June 04, 2019
The Value of Confidence
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I recently read another article about confidence in the workplace. This one, published by Forbes, took the perspective of women in the workplace and how they, many times, struggle with confidence. I liked the article (read for yourself HERE) but what I felt the article did not do enough of was equate the real, bottom-line value of having confidence. Self-deprecation, second-guessing and generally failing to believe in one's self costs money - in your pocket and for your company's bottom line.
The less confident a person is, the less likely it is that they will assert themselves by learning new skills, taking on challenging tasks, asking for raises, expecting to be paid a higher wage, and even applying for jobs that pay more. Women tend to be more apologetic for things clearly out of the realm of influence and have a general fear of being assertive. We often see ourselves in a more nurturing role which can be seen as a weakness in the board room.
One of the main obstacles to financial success is low self-confidence. Low confidence makes us doubt our abilities and judgment and prevents us from taking calculated risks, setting ambitious goals, and acting on them. At work, people who suffer from this problem often engage in subconscious behaviors that undermine their success, making them less likely to ask for or get promotions, raises, and even jobs.
In several University of Florida studies, Dr. Timothy Judge found people with high levels of self-confidence had better job performance, more job satisfaction, and higher incomes. In fact, believing in yourself and your ability to succeed may be more important than other seemingly more salient indicators of financial success such as family wealth, education and demographics. You can read more about Judge's studies HERE.
Often times once a woman reaches adulthood her feelings and attitudes about herself and her abilities are engrained. Not to say that an adult woman cannot learn self-confidence but the task is so much easier if we treat our female youth like we do our young boys. Think about this - we raise our boys and girls very differently and the result can be devastating. Show me a confident woman and I will show you a woman who was raised to believe in herself, face her fears and see herself as equal in all things. Eleanor Roosevelt said "You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' "
I have never lacked confidence. I thank my mother for raising me to be fiercely independent. I learned from a young age that when you get knocked down, there is no time to sit and cry or wallow in the pain. Rather, brush off the dust and try again. Because when you walk up to opportunities door, don't knock. Kick that b*tch in, smile, and introduce yourself! (Dwayne Johnson)
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