Y’all know I’m a big fan of celebrations! So, knowing March is Women’s History Month, it’s a great opportunity to thank some extraordinary women who shaped history. Think about it. The battles women have fought years ago granted us freedoms and rights we can so easily take for granted. Voting. Running for office. Equal pay. Even owning a credit card in your own name!

Recently, I overheard my friend’s daughter listing Harriet Tubman’s accomplishments for a school assignment. Not only did Tubman become a significant conductor on the Underground Railroad during the Civil War, but she was also a nurse, a scout, a soldier, and even a spy for the Union Army! Listening to her list of accomplishments, it struck me how much this amazing woman contributed to our nation’s legacy. That’s quite a resume!

Manageable Confidence

But for as much as women have accomplished, there are still barriers holding them back. And some of those barriers are self-inflicted. I love this quote from the one and only Mr. Rogers: “Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary.”

The human emotion – for women and men – I’m thinking of this month is wrapped up in the “Confidence Gap.” When women are less self-assured in their abilities than their male counterparts. This leads to fewer chances of success – at work and in life –promotions, financial success, work performance and more. Bottom line: Male or female, we can all stand to lift each other up and help fill in the gaps.

How do we make the mentionable more manageable?

Encourage Self-Awareness: Start seriously doing some self-reflection and challenge self-limiting beliefs. Empower the women around you to recognize and appreciate their skills and achievements.

Build a Positive Environment: Foster an inclusive workplace that values diversity. Encourage open communication, mutual support and teamwork. One of my clients incorporated Affirmation Monday at her office. Before their team meeting every Monday morning, her co-workers take a few minutes to offer shout-outs and compliments to each other. This simple act has brought camaraderie to her team. She told me she has even witnessed the confidence of many of her co-workers increase.

Mentorship and Role Models: Establish mentorship programs connecting women with experienced mentors. Opportunities where successful women can be showcased as role models can inspire confidence and provide guidance.

Confidence Victim

Perhaps it’s time to ask yourself a more personal question: Is this true of you? Do you find yourself a victim of this confidence gap?

Maybe Women’s History Month is a great calendar reminder to invest in yourself a bit more. Success goes hand in hand with confidence. Confidence can be built. Stand up for yourself. Manage your self-talk. Be honest with yourself and stop comparing yourself to others. Strive for a growth mindset and choose wisely who you spend time with. In honor of all the women who have gone before you, start taking steps today to bridge the gap.

Let this month be a reminder not only to celebrate the incredible accomplishments of women throughout history but also to intentionally work toward a future where confidence knows no gender boundaries.