What’s keeping you from making meaningful strides down your career path—perhaps even the biggest one of all: the leap from employee to running the damn place? More often than not, it comes down to confidence.
Yep, an “I’ve-got-this” attitude can seriously help you advance at work—whether it’s asking for a promotion, slaying a presentation, or having the courage to pursue your passion full-time (even if it means asking investors for the money you need to make it happen). Self-doubt can sabotage all of the above scenarios—but it doesn’t have to.
Now the big question: How do you go from feeling like an imposter to the assertive, badass woman you want to be? Here, nine CEOs of major wellness brands share their best confidence trick. Turns out, the secret to being a boss is simpler than you might think.
Scroll down to see what 9 wellness CEOs do when they need a confidence boost.
1. Go to bed
“Honestly, whenever I feel less confident, I realize it’s because I’m tired and the fatigue is tricking my body,” says Nikki Ostrower, founder of NAO Nutrition. Burnout begets brain fog, and the lack of clarity can lead to insecurity about your abilities. “A nap or a quick work break often helps,” the CEO says. “I’ve also begun learning how to meditate, and that can be really restful and rejuvenating.”
2. Outrun your doubts
Flywheel CEO Sarah Robb O’Hagan laces up her sneakers and hits the road, literally outrunning her doubts anytime she needs a dose of self-assurance. “When I’m really fearful of something—like a big meeting I’m prepping for or a project that’s about to launch—and I’m nervous about the outcome, going for a run really calms me down,” she says. “I blast some super-inspiring music and think to myself, What’s the worst that can happen? When you really play it out, most situations are outcomes you can confront and cope with.”
3. Put on Beyoncé
Who’s the most confident person you can think of? Queen Bey—duh! “Some Beyoncé and a workout always helps me,” says Elizabeth Stein, founder and CEO of Purely Elizabeth. Good luck doubting yourself with lyrics like, “I dream it, I work hard, I grind ’til I own it,” running through your head.
4. Wear something you can actually move around in
While six-inch heels seem like they could lift your confidence (at least half a foot), if they hurt—and all you can think about is taking them off—a pair of pumps might not be the most empowering shoe choice. “Wear clothes you feel comfortable and most like yourself in,” says Payal Kadakia, founder and CEO of Classpass. Good thing there’s totally a way to style your athleisure—and still look you’re in charge.
5. Strike a pose
6. Prep for a good hair day
On any given day, there’s a lot you can’t control (like, you know, almost everything). So natural beauty CEO and influencer Tata Harper focuses on one of the few things she can: her hair. “I feel my most confident and put-together on a good hair day,” she says. “If I have a special event where I need to look and feel really good, I’ll wash it the night before and style it the next day.” No matter what happens, you’ll know you look pretty darn good doing it.
7. Focus on your breath
“Stress has been a big obstacle for me since starting a company, and it’s amazing how much it can affect your health, confidence, and productivity,” says Amy Rothstein, co-founder of Dona Chai. To calm her anxiety, she focuses on two things: getting enough sleep and remembering to breathe. “Just recently I’ve started taking meditation classes. When I’m flustered or feeling [a dip in] confidence, I pay attention to my breath to restore my system.”
8. Schedule a workout with an instructor who inspires you
You know that instructor who always manages to say something during class that totally upends the way you view life? (Yeah, that one.) They’re who SoulCycle founder Melanie Whelan seeks out when she needs to kick her confidence up a notch. “All it takes is a tough sweat session to inspire your best self, which is why I try to start every day with a ride at SoulCycle,” she says. “The experience is like a moving meditation. [It] gives me the space to disconnect, reflect, and ultimately start my day feeling strong.”
9. Fake it ’til you make it
Even Khajak Keledjian, CEO of the meditation center Inscape, experiences moments of self-doubt—not that you would know. So how does he combat insecurities? “Focused breathwork. Taking deep breaths down to my stomach, helps me feel more in control. I fake it until I become it,” he says. (By the way, your body will totally respond, literally calming down.)
For cosmic career insight, here’s some advice based on your astrological sign. Plus, the one thing that may be sabotaging your professional aspirations (other than self-doubt).