I thought I would start this blog with a couple of stories of women that I know. Strong, ambitious, smart women, who, from time to time, get in their own heads and their own ways.
Meet Amy – Amy is an overthinker who often loses sleep retracing everything she said that day, or didn’t say. Amy will often go to bed at night reflecting on the meeting she attended that day and the idea she shared that didn’t get much traction. She will then convince herself that everyone must be talking about what a dumb idea that was and how she clearly missed the point. That night Amy put’s a message in a group chat to her friends and get crickets. Nil. Zero response. Someone else might then make a comment that gets lots of traction. In 0.5 seconds flat, Amy has convinced herself that they must be mad at her – there must be another group chat that they are talking about her in. What has she done? How can she fix this?
Meet Emma – Emma loves people. She loves building strong and meaningful relationships. She enjoys giving and looking after others. Yet, sometimes in wanting to create what Emma thinks are strong and meaningful relationships she actually withholds or devalues her own needs. Emma won’t share her opinion or say no to something in case she upsets someone and Emma cannot upset someone because then they might not like her anymore. The thought of not being liked is something Emma cannot deal with. Emma is a people pleaser. Not being liked means being rejected. So, once again, she steps back so that others can step forwards. She goes along to get along.
Meet Melissa – Melissa says sorry all the time. Melissa says sorry so much that she doesn’t even realise that she does it anymore. It is as much a part of her vocabulary as please and thank you are. Melissa will let someone talk over the top of her whilst she is in the middle of a sentence and then she will apologise for it. Melissa will let someone walk in front of her in the street, or cut her off on a pathway and she will be the one to say sorry.
Meet Sarah – Sarah is an Imposter. Sarah is a highly successful executive with a proven track of record of success, yet she will sit in a work meeting with her peers convinced that every time she speaks or shares her opinion that they question why she is there. Why she is in that room. That she doesn’t deserve to be there. That she isn’t smart enough. Capable enough. Sarah believes she got to where she is by pure luck and that everyone around her is more capable, more experienced, or smarter than her. And they know it too. Sarah is convinced that everyone around her has their shit together, expect for her. Sarah starts her sentences with things like “I’m not sure if this is worth mentioning….”, or my favourite “This is probably wrong, but….”.
You might resonate with one of these stories. You might be like one of these women. You might be like two of them. All of them perhaps.
I know I resonate with them.
Because they are all me.
These are my stories. I’ve changed their names, but these stories were me. And on my worst days they still are me. But, here is the good news – you can manage them. You can beat the inner critic. You can strengthen the voice that cheers you on and drown out the critic that serves no positive purpose. You can beat that little troll on your shoulder who shows up just at the point your about to share your opinion at a meeting and that little voice tells you you’ll be wrong. You’ll look stupid. So, you don’t speak. You step backwards.
You CAN beat that biaaaaaatch that shows up every time you give yourself permission to ask for something you want – a promotion. A pay increase. More responsibility. A flexible working week. That little, but powerful voice shows up reminding you that you probably won’t get it, so don’t bother asking. So, you don’t.
So often we let this inner critic control everything. What we do. What we don’t do. What we say. What we don’t say. We let it dictate how we lead our lives. Sometimes this voice is so embedded in who we are that we don’t even realise the disempowerment we’ve created for ourselves. The cycle we’ve created. The life we’ve settled for. We’ve let the voice of the critic trump the voice of the cheerleader. The voice that tells us we DO deserve the promotion. We DO deserve to be paid our worth and that we DO deserve a seat at the table.
We continually step backwards to allow others to step forward. We can convince ourselves that this is empowerment of others, or consideration of other’s needs, but really it is just our own fear. It is fear of taking control and stepping into our own power. It is fear of vocalising our own needs.
So, what is my why?
My why is that I believe as women we shouldn’t need to make trade-offs. We CAN have the career and have a baby. We CAN buy a house and travel the world. We CAN be on a NFP board and keep a job. We CAN work part time and start a side hustle. We CAN ask for the promotion. We CAN work remotely and still deliver on our objectives.
We CAN have our cake and eat it too, ONCE we decide what our definition of success is (and hint hint: it won’t be the same as the person’s next to you).
MY why is to help you realise that sooner and then to help you get the f*ck out of your own way to start achieving it.
If any of the above women pinged something in you – start here.
Are you the Overthinker? CLICK HERE
Are you the Imposter? CLICK HERE
Do you say SORRY all the time? CLICK HERE
Are you a people pleaser? CLICK HERE
NOW….. are you ready to get the f*ck out of your own way? CLICK HERE