Living boldly requires confidence.
But confidence isn't something you can just turn on, it's something you learn to embody overtime. It's knowing what you're good at, believing in the value you provide, and then, conveying that belief externally.
For a lot of us, it's *really* hard to do. And, it's especially hard for women. Countless studies have revealed there’s a prevailing 'Gender Confidence Gap'.
For example, men are 4x more likely to negotiate than women, and they're also 75% more likely to speak up in meetings.
So where did this confidence gap start? According to The Confidence Code, they’re a result of both nature and nurture.
Here’s how nature plays a role...
There’s a fear center in our brain, called the amygdalae. Women tend to activate this part of our brains more than men, making us more likely to avoid risks, in turn, missing out on rewards. Plus, men have also more testosterone, which only enhances their confidence in taking risks.
Furthermore, women have a larger worrywart center, known as the anterior cingulate cortex. This makes us more likely to ruminate the past and spend time weighing pros and cons instead of taking action.
Now, here’s where the nurture part comes into play...
For years, girls have been rewarded for diligence and good behavior. As a result, we grow up to be perfectionists. And in order to live up to those perfect personas we’ve created in our heads, we overestimate risks and underestimate ourselves. Thus, avoiding action.
To remedy this, we must build up the courage to do the things we’re afraid of. Because only when we take action, will we come to realize there was nothing to fear at all.
Now is the time for us to take inspired action.
We can take inspired steps to shifting our mindset towards confidence. We can open ourselves up to opportunities to learn, to fail, and to get back up again. Likewise, we can support and inspire one another feel more confident.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published for Dara's personal blog before we started the UnstuckTheory.com.