How to Develop Your Emotional Intelligence and Self Confidence with these Three Steps

self-confidence Nov 14, 2022

As someone who has risen through the ranks at NATO from Secretary to Senior Executive, I know firsthand the importance of self-confidence in achieving success.

Over the past two decades, I have been involved in large digital transformation programs that required me to build and re-build a strong foundation of self.

Working with scientists, engineers, IT leaders, military generals, policymakers, and industry leaders from over 40 countries and different nationalities has been a privilege, but it was not without its challenges.

As a woman working in a largely male-dominated industry, I faced many situations of what is now referred to as the Tall Poppy Syndrome


Emotional Intelligence: The Key to Boosting Self-Confidence

These experiences shaped my self-perception, often leading to experiencing imposter syndrome which many high achievers can relate to. 

I found that the science of emotional intelligence helped me gain a better understanding of how it affects our social functioning and relationships, including at work. By developing a healthy balance of self-doubt and anxiety, I was able to venture out of my comfort zone and succeed in my career.

Self-confidence is critical to personal and professional growth.


Building a Healthy Self-Image: The Essential Building Blocks


The EQ-i 2.0 model defines self-perception as self-regard, self-actualization, and emotional self-awareness.

Self-regard involves respecting oneself while understanding and accepting one's strengths and weaknesses, leading to feelings of inner strength and self-confidence.

Self-actualization involves striving to improve oneself and pursuing personally relevant and meaningful goals that lead to a fulfilling and enjoyable life.

Emotional self-awareness includes recognizing and understanding your own emotions, including how they influence your behavior.


What does this mean in practice?




A person with low self-regard may experience a lack of self-confidence, self-worth, and struggle to acknowledge their strengths. They tend to focus on their weaknesses and are often self-critical.

A person with average self-regard has a balanced view of their strengths and weaknesses. They recognize their abilities and areas for improvement, maintaining a moderate level of self-confidence.

A person with high self-regard possesses a strong sense of self-confidence and self-worth. They fully acknowledge their strengths and weaknesses, embracing personal growth and self-improvement.



A person with low self-actualization may lack motivation to pursue personal growth, have difficulty setting meaningful goals, and struggle to find fulfillment in their life.

A person with average self-actualization is somewhat engaged in personal growth and has a moderate sense of purpose. They set and pursue some meaningful goals but may not be fully committed to self-improvement.

A person with high self-actualization actively pursues personal growth, sets ambitious and meaningful goals, and continuously seeks self-improvement. They are highly driven, enjoy a sense of fulfillment, and strive to live a purposeful life.


Emotional Awareness

A person with low emotional self-awareness struggles to identify and understand their own emotions. They may be unaware of how their emotions influence their behavior and decision-making.

A person with average emotional self-awareness has a moderate ability to recognize and understand their emotions. They are somewhat aware of how emotions influence their behavior but may not have full mastery over their emotional responses.

A person with high emotional self-awareness is highly skilled at recognizing and understanding their emotions. They are aware of how emotions influence their behavior and can effectively manage their emotional responses to various situations.


Building self-confidence is critical to achieving success in any field and to ensure emotionally effective leadership under pressure. By developing a healthy level of self-perception and emotional intelligence, we can overcome obstacles and achieve our goals with confidence.

As an emotional intelligence advocate and entrepreneur, I am passionate about helping others shift their mindsets and thrive in challenging environments.

Let's work together to build a solid sense of self and achieve success in our personal and professional lives.


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