Why do so many intelligent, heart-centered women lack confidence? 

Confidence and Competence…

My business mentor shared this article a few weeks back and since then I have told COUNTLESS people about it.

A major part of the journey to embodying our inner Wise and Wild Woman is finding our voice, AND embodying the confidence to share that voice with the world. That voice might be your unique creative expression (the theme of this month’s Soul Tending Letter, sign up here to receive it in your inbox), or showing up in your sacred work in a way that bucks societal trends and expectations, or it might simply be speaking your truth to those near and dear to you.

Confidence is important.

And yet this article highlighted an aspect of confidence that we rarely speak of, AND that can be part of why many intelligent, knowledgeable women find it difficult to feel confident and speak our truth.

Confidence and competence do not always correlate.

Actually, until we become bona fide experts in our field, they often have an inverse relationship.

Why is this? Why is it that the more you know, the less confident you feel?

Because the more you know, the more you know that you DON’T know.

There is even a psychological name for this phenomenon: The Dunning-Kruger Effect.

We live in a culture that exalts the confident speaker, and we want to believe that confidence signals competence. If you are not confident in what you are saying, then how can you possibly be a good leader? If you are not confident in your own truth, how is anyone else supposed to be either?

And yet, we also know deep in our bones that this is not always true. That just as often, extremely confident people are over-compensating or don’t realize how little they actually know about a particular subject. But they are so sure of themselves, it can be easy to find ourselves going along with them or thinking that we need to show up in the same way.

Conversely, many intelligent, heart-centered women are acutely aware of how much we don’t know, or how much we have yet to learn. We know that truth is often subjective, and can grasp how our own personal experiences and perception undoubtedly shift our understanding. We have the ability to hold multiple perspectives simultaneously.

These are strengths, but they can lead to paralysis when it comes to sharing our truth. Because what if our truth changes? What if we say the wrong thing? We haven’t learned everything yet!!

So we wait to put our voices into the world, to take positions of leadership, looking for that magical moment when we will have all the answers. Believing that then, and only then, will we feel that elusive confidence.

Of course, this is a problem. As individuals, it prevents us from offering what we have to give, leading to feelings of stagnation and frustration. Of never feeling ready to put our work into the world.

Collectively it also means that our culture lacks a voice and perspective that is drastically needed.

A leadership that is rooted in vulnerability, growth, and an understanding of subjective, feminine truth. A knowledge that my experience is not YOUR experience, and as much as we confidently need to speak our truth, we must also be willing to listen to one another with open-hearts and receptive ears.

Therefore, what I propose is a new definition of confidence.

A confidence that is not predicated on knowing all the answers, or pretending that we do.

A confidence that allows us to show up as we are, fully owning both what we know and what we are still curious to learn more about.

A confidence that allows space for, “I don’t know”, and for referring to those who do.

A confidence that says this is my understanding right now, but as I dig deeper, it might shift, deepen, or expand.

A confidence that is rooted in our ability, knowledge, and life experience, but that also acknowledges that there will always be more to learn.

Finally, a confidence that is grounded in knowing that all this is okay. That this doesn’t make us imposters, but rather, honest human beings, willing to own our vulnerability and the unfolding of our own becoming.

Curious about working with me to Reclaim Your Wild Feminine, your voice, and your confidence? Schedule an initial Soul Diving Session via my online scheduler today.