Are you good enough?

Have you ever:

  • wondered if you were good enough - to even be doing the job you are doing?
  • doubted yourself and your abilities?
  • not pushed yourself to the next level - taken on something new - because you felt you were not “qualified” to take it on and succeed?

Internal research by Hewlett-Packard found that women only apply for jobs for which they feel they are a 100% match; men do so even when they meet no more than 60% of the requirements. [1]

In the article The Confidence Gap, Katty Kay and Claire Shipman argue that the predominant reason men continue to get promoted faster, higher, and get paid more than women is that they tend to have higher levels of confidence.  

They define confidence as “the stuff that turns thoughts into action.”  So with lower confidence, women are less likely to take actions that will yield the same level of success.

Personally, I made a decision long ago that I will not be the one that holds me back in my career.  If someone else wants to slam a door in my face or tell me that I am not ready or not the right person for something, fine; I will take the feedback on board and recalibrate my next move.  But I will not self-select myself out of an opportunity that I want.  

Sure, I’ve dealt with plenty of slammed doors and naively crossed a few ‘political’ lines in my time but my career and personal experience are all the richer for that.  Plus I have had the good fortune of discovering plenty of open doors along the way, too.

So what’s the good news?  Our confidence is something we can affect.

According to Kay and Shipman, “Confidence is a belief in one’s ability to succeed, a belief that stimulates 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.”

Are you the one holding yourself back?  What would you choose to do if you knew you couldn’t fail?  Let me know in the comments below.