7 Reasons Why Women Lack Confidence (And What to Do About it)

confidence in women

Do you have trouble going after what you want? Have you been offered a big opportunity but don’t know if you have the confidence to make it happen? Learn seven of the most common reasons that women lack confidence, and how to bust through each one.

Far fewer women than men are entrepreneurs because women are generally more afraid of failure than men, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2012 Women’s Report [PDF]. In the battle of the sexes, women fall short in terms of confidence, which is unfortunate because self confidence plays an important part in both personal and professional success.

So why are women more likely to lack confidence than men? And more importantly, what can women do to break the cycle?

1. The world around you.

Confidence is your inner perception of your own ability to fulfill a particular job or role in society and it’s influenced by the world around you. This includes crazy families, downer friends, non-supportive partners, and negative employers.

What to do:

Surround yourself with support. Pick a spouse who believes in you, a boss that sees your success, and supportive friends to push you in the right direction when you need it the most.

2. Not living up to goals.

When a goal is accomplished it inspires confidence, but in the same regard, when a goal isn’t accomplished it leads us to question ourselves further.

What to do:

Create a list of well thought out values that you want to achieve in your life. And over time set achievable goals over fixed periods of time. Being a goal oriented individual will do a lot to help you achieve success and even more importantly, build confidence through that success.

3. Faking it until you make it.

Everyone says that you should fake it until you make it, but the fact of the matter is false confidence is no better than lacking confidence.

What to Do:

Take steps to build real confidence. Don’t duck at meetings, speak up. Don’t wait to be chosen. Admit what you don’t know but emphasize the strengths that demonstrate your potential for success.

4. Women assume others are smarter than them.

Women often think that they’re surrounded by people that are smarter than them. There’s a fear of their employer “finding out” that they’re not deserving of their position. Men are less likely to waste time on this sort of thinking.

What to do:

Realize when negative self talk takes over. You’re just as deserving of your position as the dude to your right so stop wasting time on repetitive negative thinking.

5. General pessimism.

Those that lack confidence also tend to think negatively. Just like you think that everyone else is smarter than you, you also think that everyone is prettier, kinder, and has their sh*t together.

What to do:

The power of positive thinking is real. Take a bad situation and try and imagine the positive outcomes that could come from it. Step by step, have faith in either a higher power or yourself (or both). You’ll be shocked at how much more positive the outcome can be. And don’t settle for negative people, they just bring you down.

6. Hormonal surges.

Unfortunate but true. Women have hormonal surges that men don’t have to deal with because of the flow  of estrogen and progesterone in the brain. Sometimes the way we interpret feedback has to do with where we are in our cycle. In fact, 90 percent of women experience some form of low self-esteem two to four days before they start their period.

What to do:

This is a hard one but there are some steps that you can take. Cut back on sugar, alcohol, and caffeine, which all impact mood. Get enough sleep and realize that your moods aren’t you they’re just a part of you. It’s easy to believe the bad when you’re in a bad place.

7. Half genes and half surroundings.

Our personalities are half our genes and half our surroundings. If your parents lacked onfidence than you’re more likely to struggle with it. Additionally, if your parents didn’t demonstrate a belief or interest in your abilities than you won’t either.

What to do:

You can’t help your genes but you can completely help your surroundings. It’s for this reason that number 1 is so darn important.

Related on EcoSalon:
10 Real-Life Women Superheroes
25 Inspirational Quotes on the Power of Women
Women on Film: Channeling Confidence

Image: Victor1558