“If life were one long grade school, women would be the undisputed rulers of the world.” That’s a quote by Stanford professor, Carol Dweck, and it points to the issue that competence plays second fiddle to confidence.
And as infuriating as that may be for all of you who have worked hard for your degrees and accolades, truth is, when people feel confident - when they think they are good at something - regardless of how good they really are - they get more positive feedback, People naturally gravitate toward them and like them. They’re more successful.
In the self-help world, we hear a lot about how confidence is a muscle that has to be developed – that it doesn’t come naturally – you have to work at it. I often counter this argument because I believe that every single one of us is born with confidence, that it is an innate trait that comes with the package when we’re born.
But I also believe that there’s more to the story because along comes life and with it, we get socialized into our camps of what’s appropriate boy and girl behavior. And these can be powerful habits to break unless we see them for what they are.
These habits of behavior run deep. I see it daily in my work. Heck, I even see it in my own behavior and thinking. I see qualified women constantly second-guessing themselves and worrying what other people will think of them if they put themselves out there. I see women caught up in the perfection trap thinking that their work has to be perfect before it’s launched. I see women avoiding social media and making videos because they think they're too fat or old. I see women hiding until they take yet again another course, degree, or training. They wait and wait for the day that never comes.
What they’re really waiting for is confidence.<