Confidence between Women and Men

The Confidence Gap

The less competent men are, the more they overestimate their abilities—which makes a strange kind of sense. Since women are less confident in their abilities, they don’t pursue future opportunities.

Men overestimate their abilities and performance, and women underestimate both. Their performances do not differ in quality.

Underqualified and underprepared men don’t think twice about leaning in. Overqualified and overprepared, too many women still hold back. Women feel confident only when they are perfect. Or practically perfect.

Perfectionism is a confidence killer. The irony is that striving to be perfect actually keeps us from getting much of anything done.

What Honest Overconfidence Does

Men have honest overconfidence. People like this. However, people can also snuff out a fake in a second. People hate this.

Some individuals tend to be more admired and more listened to than others. They are not necessarily the most knowledgeable or capable people in the room, but they are the most self-assured.

“When people are confident, when they think they are good at something, regardless of how good they actually are, they display a lot of confident nonverbal and verbal behavior,” Anderson said. He mentioned expansive body language, a lower vocal tone, and a tendency to speak early and often in a calm, relaxed manner. “They do a lot of things that make them look very confident in the eyes of others,” he added. “Whether they are good or not is kind of irrelevant.” Kind of irrelevant.

External vs Internal Attribution

“Wow, that was a tough class.” Recognizing a tough situation is a external attribution.

“You see, I knew I wasn’t good enough.” Internal attribution, which can be debilitating.

When bad things happen, women blame themselves (internal). Men blame the situation (external).

When good things happen, women say they are lucky (external). Men say they are awesome (internal).

confidence women vs men
Our Brain, Testosterone and Estrogen Roles

The amygdala is the brain’s primitive fear centers, involved in processing emotional memory and responding to stressful situations. Women activated their amygdala more easily in response to negative emotional stimuli than men do—suggesting that women are more likely than men to form strong emotional memories of negative events. Women are more apt to ruminate over what’s gone wrong in the past.

The anterior cingulate cortex helps us recognize errors and weigh options — the worrywart center. It’s larger in women.

By supporting the part of the brain involved in social skills and observations, estrogen seems to encourage bonding and connection, while discouraging conflict and risk taking— tendencies that hinder confidence.

Testosterone is thought of as the hormone that encourages a focus on winning and demonstrating power. Higher levels of the hormone fuel risk taking, and winning yields still more testosterone. This dynamic, sometimes known as the “winner effect,” can be dangerous: animals can become so aggressive and overconfident after winning fights that they take fatal risks.

However, testosterone levels in men decline when they spend more time with their children.

How School and Sports Shape a Person

School is where many girls are first rewarded for being good, instead of energetic, rambunctious, or even pushy. But while being a “good girl” may pay off in the classroom, it doesn’t prepare us very well for the real world.

They have longer attention spans, more-advanced verbal and fine-motor skills, and greater social adeptness. They are most valuable, and most in favor, when they do things the right way: neatly and quietly.

And yet the result is that many girls learn to avoid taking risks and making mistakes. This is to their detriment: many psychologists now believe that risk taking, failure, and perseverance are essential to confidence-building.

Girls who play team sports are more likely to graduate from college, find a job, and be employed in male-dominated industries. There’s even a direct link between playing sports in high school and earning a bigger salary as an adult. Learning to own victory and survive defeat in sports is apparently good training for owning triumphs and surviving setbacks at work.

Catch-22 – Women’s character

The more a woman succeeds, the worse the vitriol seems to get. It’s not just her competence that’s called into question; it’s her very character. The more she talked, the less confident she appeared.

Confidence Equals Action

Confidence is the factor that turns thoughts into judgments about what we are capable of, and that then transforms those judgments into action. In turn, taking action bolsters one’s belief in one’s ability to succeed. So confidence accumulates—through hard work, through success, and even through failure.

When women don’t act, when we hesitate because we aren’t sure, we hold ourselves back. But when we do act, even if it’s because we’re forced to, we perform just as well as men do.

confidence gap

The above is my summary and heavily paraphrased article. The original article is quite long so I picked out the parts that is the essence of the article.

—This article reminds me of grade school when the idiotic boys would raise their hands and blurt out a ridiculous answer. And they always think that they are 100% correct.

—It reminds me of a guy who said, “Jessica, I’ve seen you drive and you suck. You’re an Asian girl so you just naturally suck at driving.”

I replied, “How many driving tickets have you gotten? Because I’ve gotten zero.” Exactly, I’ve got the proof to backup my claim.

—It reminds me of my girl friend who gave up her dream because she couldn’t get a perfect score on the admission test.

—It reminds me of the times when I try to reassume my patients and they ask for a doctor. When someone did see them, the patient was fine.  What do I need to do to show my confidence in my assessment?

—It makes sense that our second born siblings tend to do better in business. They aren’t that ‘perfect’ image and they have dealt with criticism and be more resilient than the first born.

—It reminds me of the stereotypes of Asians, Hispanics and Blacks. People have confidence in Asians and think ‘Asians are smart and hardworking’ and maybe THAT’S why they perform better. People think that Hispanics and Blacks are not as smart. The women of both races internalize that and lose confidence in their ability to do well in harder classes. So they don’t even try.

Nurses are Observers

One of the major reasons why I like to watch the new NBC show Elementary — a New York based Sherlock Holmes, is because Mr. Holmes is a great observer and can deduce so many things from his observations. I’m not sure if it is possible to be as finely in-tuned as him, but I do know that first, you have to completely aware of what you are looking at. Second, once you realize what you are observing, you have the obligation to take action.

One of things that I will face is having the courage to take action after observing something that I see is performed incorrectly. But I believe that if I base my reasoning for making a change on the fact that I truly care about the care provided for the resident — then I believe that I can do it. I have to think, “If she was my grandma, how would my grandma want to be treated? How would I want her to look?”

When You Make A Mistake

First, you have to have the guts to admit that you made a mistake. No one is perfect, and we make mistakes. The next step is to take ownership of that mistake and apologize for it. Say what you learned from it and what you will do differently next time.

Each day, you want to take another step to becoming better. One way is to understand your mistake and to make every effort to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

For me, I made the mistake of telling someone I was going to do something, and then forgetting to tell someone that I had changed my mind about my decision to do something.

I could do two things differently.

  1. Not agree that I will do something if I am not 100% sure that I will be able to complete it (This is a little difficult for me because unfortunately, I am a ‘people pleaser”. I have to know my limitations and be able to say “I have to think about it more” or “no” to some requests.).
  2. If I had already agreed but later could not make that commitment, then contact the other party as soon as possible. A later time is not a good time. The best time is as soon as I know that I can’t make that commitment. Even if it initially upsets the other person, it is much better for me to contact him first, than for him to contact me first.

When is the best time to do something?

When you think you ought to do something, the best time to do it is right away.

Especially when it comes to notifying someone with bad news. I don’t know if there is a good time to tell bad news. The bad time to tell bad news is when it is too late.

Reasons for Action – Eat Plants to Live Without Disease

Plant-Based Nutrition book
In nursing, everything we do has a reason. Each action has a purpose. For example, in the nursing intervention and clinical skills book, for each step in the procedure written on the left column, there was a compelling reason for that step written in the right column.

I think that most people don’t eat whole foods is because they don’t understand the reason for eating whole foods. In school, nutrition is barely grazed on in physical education class. Instead, school teachers are asking students to merely memorize and that does not give students a compelling reason to eat in a way that promotes healthy bodies.

Last Saturday, I watched Fork Over Knives on Amazon Prime (it is also available for steaming on Netflix). This documentary gets into the scientific studies done that promotes a whole food plant based diet. This diet decreases cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and weight. I personally feel that this is a great start for people to change their diet and their health. I just borrowed the book called The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition by Julieanna Hever. It provides great information in laymen’s language so that it is easy to understand.

Prevention of health conditions such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer all starts with eating a whole food plant based diet. Watch the movie. Read the book. It will change your life.