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Sheryl Sandberg's 3 Tips For Building Your Confidence

By James Mills, Mentorship Coach & Associate Partner, Lighthouse International

Continuing our series of profiling Sheryl Sandberg the COO of Facebook, today we take a look at the advice she offered to teenage girls who may be struggling with their self-confidence. Although aimed at a younger audience, there is a lot that we can all take from what she shares to help ourselves or help those who look up to us...

1. Stop Apologising Before You Speak

"Girls often introduce opinions with apologies (“I’m not sure if this is right, but...”). Others use upspeak to make statements sound like questions (“Martin Luther King was a civil rights leader? He believed in peaceful protest?”). Pay attention to the little ways you might be making yourself smaller when you speak up in class, like playing with your hair, saying you “kind of” think something, asking if what you just said “makes sense,” or speaking so softly that no one can hear you."

2. Challenge Yourself

"When we worry about failure or criticism, we’re more likely to seek out experiences we know we can control. But playing it safe means you’ll never have the exhilaration of overcoming an obstacle and proving to yourself (and others) that you’re brave enough to try. Push yourself beyond your comfort zone. Take up a sport you’ve never played. Enroll in a class that no one would expect you to take. Learn how to code. Or take a small risk, like introducing yourself to someone you don’t know."

3. Trust Your Inner Voice

"We all have a voice playing inside our heads. It might say little things like “I wish the bell would ring” or big things like “I wish my friend would stop asking me about my grades.” That voice is your gut. It’s telling you what you genuinely think, need and want. It’s easy to stop listening to that voice when you’re worried about what people might think. Stay connected to it as much as you can. It’s your inner compass. If you can’t share that voice now, keep a journal where you can—and keep looking for the people who want to hear it."

We can learn a lot from Ms Sandberg's advice about becoming more of a leader regardless of whether we are still at high school or well into our career. The reality is that these tips encourage us to explore what we are truly capable of, express ourselves more authentically, work with others in a fair way and look for ways we can make a positive difference in the world. We would love to hear how you get on with applying this advice in your own life! 🙂

The original Quora post is here. You may also want to check out this article in which Sheryl Sandberg and Richard Branson offer advice for career changers.


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