do for this organization to help them achieve their goals. How you are willing to take risks and are ready to embrace new challenging assignments.

3 Sure-Fire Negotiating Tips for Women | Lily Benjamin, VP Global Taent Management and D&I at PVH Corp.

Negotiating tips from one of the top leaders in Talent Management

Benjamin also point out the need to promote yourself healthily during the interview. And a good way to do so is by sharing the fact that you are a sought-after thought leader in your industry and within your organization. That you are the go-to person when a fresh perspective is needed to solve problems, develop a new product, identify a new market, and so on. Or that you are frequently invited to present at industry conferences. In other words, that you are seen by others as a leader.

3Always connect yourself to the bottom line

In a recent article, Jeff Haden, Inc. Magazine Contributing Editor, suggests that the one question every interviewer should ask of their candidates is, “What one skill do you possess that will most benefit our bottom line?” Haden argues that this is a great conversation starter for the recruiter to build on rather than having a list of canned questions that don’t relate much to what they need for the open position. I completely agree that this question focuses attention in what really matters to the company.

Test your Negotiation Skills with this fun Quiz!
Connect your skills to the bottom line | 3 Sure-Fire Negotiating Tips for Women to Get Hired

Connect your skills to the bottom line
Photo Credit: Michaelangelo’s hands painting

Conversely, if even when you’re not asked the question directly, you prepare for the interview keeping it top of mind, you’ll position yourself as a much more attractive candidate. You do this by finding opportunities (and giving concrete examples) to confidently convey how your skills would positively affect the company’s bottom line. In the process you show your knowledge of the company’s business and an understanding that every function has a responsibility for driving profitability. And of course, the best way to really connect these dots is by learning as much as possible about the culture and what drives value for the company you’re interviewing with.

The reality is that the negotiation process starts with the first interview. When you present yourself as a knowledgeable candidate (and you prove it by showing your value rather than only talking about it), you substantially increase your negotiating position way before it’s time to discuss a concrete offer.

Find the support you need as you negotiate your next job offer or your next promotion in our community. Sign up for the Step Up Program today and be you, amplified!

Negotiating Salary: Proven negotiation strategies

by Cindy Cabral

From Negotiating Salary basics to how to negotiate with your peers to the impact of stereotypes and how to come across strong without sounding aggressive, this article covers it all. A must read!

Negotiating Salary, the proven negotiating strategies you don't want to miss!

Negotiating Salary, the proven negotiating strategies you don’t want to miss!

Proven negotiation strategies was one of the most popular topics in the recent Red Shoe Movement event in NYC. Among the many questions asked during two rounds of this topic, negotiating salary was the one we spent most time on.

Negotiating salary

Participants were concerned about how to have a conversation about salary and benefits.

Experts shared the following:

– Do your due diligence by researching websites such as and to get a feel for what other companies are offering within their packages.

– Keep a running list of your accomplishments.

– Research salaries for positions below and above your own.

– Know your strengths and assets within the company.

Expert Xiomara Wallace shared that when it comes to negotiating salary “you must know how to sell yourself, what you have to offer to employers and it begins with answering the following questions: What do you bring to the table? What is your experience?  What is your worth?” She also added: “When you’re looking for new employment never tell a new employer what you already make. Do not reveal your salary but if you do, never lie because some employers may ask for pay stubs. The best way to find out what a company may or may not be offering is to ask for a salary range.”

Expert Sandra Plaza suggested that when negotiating salary you must “highlight the cost effectiveness of your abilities.” For example being bilingual represents an extra asset you bring to any company you interview with.

Negotiating salary when you’ve been in the company for a long time

Expert Chris Castillo shared the following: “Go for it! Do it before your mid-year review. Know your market value, show that you are a top performer. Show the data for where you need to be. Ask for the raise and have a candid conversation which includes a time frame for your salary increase.”

She explained that  “role playing is a great way to prepare for these conversations. Negotiate with your husband and family. Practice outside of work in an environment where you’re comfortable and then move the strategy to the workplace.”

Turning a negotiation into an opportunity

How do you turn a negotiation from a challenge to an opportunity?— Asked Christina Saenz- Alcantara.

Expert Lily Benjamin said: “You need to know what you want to ask for. Your goal is to take the person where you want to go. Practice active listening, which means, listen for emotions and feelings. Really inquire about the person you are talking to and about the company.”

Expert Chris Castillo shared: “Women seldom negotiate. They settle for 5 to 10 % salary increase while men settle for 10 to 20 %. Express to your employer what you currently make and what your expectation is based on what you know and the research you have done. Be explicit, but also ask if there is room for negotiation. The worse they can say is that there is no budget for a salary increase. But know your worth! Prove your competency! Be confident about what you are asking for!”

Impact of stereotypes

The room was filled with a majority of women from different cultures and backgrounds. Participants wondered how they could internalize confidence with the kind of stereotyping and discrimination they often experience in the work place.

Experts shared the following insights:

-Be confident in your abilities.

-When you deliver a product and the product is good, you’re recognized for it. That is America!

-Ambition goes a long way and employers love it as it helps you move up the ladder.

– Having a strong drive is important.

-Be patient and don’t jump to conclusions about others’ opinions of you.

-Experience will speak for itself.

Negotiating with peers

Some participants expressed their frustration when communicating with their peers because they felt they didn’t know how to adequately share responsibilities, delegate, or even build consensus to reach a common goal.  Experts gave great advice:

-Try to influence without being authoritative. Build a relationship with each team member to make them feel they are being heard.

-Establish rapport with everyone on your team so people want to work with you.

-Change the setting where you meet with your team. Have team gatherings and outings to get to know one another.

-Figure out individuals’ weaknesses and strengths.

-Practice kindness. The more kindness you practice the more kindness you get back.

-Don’t take responsibility for what others are not doing.

-Have conversations that don’t involve work.

Negotiating when you’re younger 

Participants asked about negotiating within a team which  includes younger and older people than themselves.

-Create a track record of success, so it speaks for you.

-Find your allies before you begin negotiations.

-This generation feels they are entitled so meet them half way.  Ask questions to have them meet you where you’re at. – Keeping an open dialogue is the best way.

Proven salary negotiation strategies

Proven salary negotiation strategies

How to come across strong without sounding aggressive

Expert Lily Benjamin addressed this issue with the following: “Emotions will come across in negative ways when negotiating because you are trying to sell something you are passionate about. This causes you to forget to listen. State your intentions and be logical. People respond to logic not emotions. Redirect your emotions during negotiation.

Other experts shared the following:

-Show objective data.

-Emotions and passion can hijack objectivity and your negotiation techniques.

-Find your allies before you begin your negotiations.

-Refine your tools.

Salary negotiation strategies

By Mariela Dabbah

Negotiating Salary Tips

Salary Negotiation Strategies that Work

Negotiating salary is one of the biggest challenges for women. But when it comes to shrinking the salary gap you owe it to yourself to do as much as you can to get what you deserve. You and only you are in charge of managing your career. Without a doubt one of the most critical aspects of that management involves negotiating salary.

Regardless of where you are in your career nothing beats having a few key salary negotiation strategies at the ready to help you feel confident when you walk into your boss’ office.

Why do women avoid negotiating salary

According to research, there are several reasons connected to your upbringing  that explain why you stay away from negotiation situations:

  • Women tend to think that their circumstances are fixed, out of their control —unlike men who believe that everything is negotiable—therefore, they don’t attempt to negotiate for themselves. (Too often women don’t even try to negotiate a salary offer, they just take it.)
  • Women’s sense of entitlement is weaker than men’s. For example, a well-known study conducted by two psychologists showed that women would pay themselves 19% less than males would for the same task.
  • Women don’t lobby for pay rises as much and as often as men do. When rises occur, bosses tend to give money to those who asked for it —usually men— and give a smaller share (if any at all!) to the women who didn’t ask.

Salary negotiation strategies that work 

Although these salary negotiation strategies work both for men and women, they are particularly important for women because oftentimes they don’t apply them. Also, because they make use of some characteristics that are prevalent in our gender.

  • Check how much people in your industry and in similar positions with equivalent knowledge and experience are making. (Look for men in your network who are willing to share how much they make for similar positions/responsibilities.) If you want to negotiate from a position of strength, it is critical to know where you stand in relation to your peers.
  • Prepare a memo with your achievements since your last promotion and send it to your boss ahead of the meeting.
  • Learn how to talk about your achievements in relation to how they affect your company’s bottom line. Whenever possible use numbers to quantify your accomplishments.
  • Anticipate questions that your boss will ask and work from a win-win perspective. What’s important to your manager? Why do they need you? What is the current demand for your position in the market? Women are particularly well attuned to the needs of others. Leverage this advantage!
  • Be ready to assume a challenge even if you don’t know 100% of what you’re supposed to do in the new position. Jump at the opportunity if you are 60-70% ready and have transferable skills to do the job.
  • Understand that whatever the number on the table, it’s just a starting point.
  • When you negotiate a salary is never only about how much you make.

    When you negotiate a salary is never only about how much you make.

    Before you meet with your boss to negotiate salary, make a list of what you’re willing to give up and what’s non-negotiable. Knowing your walk away point will help you discuss terms more easily.

  • See the potential to negotiate everything and everywhere both personally and professionally. When you negotiate a salary is never only about how much you make. Health benefits, flexible time, title, working from home, expense account, an assistant, etc., are all items that you should consider negotiable.

Although you are an excellent negotiator in other aspects of your life, negotiating salary could still feel uncomfortable. If you think about it as a sport, you can take the pain out of it and enjoy the challenge.  I promise you once you embrace it, your male colleagues will be asking you for advice.

Salary Negotiation Strategies and Techniques

Salary Negotiation Strategies and techniques

Salary Negotiation Strategies and techniques

By Abigail Kuhn

Salary Negotiation Strategies and Techniques was one of the most popular topics at the Red Shoe Tuesday event at the New York Times. It attracted a large group of participants looking to learn strategies to put into practice immediately.

These are some of the highlights of the questions asked by the Explorers regarding salary negotiation strategies in the group and the suggestions provided by the Experts.


Salary Negotiation Strategies: How do I negotiate a salary?

Deborah Radcliffe
– Preparation is key, you need to research and understand your value in the market place.
– Be clear about your contributions to the company with your manager and if you don’t get a response, ask why.
– You are your best PR agent, advocate for yourself.

Marcelo Silbert
– As a business owner, the less I see you in my office, the more money I’m willing to pay you
– Instead of bringing only problems to the table, bring not only problems, but also solutions.

Effective communication in the workplace

Effective communication in the workplace

Salary Negotiation Strategies: If you work for a non-profit organization, how do you approach a boss to negotiate a salary?

–Asked by Explorer Margali Lopez

Vanessa Smith-Your work speaks for yourself. Work your hardest and make sure you stand out in a group.

Deborah Radcliffe- Sometimes the best time to ask for a raise in salary is right after an employee has left.

Salary Negotiation Strategies: What if you really want to stay where you are, how do you not play the charade of looking at other companies?

– Asked by Explorer Meghan Gourley

Eric di Monte- Know the person you are negotiating with. If you have seen reactions in the past when other people have asked, keep them in mind.

Marcelo Silbert- Know as much as you can and understand priorities in the company and always approach the salary negotiation strategies in an unthreatening way.

Vanessa Smith- I know the best time to come to me is when we’ve had a good Q1 or Q2

Katherine Salazar- Always negotiate.

Salary Negotiation Strategies: Is the salary that is being offered, truly what is being offered?

– Asked by Explorer Megan Siemers Livingston

Eric Di Monte- One of the things of salary negotiation strategies is to know the company. In most companies there is room to negotiate, but it is all about expectations.- Don’t ever show your hand first.

Tiffany McFarquhar- It all depends on the position you apply for.

Angelita Roman – Not everything is about money or salary; it’s about the quality of life too.

Marcelo Silbert- Show that you care about the business.

Salary Negotiation Strategies: How do I negotiate for my boss to let me go to a conference?

How do I negotiate for my boss to let me go to a conference?

Effective communication in the workplace: How do I negotiate for my boss to let me go to a conference?

Yvette Sanchez- Let your boss know what is in it for them to let you go to a conference.

Salary Negotiation Strategies:  How do I approach women bosses?

– Asked by Explorer Mariana Pena Cater

Vanessa Smith- Be assertive. It sometimes seems that we are too aggressive if we are trying to negotiate, but we aren’t.

Deborah Radcliffe- Aggressive, like being in someone’s face is different, being assertive is what you want. You can talk about your accomplishments without being aggressive.

Additional salary negotiation strategies and effective communication in the workplace suggestions:

Deborah Radcliffe
– If you can’t negotiate, sometimes you just have to walk away.
– Find others to advocate for you.

Marcelo Silbert
– Find out what metrics your company uses and understand what people expect from you.

Patricia Pedraza
– Keep a really good track of your accomplishments, it can help you get a raise.

Vanessa Smith
– When interviewing, know the company top to bottom.
– We are all our own ambassadors.