This may be a sexist statement.
In my experience, women seem to give a much bigger shit about what others think of them. I've always been like this myself.
Sometimes it's beneficial. I started songwriting in college. People told me I was talented and that I should keep writing so I did. I wrote and produced two albums and I performed at nationally known venues. It was awesome.
Sometimes caring about others' opinions of you can hurt you. I work with a bunch of people who are more senior than me and they expect a lot out of me. It isn't a bad thing but sometimes I question whether or not I can learn quickly enough to catch up with them and eventually help lead them and lead the company. I was overwhelmed one day and I reached out to others for help. One person told me I wasn't equipped to handle the situation. Others suggested I didn't have the experience or the executive authority. One suggested I should start looking for a new job. I descended into a cloud of anxiety and self doubt.
In my confused desperation, I reached out to a mentor of mine. I asked her if she thought I was in over my head. She responded, "In over your head? Fuck that." All of a sudden the fog cleared. I could feel the ground under my feet again. I felt empowered and capable. I started thinking of ways to solve the problems I was dealing with and I started executing on them-eventually leading to successful results. Her simple rejection of failure had a giant impact on me. She believed in me without question. Consequently, I believed in myself.
Here's what I took away from this whole experience. If I ever have a mentee who's a woman or a daughter of my own, here is what I will tell her:
1. You can do anything. No one is better than you.
2. If anyone says otherwise, fight the urge to accept that as your reality. It will slow you down and impede your ability to improve. You decide what you're capable of. In the end, it's not about what you can do. It's about what you want to do.