7 Success Secrets That Women Can Learn From Men
Dear April Masini,
I am the step-mother of two confident, assertive and successful young men (23 and 24), as well as the mother of a beautiful, smart, and talented (23 year old) daughter who has everything going for her – but lacks confidence, both in her work and in dating. Why is it that (generally speaking) boys are still more assertive in their career and women tend to doubt themselves more -- even when they are actually more talented or knowledgeable than their male counterparts? Is there something that my daughter (and I) can learn from men about confidence?"
In Need of Confidence
April Masini's Advice :
Dear In Need of Confidence:
Men with the most self-confidence are inevitably those who are absolutely clear about who they are, what they want, and what they believe to be right and worthwhile. These things are unwavering for the confident man. It doesn't matter what's going on around him (or who is around him). He focuses on the result he desires, and consistently takes the necessary actions to achieve it. From this focus comes his aura of confidence.
Here Are 7 Confidence Lessons Women Can learn From Men:
1) Forgive yourself immediately for all mistakes so your boss will see that you're not shattered when you mess up.
It's a lesson from sports: If you beat yourself up about missing the ball, you'll just make two mistakes. Boys and men are exposed to team sports from an early age, and one of the main lessons that they learn is that recovering from a homerun, a strike out or a missed bucket, is key to winning the game. A mistake or a huge win within the game will not win or lose the game, but the next three might. Focus on what is happening in the moment is a great tool for success. Letting go of the past -- whether it's a faux pas or a big win -- will let you move on to what comes next. This is something men and women can use, but men get more practice as boys, teens and men by playing and watching sports where this practice is utilized constantly.
2) Don't wait for the "evidence" before you believe in yourself.
Women tend to look to the outside world to validate that their ideas, looks, projects, etc., are worthwhile. Men seem to have a remarkable ability to believe in themselves, even when the evidence suggests otherwise.
Looking to others for answers is a waste of time. Knowing what is right is an instinct everyone has, but often loses over time. Get back to the instinct of trusting what you innately know. Women are offenders of this rule because they are often more sensitive and tuned in to the world around them, and pick up cues and signals from others. Men are often less tuned in to others and as a result, don't just trust their instincts -- they don't question them because it doesn't occur to them that anyone else has an idea about them! Sadly, many men have lost this male trait, making them offenders, like women, of not trusting what they already know.
3) Fake it -- "Acting" confident can actually help you feel that way.
Faking confidence is one of the great lessons taught by many self-help motivators. Most of these motivators are men. Faking confidence is really a crutch to get you over the hump of not trusting your instincts. The hope in faking confidence is that by faking it, you'll actually "win some" and then realize how good you are at faking it. That confidence you get from faking it will carry over into other areas of your life where you need confidence. This is a tool that many men find useful, and women should give a try. Start by using it in a little Texas Hold'em game, and then venture out into the business and social worlds with your new found skills!
4) Develop a strong sense of entitlement – to take vacation time, spend the day playing golf, to have a huge salary.
Entitlement can be a wonderful tool when it comes from good self esteem and the feeling that you deserve a strong salary, a good relationship and a great home. Be careful when exercising entitlement, not to cross over into narcissism, where no one else matters but you. Women who lack a sense of entitlement are usually tuned in to others' needs, but not their own. Tune in a little more closely, and you'll see that there's nothing wrong with having more -- and if you disagree, ask yourself why.
5) Prefer to come off as strong, rather than nice (i.e., not living under the shadow of the dreaded b-word).
Women are still getting a bum rap when it comes to showing strength, but there's no easy way around this one except through it. The trick is to listen to your instincts, and not the negative messages others give you when you exercise strength, and are called a witch, among other names. Keep your eye on the horizon and listen to your instincts. And get support from other women who are a few rungs on the ladder above you, and who have gone through what you're experiencing.
6) Assume that others will think highly of you -- Men are confident that the interviewer will want to give them the job, and that the pretty girl will want to date them.
Some men have a strong sense of entitlement that often borders on narcissism—the feeling that they will be elected President, that they will go "unconvicted," etc. This self confidence, when it's healthy, can be a huge asset to women who are naturally more in tune to what is going on around them. If you realize that you are just as good, as smart, as pretty, as whatever, as everyone else vying for the job, the man, the win, or whatever, you'll realize the logic in your winning. This is one of those things where women can out-maneuver men if they're tuned in to their environments, and not paralyzed by fear of success or failure.
7) Understand that sometimes 'no' is just the first step to 'yes' -- like when negotiating raises, etc.
No means no. But why not ask again? An emphatic, "no," will give you a clue that you're not going to get much further, but a calm '"no," is worth another try. If you take rejection personally, you'll get stumped easily. If you figure out why someone is saying no, and offer alternatives and show compromise, you'll most likely get a "yes," or a "let's talk some more."
Have your daughter take a look at my book Think & Date Like A Man. She'll get some great advice for how she can gain more confidence and put her best foot forwad in many different situations!