Confidence is key

Monday, I went to the “How to present your best self” workshop led by Karen Fleming (John Hopkins) and Linda Columbus (UVA). The main message of the session was Confidence is key to success! And in general, Women don’t own their own confidence. During the session, they showed us multiple pieces of data from surveys from college freshman to mba scholars to show us what we already know. As women, we understatement our abilities when asked and we contribute our success to others or luck. This lack of confidence can lead to less promotions, less salaries, and overall less success. While gender stereotypes can play a role in killing our confidence, the only way to break through these stereotypes is to be strong, confidence women! First step to working on one’s confidence is identity your confidence killers. Some confidence killers are failure, fixed mindset, and the most aggressive at least for me, Imposter syndrome. Imposter syndrome is one thing many of us feel in science at times. The feeling that you are a fake or aren’t smart enough is one that haunts many graduates students, especially early on, and it really hurts your confidence. So to build confidence it’s important to surround yourself with confidence creators aka people who support your endeavors especially when you have failures. For me, my graduate advisor has been a major confidence creator for me during the rocky road that is graduate school. Mindset is also key to confidence. So always remember:

1)Set high goals but aim for good enough, not perfection.
2)Believe in yourself!
3)Remove negative people from your life
4)Failure is temporary! Setbacks are part of reaching success!
5)Don’t be scared to ask for help
6)Take risks. If you don’t even shoot, you will never score!

This BPS meeting was filled with great science but the workshops and career development session were a real highlight for me! Working on our personal growth is critical to becoming successful scientists in the future and I’m grateful that BPS is providing these opportunities! See you next year, fellow BPS goers.


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