Thursday, January 22, 2015

Article Club III

Tonight's January Article Club will meet at the Beat Hotel in Harvard Square and discuss this fascinating article, The Confidence Gap. 

Some of the most interesting facts I picked up from the article are as follows:

*Success, it turns out, correlates just as closely with confidence as it does with competence.

*Each year she asks her students what they expect to earn, and what they deserve to earn, five years after graduation. “I’ve been doing this for about seven years,” she has written, “and every year there are massive differences between the male and female responses.” On average, she reports, the men think they deserve $80,000 a year and the women $64,000—or 20 percent less.

* 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.

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. Boys, meanwhile, tend to absorb more scolding and punishment, and in the process, they learn to take failure in stride.

“Confidence,” he told us, “is the stuff that turns thoughts into action.”

The last bit really stuck a chord.  Coincidently, on my birthday post last week I wrote that Action was going to be my mantra for the year.   I had never thought much about my lack of action to be tied to confidence.  I always equated it more with a fear of failure or a desire for perfection.  But after digesting this article it's impossible not to consider the role confidence plays.