Confidence comes from a Latin word “Fidere” which means “to trust”. Therefore, having self-confidence is having trust in one's self. It should seem obvious that we all want to act and appear confident. Yet, it’s startling that women often rate their capabilities as being lower than what they actually are.
Women often talk of self-doubt and question their abilities in the roles they take up. Even when they experience success they second guess themselves, attribute it to chance and even fall prey to the impostor syndrome. This is why there is a strong need for building, developing and sustaining confidence among young girls and women.
Can anything be done differently for young girls and women to bring about change?
Brittney Packnett definitely thinks so.
As a former fellow at Harvard’s Institute of Politics, Brittney is exploring social change and intersectional activism. She is using every platform to teach the truth that provokes people to action. In her TED talk, “How to build your confidence—and spark it in others”, which garnered three million views, she believes that she has cracked the code to instill confidence in young girls and women. This code is threefold:
Permission: She believes that permission “births” confidence. Young girls and women need to be and see role models in their lives, challenge gender stereotypes and receive positive reinforcement that it’s ok to be different and go against the norm.
Community: Community is society, family or any form of relationship whether organically or inorganically created. Community nurtures confidence by providing numerous instances where positive reinforcement and lessons learnt must be used judiciously in the formation of confidence.
Curiosity: Curiosity affirms confidence, which means when the intention behind one’s actions is ascertained, it encourages people to chart the course of their learning.
These factors when experienced collectively over a period of time contribute to building confidence.
Brittney concludes that with this newfound understanding of confidence, the world will have the readiness to unlock and create the future it so needs.
Young girls and women need to be and see role models in their lives, challenge gender stereotypes and receive positive reinforcement that it’s ok to be different and go against the norm.