top of page

What's Wrong with Being Confident?

I am excited to tell you I have recently been interviewed in two podcasts. I will let you know the names, dates, and times when my episodes will air.

In my second interview, the host asked me why self-confidence was important. What was interesting is that he went on to say that he has been viewed as "cocky" by others when he felt he was displaying self-confidence. It struck me, not because I hadn't heard something like that before, but it got me thinking. When men are called cocky, it is because they are doing something others envy. Think of Elon Musk, who has been called a lot of other things besides cocky, but a lot of men would secretly want to trade places with him. People say it to be derogatory, but the reality is it is an indication of begrudging admiration.

What about women? They get called less admirable names, to be sure. While it is not pleasant to be called a "bitch” or worse, we ladies should not let that stand in our way.

I know I sure don't, and I know I have ticked off many people. You know what I say to them? "Tough crap; if you can't handle it, just get out of my way and let me do my thing." I am thinking it rather than saying it out loud, but the truth is, as long as you feel it, it counts, baby.

Most people are wired to care what people think, which is normal. I want my family, friends, and co-workers to think highly of me, but you must put things in context. Treat people with respect, be honest, have humility, and you will be considered a decent human being. Here is the rub: sometimes you must be tough and stand up for yourself. Whether in your personal life or at work, there is no other way to move ahead unless you take chances and stick to your convictions. Not everyone around you will like or understand that, which I can attest to from my own life. However, you need to stand firm, even when your loved ones have differing opinions.

Being confident is the key to getting what you want out of life. I want to point out why you need to learn how to straighten and strengthen your metaphoric backbone.

Confidence helps you excel at your place of employment. Learning to do your job as efficiently as possible and always looking for ways to improve are quiet but powerful ways to show you are confident. When you know you are excellent at what you do, that sense of self-worth radiates from within. Competence is a trait that is universally respected and desired. Suppose you want to move to a higher position; learn how to do it before you go for it. Become competent in advance by taking classes, talking to those who already have that position, and finding a mentor who can guide you if you can.

Do not be afraid to toot your own horn when you accomplish something great. You don't have to be obnoxious about it; if you are reading this blog about confidence, this will not be your problem. What will be is a habit many of us have of downplaying our successes. Stop that bad habit now! It is okay to say you are proud of what you did. Own it; you have every right to feel good about yourself. Let each accomplishment be another building block for your self-confidence.

Confidence is an essential trait in leadership. Taking charge, solving problems, and leading a team helps you and those around you. It inspires respect in others and shows that you know how to work well with others in difficult situations. Remember never to expect anyone to do anything you would not do yourself. Too many supervisors give tedious, annoying, and, depending on the business, dangerous jobs to others to avoid doing them themselves. Good leaders lead by example.

You can be a tough cookie (sometimes less politely known as a "broad") and still be a lady. That probably makes no sense, so I will explain what I mean.

When a woman gets labeled a term such as these, it is because she may occasionally use profanity, talk back when she feels slighted, choose to date more than one man or go against convention. In other words, she is being herself and not letting others dictate how or what she says or does. If you switched the gender, the person would be considered "a real man." What bullshit, right? Women should be able to express themselves the same as any man. If the situation calls for a less-than-polite word, use it. Sometimes, nothing will get the point across as well as a "forbidden" word. Women do not need to be modest and reserved; these traits may make you appear too timid to take on responsibilities that require the willingness to take chances.

Do not be afraid to negotiate for better opportunities. Men have no problem asking for raises, even when they may not deserve them. Women wait until they are offered more money. True, there is a suitable approach for asking for more, whether a raise or a promotion. Know your worth and know how to list your accomplishments. Say it if you have a chance to voice an opinion on how a different approach to a task can save time. Speak up at meetings if you have ideas. I must caution you about something. Do not speak up at meetings just to have your voice heard. Say something of worth. We have one woman where I work who always has something to say but says nothing at all. In truth, this woman has caused untold problems trying to make others look bad to make herself look better. That is bad behavior and should be avoided. I know lousy behavior often gets rewarded; all you must do is look at the political landscape to know this. However, it will eventually backfire, and the perpetrator will pay the price.

It is vital to keep learning and growing as a person to build your self-confidence. Surround yourself with like-minded people who can help and support you, and vice versa. As I mentioned above, if you can, find a mentor (or a coach like me) to help guide you on your journey toward success.

Don't be afraid to be different; embrace what makes you unique, and don't be scared to highlight those qualities. Know your strengths and use them to your advantage. To be authentic to yourself is to be empowered. There will always be those who shun you for those qualities, but do you want to be around people like that? I was on the receiving end of the wrath of the bad-behaved women at my job. She was pretty hostile and used the phrase "there is something about you" in a way that was meant to be insulting. Hardly. Yes, there is something about me. I don't let people push me around and treat me with disrespect, which is why I got treated to an earful of venom. If it happens to you, do what I did. Laugh it off. It is the other person's problem, not yours. Stand your ground, and the other person will know their tactics will not work in the future.

I want to leave you with some words from someone far more eloquent than I will ever be. I first read them when I was a grad student. I have tried to live by them ever since. I hope you come away with a spiritual awakening as I did.


"Our deepest fear is not that we are weak. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world ... As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

-   Nelson Mandela

That is all I have to say for the moment. I hope I have given you some food for thought.

Always remember, be resolved.

14 views0 comments


bottom of page