Understanding & Addressing the Tendency of Lack of Self-Confidence in Women

At a professional women’s event recently, a group of leading business women, many of whom were business owners and executives, came to a conclusion after much discussion and sharing of information and experiences, that there is a tendency for young girls and women to lack “self-confidence”.  Some have been able to pull themselves out of this “pit”, while others cannot rise above their feelings of inadequacy.  Even some who hold responsible jobs carry their burden quietly, while experiencing feelings of uncertainty.  It is hard to say how young girls gain these uneasy feelings, though one woman after another admitted experiencing this.

When faced with serious decisions, some women will scrounge up the courage to speak up, while others may shrink and be overwhelmed with indecisiveness.  I had observed over the past several years, that some women will become more outspoken once they have children of their own and are motivated to speak up on their behalf.  One might say it is some natural instinct of being a “protective mother”.

Others in the group commented that they had chosen to locate a “coach or mentor” to help them face and tackle this challenge.  There are some organizations who have recognized this painful sense of doubt and have developed programs to help young girls become more confident.  (i.e. “Girls on the Run” created by Molly Barker)   As for the young teens and women, who share this uncomfortableness, to which they probably don’t like admitting, it would seem a good idea to pull together small intimate groups, where these young ladies can be exposed to women who have “been there, done that” and offer encouragement.

We are all different, but many females have experienced these feelings of doubt, uneasiness, lack of courage, and even fear.  “What if I say the wrong thing?  What if I am wrong or don’t know?  Will others laugh at me?” and so on.  Men can be a big help by showing sensitivity and support.  NO ONE IS PERFECT!!!  No one knows it all!  Even having gone through those “women’s lib” years, many never connected with some of those outspoken women.  Though now many women are excelling in business and all industries, the lack of self-confidence continues.  Perhaps companies, who are willing to step up to being supportive employers, might encourage small group sessions to allow their professional women an opportunity to experience occasional “group facilitation”, which can help their women employees not just vent, but have healthy exchanges to improve their self-esteem and confidence.  This would not only benefit those employees but would surely strengthen the work culture and employer loyalty.

This area of concern for women will not go away but can be greatly improved with the support of all of those around them.  Consider how you can contribute to the welfare of women, and I am confident they will pay-it-forward.

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