Meet Denice Torres: Leadership Specialist. Storyteller. Optimist. Igniter.

Ever wonder what a bit more confidence could do for yourself and career? Read on about Denice Torres, 2015 HBA Woman of the Year, and join us on 5 June to build your confidence muscle.

What does it mean to “have self-confidence” and why is it important?

Self-confidence is a feeling of self-assurance and belief in our ability to succeed. Confidence fuels decision-making, risk taking, the ability to connect and engage with others, and so many aspects of our daily lives. I think of confidence as betting on myself. That doesn’t mean things will always go our way and when they don’t we can learn from the experience. Very few people will actually get what they want without hardship.

Are we born with confidence?

Sure, some people are genetically wired to be more confident. However, there is a huge nurture part of the confidence equation. Building confidence is a journey and it starts with believing in ourselves and sometimes following the adage, “fake it until you make it.” It is important to practice positive self-talk and visualize success. When something doesn’t go our way, we can envision and plan for a new path to what we want.

Can you have both confidence and humility?

There is a great connection between confidence and humility. When we are truly confident, we can be quite humble. Confidence allows us to admit mistakes, seek out and truly listen to other opinions, and show vulnerability. Confidence and humility in a leader help inspire followership. It’s one of the ingredients in charisma.

What is the “imposter syndrome”?

The imposter syndrome is a feeling that we are a fraud despite achievement. We may believe that it is only a matter of time before someone finds out the truth. Research shows it impacts both high-achieving women and men equally. It is often accompanied by striving for perfection, fear of failure and discounting praise. We can diminish these feeling by first acknowledging them. Take the time to note all your achievements and try to let go of the need for perfection (it is unattainable and destructive to our sense of self).

What can we expect to learn at your upcoming HBA talk on “Building the Confidence Muscle”?

I will share my lessons in developing self-confidence, personally and professionally. The talk will give “real-world tips. I like to make learning and reflection fun. I want all of you to have an inner voice that says, “Game on! I got this.”