It’s Nurture, Not Nature


There’s always another way to look at things.

According to Psychology Today,  we’re tainted in the workforce basically because of things we self impose.  An article from Heidi Grant Halvorson, Ph.D., from 2011, discussed how extremely talented and well educated women tend to struggle in the professional world because “we judge our own abilities not more harshly, but fundamentally differently, than men do.”  I have to say, I agree with her just based on past experiences of my own.

The article in Psychology Today went on to state that this all stems back to our childhoods when it’s discovered that “bright girls believe that their abilities are innate and unchangeable, while bright boys believe that they can develop ability through effort and practice.”  It’s believed by researchers that the way feedback is given to us from our parents and teachers while we are younger is what starts this trend for us gals.  At first I thought that was a stretch, but the more I read the more I started to understand the thought process behind it all.  They might actually be on to something with this one.

Many of us develop self-control earlier than our male counterparts and are able to often follow instructions so our praise tended to be more about how good we were at listening to what we’re told.  Since young boys, and to be honest some men that I still deal with on an almost daily basis, have a problem focusing and sitting still they tend to receive feedback that is more directed towards encouraging them to make an effort.  Later in life this translates to gals believing that they aren’t smart when something is too difficult, while our male counterparts believe that they should just try harder when things become tricky.

While I’m not sure that I see myself as the type that ever believed I wasn’t smart enough to handle a difficult situation, I do know that overly tedious situations can be infuriating when it continues to be a struggle.  However, I subscribe to the theory that I can always keep improving as long as I persist in whatever skill I wish to master.  My professional side is incredibly driven and at times leads me to identify more with the males I work with as I almost never let any hesitation or doubt show on my face, so I wonder if there is a small assortment of gals out there that landed in the middle of the scenario researched.  Where do you find yourself?

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What do you have to say about all of this?