One of my new years resolutions was to become more confident in public speaking , presentations and generally have more faith in my abilities ! Now , a lot of people are shocked when I tell them that I HATE public speaking , my palms go sweaty , my heart feels like it will burst out of my chest and I swear I can hear the blood pumping in my veins ! There was a time when I had no problem with standing in front of people , in fact I used to enjoy it , so , why is it that now at the grand old age of 35 has this fear increased ?! I have read a lot of varying reasons for this , the most interesting were that women grossly underestimated themselves , thought negatively about their ability and continuously questioned themselves and that this increased the older they got – So why is it that women do this ? Is it simply inbuilt in us or have we been conditioned into thinking that we do not deserve to be at the top table ? I think its 50/50 – I think that when we were growing up we were constantly reminded that we had to be good girls , that having an opinion or speaking out meant we were bossy or worse bitchy , carry this forward into the workplace and this idea is very much still instilled in us . I think that many women are afraid to speak up and highlight their abilities due to the fear that they are seen as cocky , loving themselves or even over confident ! Men ( rightly or wrongly ) would have been pushed as young boys to be confident in their abilities , being cocky was encouraged and having an opinion never meant they were bitchy ! I also think that women have a tendency to overthink a situation , think of all possible outcomes and fixate on the more negative outcome – For example , not being able to field questions in a board meeting or afraid of appearing to not know their stuff while presenting !
Obviously this is just my opinion and I also know that girls and young women are being encouraged every day to have more “confidence” but is it really as simple as that ? Will this generation of women also find themselves worn down by the “bossy ” comments or will they have learnt to overcome the hidden perfectionist they say resides in all us females ?!
This year I am determined to beat the inner critic and regain the confidence I had in my early 20’s before I started to question whether I really had the ability others had !
Do you think this is true ? I would love to hear your opinions !