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  • louisaharrison5

Things confident women do well.

Updated: May 9, 2023

Many of us have experienced low confidence at some point. But when a lack of confidence takes control, it can hold us back from stepping outside of our comfort zone, pursuing our goals, reaching our potential and leave us feeling anxious, fearful, lonely, depressed or frustrated.

There have been a few studies which have demonstrated a gap in confidence between men and women. For example, the McKinsey Quarterly (2008) found that men typically applied for promotions when they met 60% of the requirements, whilst women only applied when they met 100%.

There are many reasons as to why women tend to experience lower levels of confidence. We are often bought up to be polite, well-behaved, compliant and likeable. We have a tendency to dwell on our negative feelings, be more cautious, avoid risks and see failure as a reflection of us as a person. We are also subject to systems and processes in our environments that treat and reward us differently. All these things can affect the degree of positive regard we hold for ourselves and our ability to succeed.

Being aware of the power of their thoughts, being more self-accepting and self-compassionate, playing to their strengths, learning to be ok with failure, taking small risks and persevering are some of the things that confident women do well.

  • When we become more aware of the power of our thoughts, we can start to have more control over them and the effect they have on our feelings and behaviour. Being able to recognize when negative thoughts and self-doubts are showing up, stopping them in their tracks, challenging them and replacing them with reality and encouragement can keep them from overwhelming and holding us back.

  • Being less hard on ourselves and instead being more self-accepting and compassionate can help us when we are setting standards too high, striving for perfection or berating ourselves for not being good enough. Instead, tapping into our strengths, speaking to ourselves as we would a friend, being more encouraging towards ourselves and reflecting on past successes can help bolster our self-belief.

  • Learning from mistakes or failure rather than internalizing them as a reflection of our identity as a person can help us to get better and fear failure less. This in turn can help us to be braver in taking small risks, stepping outside of our comfort zone and trying new things. And, the more we persevere with this, the more confident we will begin to feel in our abilities.

There are lots of resources available to help you with this, from books, podcasts, mentors and coaches! Although environmental factors don’t always make it easy, many small steps in the right direction will foster a growth in our confidence in ourselves and our abilities. You ARE capable of great things!

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