The Confidence Gap In Men And Women: Why It Matters And How To Overcome It

In December of 1920, Amelia Earhart paid to go on her first plane ride. The experience lasted only ten minutes, but it changed the direction of her life: Amelia was determined to be a pilot. It didn’t matter to her that there were only a few women in the field of aviation. Through hard work and challenging conditions, she developed her skills. While other female pilots feared the long journey across the Transatlantic, Amelia’s gutsy determination led her to be first woman to fly it solo. The confidence she possessed was one of her greatest strengths and led her to set many  records.

Amelia Earhart was not the only highly competent female pilot during that time in history. Although she was skilled, I don’t believe that is what caused her to be so successful. Rather it was her confidence, her willingness to go after the impossible, and her belief that she could do it. At Zenger Folkman we’ve found that confidence proves to be equally as valuable as competence because it leads to action, attention, and resilience—all traits exemplified during Amelia’s transatlantic flight.

Amelia Earhart’s accomplishments were especially noteworthy at the time, because of her achievements in what had been a male domain.  Aviators were nearly all men. Gender differences in confidence are quite dramatic.  A study done at Cornell University found that men overestimate their abilities and performance, while women underestimate both. In fact, their actual performance does not differ in quality or quantity.

This female confidence challenge was also described as the “imposter syndrome” by Pauline Claunce and  Suzanne Imes. Women frequently express that they don’t feel they deserve their job and are “imposters” who could be found out at any moment.  They found that women worry more about being disliked, appearing unattractive, outshining others, or grabbing too much attention.

Men are not exempt from doubting themselves—but they don’t let their doubts stop them as often as women do.  A Hewlett Packard internal report found that men apply for a job or promotion when they meet only 60% of the qualifications, but women apply only if they meet 100% of them. What doomed them was not their actual ability, but rather the decision not to try.

Zenger Folkman’s research shows that as women’s experience increases over time, so does their confidence. The graph below shows that women’s confidence increases more with age than men’s. But consider the many opportunities lost in early years because of fear and lack of confidence.

 

Thanks. I hope this was helpful. I’d like to hear your thoughts on this piece.

 

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What It’s Like Dating Someone with a Mental Illness

That is like dealing with care, with the difficult parts of someone, who is already broken. The broken pieces have to be mended and always bear the label, ‘handle with care’. Not to be taken with negligence or granted, a relationship with someone having a mental illness is a challenge at some point. You want the person to be as happy, because you love them, but are also sometimes shattered because they fail to stand tall in times of your emotional needs.

Mental illness refers to disorders relating to anxiety, depression, diet, compulsion and so on. Although curable, they are not easy to overcome. Have a look as we discuss how is it to date someone fighting with a mental disorder.

Cancellation of plans is very frequent.

Due to mood swings, they are not sure of what do they exactly desire at the moment. Thus, there are chances that you may be sacked for the plan, impromptu.

It feels like a swing of emotions, when height brings delight and any low, simply seems a bore, but a torture, here.

What It Is Like Dating Someone with a Mental Illness

And you are left figuring out what wrong you have done. While, all this time, you were helping them heal.

Mental illness often encounters diverse emotions, and thus, rules set in the relationship are tweaked due to the mental state.

Communication often turns out to be a problem, because you have to think, A LOT, before speaking anything.

A real problem, but can be gradually resolved with deeper understanding.

Instead of always trying to heal them yourself, stand tall with them in their difficult time, be their strength and they will fix themselves for you. They have their issues to face, thus, simply being the shoulder to cry on helps immensely.

 

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