Confidence as a Character Trait

It starts with a belief. A belief from trust. Referencing past experience. It can exist within us (I know I can) as well as outside of us (I have the right team in place). For our discussion we are going to focus on internal confidence.

Internal confidence may also be called self-assurance. What we are capable of. Our capabilities stem from many sources: the need for resourcefulness; being mentored; and, importantly, enough success that prove our ability…

To ourselves.

As women, we are intuitive about what we can truly control – and, similarly, what we can influence. Here’s how we do it:

  • Stop thinking (about everything). We recognize what is necessary right now and focus on that.
  • Own it. We embrace the good and ugly. We don’t apologize for who we are. We act honestly with respect and kindness. We recognize our strengths and use them to improve (well, OK, sometimes just minimize) our weaknesses.

Confidence means engaging courage to know ourselves, and be willing to use that to amplify our capabilities.

Measuring Confidence

The way to measure anything: write it down. Write down what you are working on to reach a goal. Goals can be material (get that bonus) or personal (improve an ability or trait), and also impactful (what I’m doing is being done by others).

Once knowing what we are working on and know when we want to achieve it … that’s when we can determine if our actions are moving toward or away from the goal, and course correct accordingly:

  • Notice and document every win.
  • Recognize and face challenges along the way.
  • Pick ourselves up and try again (with more information than before).

Maya Angelou quote

Obstacles Professional Women Face

…will be the discussion. We know what confidence is and how to measure it. We will continue to do our own personal work to master those hindrances.

And, we can’t control everything. Our situations are not that clear. This Senate report on Women Entrepreneurs focuses on three unique obstacles: 

  1. Lack of role models and mentors.
  2. Gender pay gap.
  3. Unequal access to funding and venture capital.

Statistically, women rate themselves lower in confidence and effectiveness.

Anne Freud quote

Similarities exist in discussions about what we are facing in our roles as business founders and owners, as well as our roles within the corporate world. We can learn from each other. We can:

  • Stick with what we know is right, even when doubt surrounds us.
  • Accept acknowledgement (not seek it out).
  • Take risks, as even a little opening … is an opening.
  • Be open to do more when we know the resulting achievement is amplified.

The Women’s Leadership Roundtable provides a way to gain a sense of self-efficacy. To recognize in ourselves and others the mastery of skills for our professional and personal success.

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References:

  1. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/new-dove-research-finds-beauty-pressures-up-and-women-and-girls-calling-for-change-583743391.html
  2. https://www.wsj.com/articles/women-strive-to-narrow-a-confidence-gap-1521465138
  3. http://www.experian.com/blogs/small-business-matters/2018/01/29/statistics-and-obstacles-facing-women-entrepreneurs/
  4. https://www.womensnetwork.com.au/how-important-is-confidence-for-leadership-success/
  5. http://www.experian.com/blogs/small-business-matters/2018/01/29/statistics-and-obstacles-facing-women-entrepreneurs/

Additional Resources

How Important is Confidence for Leadership Success

Confidence: Top Leadership Differences Between Women and Men

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