It probably won’t surprise you much when I tell you that women tend to have less confidence than men. Are you shocked?! Probably not… but WHY is this?! Most of the research on this has indicated that women are commonly paralyzed by perfectionism and second guessing their decisions and actions. These behaviors cripple us and our ability to bring our self forward confidently. Men are almost always more confident than women, even when the women are equally or more talented. According to research, men typically applied for promotions when they met 60 percent of the required qualifications, while women only applied when they met 100 percent of them. Basically, women are most confident when they believe they are perfect – which is holding them back in more ways than they know.
Women tend to believe that if they work hard and do good work that they will be rewarded with promotions, raises, etc – so we don’t ask, we wait for it to come to us. This is grave mistake on our part – and one that our male counterparts are not making. You absolutely need to do good work and put in the effort and time but exuding confidence is equally important. If you’re confident, you are more likely to get your ideas heard and get more follow-through on them.
Confidence is belief in your abilities. It’s the feeling that you can rise to the occasion when the pressure is on. It not only fuels your ambition but encourages you to set stretch goals. It even has a powerful influence on the results you experience. As the great Henry Ford once said, “If you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.”
So how do we build and improve our confidence?!
Confidence is an emotion and skill that we can managed and developed. Sure, it may come natural for some people but for most it takes experience, development and a little risk taking. It all starts in our mind – a lack of confidence is rooted in FEAR. Fear of being wrong, fear of failure, fear of letting people down, the list goes on. To build confidence we need to shift our mindset to accept failures and mistakes. When we can accept and own our mistakes we are more willing to put ourselves out there, try something new or speak up at the table.
We must also be confident with who we are and that means knowing what we value. Knowing your values and strengths shapes your life in more ways than I can begin to write about. One of the biggest examples is the impact it has in our decision making; when we know what our core values are, decision making becomes a lot easier and more efficient. Consider your values a compass for your life and every decision or action you make should be guided by them. Our confidence in the decisions we make is elevated when we are guided by our values – so know what yours are and use them.
Finally, stay positive! Negativity can be a confidence killer – don’t consume yourself with the “what ifs” and possible negative outcomes. Think positive and surround yourself with positive people, too. Learn to catch yourself when you get negative and quickly turn that shit around into a positive. A negative mind will never get you a positive life.
Those are just three quick tips from me but here are a few great articles I have read over the years about this very topic. They not only offer some great insights but helpful tips and strategies to build your confidence.
It the words of Demi Lovato – “What’s wrong with being confident (Ah ha)?
Embrace the day!