The Real Cause Of Low Confidence In Women, And How To Overcome It

Aug 6, 2020 | Lifestyle

Dr Anne Whitehouse - author & women's success coach

Dr Anne Whitehouse is a women’s success coach and author.  View profile

As a woman who struggled with low self-confidence for decades, I know full well just how much this can ruin your enjoyment of life, ramp up stress and anxiety, sabotage your success and undermine your wellbeing.  In my case, it ended up as a full-blown burnout which ended my high-powered academic career.  

I’m not alone in this. The gender-gap in confidence between men and women is well documented, and leaves women at a significant disadvantage.  Yet, while there is no obvious reason for our reaction, so-called solutions can only paper over the cracks.

So, what can we do about this?  Let’s analyze the situation logically.


How do you experience lack of confidence?


Consider a typical situation where lack of confidence typically rears its ugly head.  You’re about to be put under pressure – like giving a presentation or being interviewed. 
Typically you might feel: 

  • anxiety, stress and a sickening churning in your stomach;
  • destructive perfectionism – never seeing what you do as good enough.
  • feeling that life is a huge ordeal to be survived, rather than an experience to be enjoyed;
  • worry that you’ll be judged, and this feels like ‘the end of the world’;
  • feeling that you’re just not good enough, despite your qualifications, experience and capabilities.

Sound familiar?

woman hanging from line with sharks at bottom

What is your subconscious mind trying to achieve?


So, you are now feeling dreadful.  Everything is set up to undermine you, and stop you from performing at your best. Your pesky subconscious mind has done this to you on purpose – but how could this possibly be a good thing?

Confidence literally means ‘with faith’ so to have confidence is to have faith in yourself.  However, when we look deeper, this definition is actually wrong.  Your subconscious mind gives you all these awful symptoms for one reason only – to keep you safe.

Quite simply, your subconscious mind believes that if you do the presentation, the interview or the performance, you are in danger.  It is hard-wired to keep you safe, at all costs, and is trying its best to make you stop doing these things.


Why does your subconscious mind believe you’re in danger?


Now we are getting to the interesting bit!  Your subconscious mind decides whether you’re in danger or not by comparing your situation with its internal benchmarks for how life should be.  

This is the big problem all modern women share. 

Our subconscious minds are running an old operating system – an operation system inherited from our ancestors, rooted in the past. Think about it like this, women have been disempowered for millennia – forced to obey, confined to the home or menial jobs, deprived of independence, rights over our own bodies and freedoms.  Then in the short space of 100 years, this all shifts and – in law at least – and we now have the freedom and opportunity to do, be, and achieve whatever we want.

Unfortunately, the subtle patterns of our minds, and the group consciousness simply do not update as quickly.  The old patterns persist on this level.  In a nutshell, the things we do nowadays would have been seen as forbidden, outrageous, illegal, evil, and totally unacceptable to our ancestors. 

We are wanton witches, flouting the rules of patriarchy, the status quo and the ‘laws of God and man’.  The punishment for these things, is being outcast, stoned, executed, burnt at the stake and other assorted torments. 

I know this sounds ridiculous to a free-thinking, twenty-first century woman.  But trust me – I’ve spent twenty years digging into the subconscious minds of many women and these programs come up again and again and again.  They are archaic, obsolete and extreme, and capable of making our lives a living hell, here and now.

Our subconscious minds believe pretty much everything we want to do is forbidden.  This is why it triggers the debilitating fear responses and tries to stop us from standing out and achieving in the world.

So, now that we understand what’s actually happening, we can pull back our power and start to make changes. 


An effective technique to magnify confidence quickly.


Although changing your subconscious reaction requires a lot of deep reprogramming, there are simple steps you can do, right now, to start changing your response to life.  This exercise is designed to help your subconscious switch off its fear response.

  • Close your eyes, place your hands, one on top of the other, on your chest, and apply a little pressure.
  • Take a deep breath in, and as you do so, bring your attention onto the sensation of your hands on your chest.
  • Continue to breathe comfortably and maintain this focus on your body for a couple of minutes. Become aware of the flow of the air, the beating of your heart, the movement of your ribcage.  Allow your mind to absorb all the details of these sensations.  This distracts your subconscious mind from the fact that you are disobeying its rules!  Your anxiety will begin to reduce and be replaced by a feeling of calm.
  • Now bring in the truth. You are perfectly entitled and safe doing, being and achieving what you want, because this is the twenty-first century.  Remind yourself of the actual law, and your capabilities.  Your subconscious is confused.  Yes you feel the fear response, but it is based on an illusion.  It’s safe to ignore it.
  • Finally, take another deep breath and carry on with your day.
  • If at any time the anxiety returns, simply stop, take a moment, and repeat the procedure.

Your Game-Changing Takeaway


The true cause of lack of confidence in women is that we are going against the hidden benchmarks set by history.  We are pioneers, plain and simple.  Experiencing low self-confidence is a measure of how far you have come, and how empowered you actually are, compared with your female ancestors.

This fundamental shift in understanding can turn the whole thing on its head for you.

So next time you lack confidence, find yourself holding back, or worrying that you’re not good enough, tell yourself this:

“I only feel like this because I’ve pulled away from the old limits imposed on women.  In fact I am amazing, capable and brilliant.”


Short Article Review

  • Low self-confidence undermines many women and puts us at a disadvantage relative to men. It causes stress, anxiety, destructive perfectionism and burnout, and it sabotages our careers.
  • Existing so-called solutions don’t address the real problem, and so don’t make you feel better.
  • The real cause is the mismatch between your life as a twenty-first century woman and the obsolete subconscious benchmarks we all hold. This makes your subconscious believe you’re breaking the rules and will be punished.
  • Understanding that your mind is reacting to an illusion can be life-changing!
  • If you lack confidence it’s just showing you how far you have come, and how amazing you actually are.

The Post The Real Cause Of Low Confidence In Women, And How To Overcome It appeared first on Womanly Inspiration.


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