Editor’s Note: This is an edited, abridged version of a post originally published by our partners at B The Change.

By Ayla Schlosser

Betty is a city girl. After graduating from secondary school, the shy 25-year-old was eager to be independent but unsure how to gain employment in the demanding job market of Rwanda’s capital city. Having grown up as an orphan, she didn’t have a strong community to support her or mentors to guide her as she set her goals. Despite having the knowledge that she needed to succeed, Betty didn’t think she had what it took to achieve her dreams ,  so she didn’t bother to try.

Young women in Rwanda participate in a Resonate leadership workshop where they build confidence, public speaking experience, and interview skills. (Photo courtesy Imbuto Foundation)

Resonate, the nonprofit social enterprise I founded in 2014, has facilitated leadership trainings for more than 4,000 East African women, including Betty. Their stories are similar to millions of women around the world. A few months ago, at a summit of 200 social business leaders brought together by Conscious Company Media, I listened to VPs at global tech companies, CEOs of successful startups, and acclaimed authors talk about being held back by their fears of not being “enough.”

These feelings of self-doubt, imposter syndrome, and fear of failure have contributed to the “confidence gap,” and it’s a global phenomenon. There is no silver bullet to combat it, but self-reflection can help.

At Resonate, we often tell program participants to believe in themselves. The sentiment also took center stage at Conscious Company’s World-Changing Women’s Summit, where phenomenal female leaders shared stories of overcoming internal an external obstacles by learning to trust themselves. By recognizing what each of us brings to the table, women leaders can learn to be more confident and to lead with the best, most honest version of themselves.

We see the power of believing in oneself consistently in our work with women like Betty — who, in addition to a full-time job, recently fulfilled a longtime dream of starting a poultry business. She now owns 20 chickens and hopes to work for herself one day. Continue reading at B The Change.

Ayla Schlosser is the CEO & cofounder of Resonate. She is an entrepreneur, storyteller, and believer in the power of human potential. 

B The Change

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