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Building confidence at work takes practice

It's ok to stick up for yourself at work.

Wavebreak Media

It’s a problem most women frequently encounter at work — you’re overwhelmed with projects, but unable to say “no” and put your foot down.

“The disease to please is the number one issue that women have,” says Shelley Zalis, the CEO & founder of The Ipsos Girls’ Lounge, a networking space for women. “We never want to say what we want, and we sacrifice being honest.”

Zalis says that she created the Girls’ Lounge to help women break out of the restricting belief women have to always be accommodating. She offers these tips for women looking to change the way they approach work.

Breaking the apology habit takes practice: “If we keep apologizing, we become just like everyone else,” says Zalis. Part of the reason women tend to over-apologize, she says, is because of the inflexible nature of most workplaces. “We need to go from a culture of rigidity to a culture of caring,” she notes. “If we conform to a norm that never worked, shame on us.”

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Build up your confidence: “Know that you matter,” Zalis advises. “We’re not bossy, we are confident and confidence is knowledge.” Women in particular, she says, should take the time to learn from one another. “Use your powers to share,” says Zalis. “By having a support network, you’re energizing yourself.”

Don’t holdyourself back: A big part of building confidence, says Zalis, is learning how to be true to yourself. “What makes you special?” she asks. “Embrace it.” It’s also important to not let the little details stop you from moving forward. “It’s your life,” she says. “We have to redefine perfection as being the best thing.”

 
 
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