Presentation on theme: "Building Self Confidence"— Presentation transcript:
1 Building Self Confidence Mary Lou SoffaUniversity of Virginia
2 “Somehow I can’t believe that there are any heights that can’t be scaled by a man who knows the secrets of making dreams come true. This special secret, it seems to me, can be summarized in the four C’s. They are curiosity, confidence, courage, and constancy, and the greatest of all is confidence. When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.” Walt Disney
3 How self confident are you ? High Self ConfidenceLow Self ConfidenceGovern your behavior based on what others thinkStay in your comfort zoneWork hard to cover up your mistakesWait for others to congratulate youDismiss compliments offhandedly. “Oh that paper was nothing really, anyone could have done it.”Do what you believe to be right, even if criticized for itWilling to take risksAdmit your mistakes and learn from themExtol your virtues as often & to as many as possibleAccept compliments graciously. “Thanks, I really worked hard on that paper.”
4 Take this online quiz How self confident are you ?
5 Balancing self confidence If you are under-confident, you’ll avoid taking risks and stretching yourself – you might not even try at all.If you are over-confident, you may take on too much risk, stretch yourself beyond your capabilities and fail badly.
6 Grad student confidence “plot” Progress Through Your PhDFirst exam ina grad courseFirst PhD candidacyexam attemptPass thesisproposalPass finaldefenseFirst paperrejectionacceptancePass PhDcandidacyAdmitted tograd schoolSearching fora thesis topicConfidence Level
7 “Every CS PhD student I have seen, including myself, had at least one period during which they are convinced that their dissertation topic is utterly worthless.” Gerald Estrin, Professor Emeritus, Computer Science, UCLA
8 The good news is that self confidence can be learned and built on.
10 #1: Admit the problemTake stock of where you are, think about where you want to go, and recommit yourself to getting thereRemember that no one is perfect. Even the most confident people have insecurities.Accept that life is full of bumps down the road and have faith that things will be better tomorrow
11 #2: Find support Find someone safe you can talk frankly to Make sure they are people you trust and who won’t judge you in the future based on your current state of self confidenceSurround yourself with nurturing friends.Watch out for those who lower the confidence of others to compensate for their own confidence issuesBe sure to be there to support others when they need it
12 #3: Establish some reachable goals Make a list of things that will get you moving towards your PhD goalsIdentify the first small step needed to accomplish each item on the list and have a plan for making that first stepFor that rejected paper, let the review “age” for a short while. Then, ask yourself what was good about the paper and what needs improved. Develop a plan for revisions and resubmission.
13 #4: Recognize your successes Do not ever, ever put yourself done.Try to avoid fixating on your failuresMake a list of your recent successes, then read the list (out load if necessary) back to yourselfThink about your strengths and what you’ve achieved so far. Give yourself permission to take pride in those achievementsBe realistic, but don’t leave it blank
14 #5: Take a break Take some time off to refresh, reflect, and enjoy Find time to exercise regularly – go for a run, hike, swim, …Have a nice meal with friends/loved onesGo shopping – buy that pair of shoes you’ve been wanting, that tennis racket, …Pamper yourself – get your nails done, have a massage, …
15 #6: Beware of the “triple low” Your experimental results don’t support that hypothesis you were so hyped about; your paper was just rejected; …You just saw that man you have such a crush on with another woman; you and your partner had a slamming-door fight this morning; …It’s the first day of your period and that pimple just erupted … again; those 5 pounds are back; …
16 #7: Fake it till you make it Speak slowly and clearlyA person who thinks they aren’t worth listening to will often speak quickly and/or softlyStand tallDon’t slouch, don’t walk around with your head held lowAccept greetings and complements gracefullyWhen asked how you are doing, say with enthusiasm “Just great.” Don’t roll your eyes, groan, and say “I’m just swamped”.
17 #8: Be extra prepared Go the extra mile to be prepared Study your butt off for that examSpend more time in the lab running those additional experimentsPrepare a few slides for the next group meetingWrite, rewrite, rewrite that paperPractice that talk again and again – in front of friends and not-so-friendsJust beware of perfectionism(or you will never finish)
18 #9: Take a risk a day Challenge yourself everyday Make it a habit Don’t be afraid to push yourself, a little bit of pressure is good for youMake it a habit
19 #10: Stick to your principles Know your principlesLive the your Golden RuleLive your passionThen actually live themIf you don’t have something you believe in, you don’t have anything. If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.
20 The imposter syndromeRegardless of success achieved or proof of competence, you are sometimes convinced that you do not deserve itProof is dismissed as luck, timing, or a result of deceiving others into thinking you are more intelligent/competent than you areIt is particularly common among successful women and typically associated with academics. It is also widely found among graduate students and first generation college students.
21 In closing … Believe in yourself No one will believe in you until you believe in yourself“Know yourself and you will win all battles.” Sun TzuThink about what is important to you and where you want to go … and then go for it !And, smile often
22 "My mother drew a distinction between achievement and success "My mother drew a distinction between achievement and success. She said that achievement is the knowledge that you have worked hard and done the best that is in you. Success is being praised by others ...Always aim for achievement and forget about success.“Helen Hayes, ActressFrom
23 CreditsCRA-Women (especially Carole-Jean Wu, Esin Saka, Maria Klawe, Janie Irwin) presenters at previous grad cohort workshopsVarious web siteswikiHow: How to Build Self ConfidenceMindTools: Building Self-Confidence25 Killer Actions to Boost Your Self-Confidence