The heart is the center of our lives both literally and figuratively. We must take care of our hearts by feeding our bodies and spirits good things, love and truth and rejecting evil...evil thoughts and actions.
“What’s wrong with being, what’s wrong with being What’s wrong with being confident?
What’s wrong with being, what’s wrong with being What’s wrong with being confident?
So you say I’m complicated But you’ve had me underrated” --Demi Lovato (as perfomed by), lyrics from song, “Confident”
For women, being confident is a double-edged sword. Some people may view you as smart and self-assured, while others may perceive you as a know it all and cocky. One thing is for sure, judging someone’s confidence is subjective. Just like beauty is in the eye of the beholder, someone’s negative opinion of your level of confidence may really be a function of their cultural paradigm of how a woman should act and conduct herself and where her place is or should be in society. Confident women tend to be viewed negatively in society. So it’s not surprising that women would give themselves a lower score when assessing leadership skills and management abilities as compared to how men perceive themselves in the same areas. According to the 2015 report from Development Dimensions International (DDI), “Ready-Now Leaders: Cultivating Women in Leadership to Meet Tomorrow’s Business Challenges”: “One of the few significant differences between the sexes was level of confidence. Men considered themselves more effective as leaders. This self-confidence is reflected in how highly they rated their leadership skills and ability to tackle management and business challenges. Women, on the other hand, were less likely to rate themselves as highly effective leaders compared to their peers…" If you are a woman, I know that you can relate to that quote. How many times have you had conversations with your girlfriends or significant other about whether you were good enough to take on a new assignment? Or if we go back to school days, we can all remember talking to our friends about whether we had what it took to try out for the basketball team, audition for the lead in the school choir, or run for a class president or any school leadership position. I would bet anyone $1 million dollars that one of the phrases you would hear in any of the above scenarios is, “I don’t know whether I’m good enough”. And while a bit of self-doubt is healthy, you have to know that your male counterparts are not saying the same things about themselves to their friends. In Sheryl Sandberg’s book, “Lean In”, she described a situation where she and her Harvard roommate, Carrie, who were seniors, and her younger brother, David (a sophomore), took a European intellectual history class together. Carrie was considered a subject matter expert in the class because of her major. She attended all of the classes and read all of the reading assignments in the “original” languages. Sheryl attended most of the classes and read all of the readings in English while her brother only went to two classes and read one book. When it was time to take the final exam, David went to the girls to be tutored. After taking the three hour test, the girls walked out unsure of their grade and wondering if they had included enough information in their answers. When asked by Sheryl and Carrie how he felt he had done, David replied that he had gotten an “A” and guess what, he had. The girls got A’s too, but the difference was in how he felt and talked about his abilities. How do you increase yourself confidence? 1. Study and prepare yourself. This will decrease your fear. Next, get comfortable with feeling some fear and uncomfortableness. It’s a part of the process. Valorie Burton, life coach and author of “Get Unstuck, Be Unstoppable” says, “…[you are] going to feel fear but it doesn’t have to be a stop sign. Most people feel like when they feel fear they have to stop. No, just keep moving forward.” 2. Believe in yourself. Sonia Sotomayor stated in a quote recently featured in a Leadership Tuesdays’ blog that you have got to prove the naysayers wrong who believe that you are not qualified or can’t do the work by believing in yourself and simply doing the work. See her quote here. 3. Don’t expect everyone to like you. So says Reshma Saujani, founder of “Girls Who Code”, you’ve got to become okay with not everyone liking you. It is hard work coming to grips with this, especially for women, and this doesn’t usually happen for women until much later in life. But, the sooner you become comfortable in your own skin, the better off you will be. See Reshma Saujani’s quote here. To view a video clip from the Demi Lovato song quote above, click here. Lastly, to check out other Leadership Tuesdays features, go here or visit womenatliberty.com.
Walking around everyday asleep to the reality of your surroundings...
It's okay to believe that people are basically good and have good intentions. But, know this: even among those who you may call friend, there are some who do not have good intentions towards you. Nor will they ever consider what's in your best interests.