You Think You Can or You Know You Can?
For many years women have kept their head down and followed in line, rarely stepping outside of the box. Until recently many women have believed and tended to stereotypes put on us by society such as “You must be a stay at home mom,” “Women shouldn’t voice their opinion frequently,” and the old saying “Women are too emotional to be leaders.”
It is now 2017 and women are making remarkable changes in society and in the work force. A recent study shows that more women now earn a college degree than men do. In addition, women now make up half of the work force with leading women such as Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayer, Viola Davis the first black women to receive an Emmy for lead actress in a drama series, and Christine Lagarde, the managing director for IMF.
However, even with all of this progress, women have continued to be overlooked in the workforce while men get promoted at faster rates and with higher pay.
So what’s the deal? What is stopping women from rising to the top? While there are many reasons that can be associated with the still remaining gap between men and women, we seem to be lacking one key factor; CONFIDENCE.
In comparison with men, women show a lack of confidence in their work regardless of their expertise and education. In a previous study it showed that six out of ten women find it difficult to envision themselves as leaders. As written in an article in The Atlantic, “There is a particular crisis for women, a vast confidence gap that separates the sexes. Compared with men, women don’t consider themselves as ready for promotions, they predict they’ll do worse on tests, and they generally underestimate their abilities. This disparity stems from factors ranging from upbringing to biology.
A growing body of evidence shows just how devastating this lack of confidence can be. Success, it turns out, correlates just as closely with confidence as it does with competence."Men tend to overestimate their expertise and abilities while women often underplay their skills and knowledge.
The great news is, women are able to change their way of thinking and change their course when it comes to work and leadership. All people are susceptible to change and have the ability to develop and progress. Here are a few tips to help you build that inner confidence and gain control of your life and your career.
Take risk: Even if you think you are not ready, go against your negative thoughts and take the jump. Don’t wait for others to tell you that your ready, tell them! Even if you are nervous about doing well, you will instinctively rise to the occasion if a task is given to you.
Words of Affirmation: Yes it does work! Tell yourself every morning before you walk out of the door three positive things about yourself. Say them out loud and with confidence in the mirror (I know scary right?)! Subconsciously you will start to truly believe it and act like it.
Get rid of the mental pressure of being perfect: Women tend to be more of a perfectionist than men. This pressure of being perfect often stops us from “just doing it” because we want to make sure everything is right and flawless. Lose that mind set and realize that know one will ever be perfect, the beauty of leadership is the element of continuous growth and development. If you have the confidence and the go-getter mentality all of the smaller details will come.
"If you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life." Marcus Garvey