Six ways for women to cultivate self-confidence

Music industry titan Tena Clark tells Breaking Glass that every girl is worthy

To speak with Tena Clark is to find yourself buzzing with inspiration. Her energy and confidence are truly contagious. Tena is one of the most well respected women in the music industry and widely regarded as a force in helping to move the industry more towards gender equity. But her story begins in rural Mississippi with a conservative family who didn’t always support her career aspirations, musical ambitions or lifestyle. Tena knew she had no choice but to follow the music and at times, had to force her way beyond gender barriers and concrete ceilings to achieve the great heights that have now allowed others to follow in her footsteps.

A kind soul, successful artist, and stand up activist you can’t leave a conversation with Tena without wondering – how in the world do we cultivate even half the confidence of Tena Clark? Don’t worry, we asked. Here are her suggestions for cultivating the self-confidence that Tena exudes:

  1. Love yourself – No matter how much of a misfit you may be in your family, your community, or your industry, never listen to the criticism intended only to cut you down and box you in.
  2. Grab on – Figure out what it is that you want to do, what it is that feeds your soul as Tena would say and grab on with both hands. Chase it passionately, and don’t be afraid to stumble.
  3. Don’t settle – Tena is never willing to settle for anything, ever. Don’t do anything halfway. It may not be a straight path to success, but don’t second guess yourself.
  4. Remember you are worthy – Worthy of love. Worthy of success. Worthy of opportunity. Remind yourself again and again until you start to believe it – you are worthy.
  5. Change the world – No better way to believe in yourself than to commit to something greater than yourself. For Tena, that was her commitment to end violence against women. Get out there, get after it, and change the world. 

Over the course of our conversation it became clear that Tena was never going to settle for anything less than complete personal and professional fulfillment. It didn’t matter that she was told “Girls can’t be with girls. Girls can’t play the drums. Girls can’t be producers. Girls can’t own a record label.” She only dug her heels in further to prove society wrong. She wouldn’t want anything less than the same determination and stubborn conviction from each of us.

Listen to Tena on Breaking Glass