The unconscious mind takes everything personally so labels we perceive as negative can be taken on as a child, impact our results as teenagers and when we become adults, can prevent us from going for what we really want...for fear of that old belief being recognised by many.
I was once in a room where there were both men and women, and the facilitator wanted to demonstrate how we make decisions. She asked that we organise ourselves in numbers according to who would 'go' first. We didn't know what we had to do but I said I was happy to go first. One of the men in the room muttered not so quietly under his breath 'the alpha female.' At the time I didn't think anything of it, I actually saw it as a positive, but I have since worked with women who would not even have volunteered for fear of such a comment.
These are usually the same women who want more confidence, but are afraid of looking arrogant, or of failing, or indeed of succeeding.
At a recent Fortune Brainstorm Tech Marketing dinner, Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook, Lean In) took a moment to conduct an experiment in which she first asked the men in the room to raise their hands if they had ever been told that they were “bossy” at work. (A small handful did.) Then she asked the women. (About four times as many hands went up.)
“If you go to most business dinners in New York or San Francisco, most of the women in this room are used to being the only women in the room,” she said. “That’s what I want to change. That’s what we all want to change.” Joking that a bossy little girl has executive leadership skills isn’t something to chuckle about, she said. There should be as little humor in the thought as there would be for a bossy little boy. “That bias exists in all of us,” she said, “in men, in women, in me.” http://fortune.com/2014/10/01/sheryl-sandberg-brainstorm-tech-ad-week-2014/
Be brave, be you (tiful).