WORDS OF WISDOM
WORDS OF WISDOM
True Diversity and Inclusion cannot exist without very honest and sometimes difficult conversations.
Diversity and inclusion are high on the agenda of many organisations, yet I’m still having conversations where women share with me the most inappropriate things that have been said to them both in one to one conversations and open forums.
I’m witnessing the fall out from behaviour that falls short of respect and acceptance for others. How can we as a collective promote a greater level of respect within organisations, so this behaviour becomes something that happens less and dare I say it disappear.
True, I’m only hearing one side of the story and as the saying goes there are three sides to every story yours, mine and the truth, but based on my own experiences and the upset I see being caused by what is being said, I find it difficult not to believe what has been shared with me.
What does success mean to you?
What are your motivational factors for success in your personal and professional life?
Are these motivational factors for success Internal or External?
What drives you? What is your raison d’être? Do you know? Have you ever thought about it or is it too heavy?
Internal or External Motivation
Most of us are taught to study, work hard, buy a home and have a family and if you’re able to manage these you’ll be happy.
What if this isn’t enough? What about emotional wellbeing, fulfillment, peace, contentment or ‘insert’ any of the other things that are important to you.
Hopefully you’ve read part one of “What to do when self-doubt gets in your way”.
If you haven’t already please go back and have a read, posted earlier in October you can then use the two together as a helpful guideline.
I wrote about a number of things that will help to provide you with a new perspective along with action steps especially for those struggling with challenges related to self-doubt.
Many of the things I mention you might already be aware of. You may of heard or read about them before, but there is a difference between being aware of or familiar with and putting these practices into action.
Strictly speaking if you are committed to the processes I’ve spoken about or similar and taking action, your self-doubt challenges would be minimal or non-existent.
In short, stop being aware of or vaguely familiar with all the advice you’ve read, listened to or have been given about improving your self-doubt. Put these useful tools, techniques and practices into action step by step so you can reap the benefits and experience a significant change in how you feel about yourself and the world around you.
Take action and exercise your right to be free of self-doubt.
The first thing to do is acknowledge it, instead of being fearful. If any type of fear subsequently accompanies your feeling of self-doubt, then also acknowledge your fear. It sounds a strange thing to do but acknowledging the feelings that at first seem to hinder your progress is a valuable way to remove the hold they have over you. Awareness and acceptance of feelings or emotions labelled as negative will mean you can start the process of removing the power they have over you and in the case of self-doubt will enable you to elevate what you believe yourself to be capable of.
When we fear something or are uncomfortable with the way we’re feeling there's a tendency to veer towards avoidance rather then acknowledgment, exploration and acceptance, which would in fact provide you with a starting point for options towards change and more affirmative action.
The uncomfortable feelings you experience such as self-doubt might at first appear to be there to trip you up or stop you from progressing but they are created by you (mostly unconsciously) with a helpful purpose in mind. They are created to protect you, which is a wonderful intention but not always helpful. They’re created with the intention of saving you from being hurt or disappointed and to keep you safer within your comfort zone, the zone of only doing what you know and where you think you are certain of the outcomes.
As humans we are very complex in the way we think and sometimes it’s not always easy to understand our thought processes, which determine our behaviours and actions.
There are successful women everywhere some of whom are hiding in plain sight.
What do I mean? They are dumbing down what they know and what they say. “I might be criticised”, “I don’t know enough”, “I prefer not to draw too much attention to myself”, “perhaps I might be found out that I actually don’t know that much”, “I’m a fraud”.
These are just some of the things being thought and sometimes said out loud by successful, high achieving professional women.
The reason behind this, the self-doubt they wake up with each day. The self-doubt that has been created over the years and is now an inherent part of who they are, which can be hard to shake when you have the same thoughts daily.
It makes me so sad because I know it doesn’t need to be this way. This self-doubt can stem from different sources. Learnt in formative years, at school, college or university, from your background or culture, from a passing comment made by someone of influence, it could even come from your perception of society and its influence on how you believe a woman should behave, unfortunately this continues mostly within your professional environment.
We talk about Imposter syndrome but it runs deeper than this, it’s self-doubt that for now remains at the forefront of the most amazing careers.
This is for you if it resonates; you are successful in your own right, in your role, your career and in what you do.
You are intelligent, you have phenomenal academic credentials or your career spans years of leadership or you’re climbing the corporate ladder but you’re simply not enjoying the journey.
Because being behind it means it’s an obstacle.
What is Imposter Syndrome?
Imposter Syndrome or Imposterism has been around for a while. This is what it’s currently known as but who knows in a few years it might have a new name.
Imposter Syndrome generally affects your professional life and is described, as having a persistent feeling of inadequacy despite there being evidence to the contrary. Even though you’ve experienced success in your life, you still have the feeling you’re a fraud, a fake or you’re not good enough and at some point you will be found out and marched off the premises.
The interesting thing about Imposterism is that it affects high achievers, people who for all intents and purposes could be most proud of themselves for what they’ve achieved in life, but instead they are mired in self-doubt.
I see Imposterism as part of self-development or growing pains, uncomfortable but if you want to go further in life, necessary.
The logical mind might tell us the feeling we’re experiencing of feeling like a fraud doesn’t make any sense, but the intense emotive feeling of self-doubt does not lend itself well to logic.
If you’re feeling challenged in this area here are a few things to consider:
Are you fed up of yo-yo dieting? Want to learn how to love you body? Want to ditch the scales?
You have an ideal that you want to eat healthier, think better and move more. You’ve had this ideal for a while now but life keeps getting in the way. You start with more fruit on Monday and by Wednesday you’re back to the Donuts and Wine.
What if this could be different?
What if you could follow the 80/20 rule where you eat well 80% of the time and allow yourself to have your ‘something else’ 20% of the time. How does that sound?
We’re all busy, we work hard, we have children, aging parents, partners and pets. All of these require our time, inevitably the thing that slips is how well we look after ourselves.
Having a healthier approach to life is not difficult and can be simple if you choose to prioritise self-care, being kinder to yourself and implement some basic manageable guidelines.
If you’re up for this now, keep reading if not I’ve planted the seed come back when you’re ready.
We want to help you buy into the idea of making better choices for yourself.
Your ally when it comes to looking after yourself more is your mindset. Once you engage your mind to be more supportive of healthier choices, you’ll find things become just that little bit easier, until you’ve created new habits that work for you rather than against you.
Where or how do I start, I hear you ask?
An observation I’ve made over the years is that people will treat you how you allow them to treat you.
Setting boundaries and saying “no” when you need to, is an important part of our lives. If you feel as though other people take advantage of you, speak to you in a way that lacks respect or are always asking you to do that much more than they do of others, perhaps it’s time for a change.
Being flexible is rather noble but it can also mean that you’re the one who ends up doing more and doing things that go against your core values. It might sound like a contradictory but boundaries enable you to feel more confident, self-assured, stronger and resilient but also much more able to demonstrate flexibility, when the need arises.
Your version of self-respect, the way you treat yourself and others including your communication style will also be a marker for how others view and treat you.
When you set clear and consistent boundaries you are demonstrating to the world around you where they stand with you, so they’re presented with a chance to better understand how to interact with you and what to expect from you.
Setting boundaries for yourself also means you are more likely to look after yourself better, feel more certain of who you are, more settled in yourself and less likely to feel stressed and overwhelmed. These factors also mean you are less likely to be taken for granted or taken advantage of.
I'm older and wiser than I look. After many years in the corporate world I decided to branch out on my own…brave eh? My tenacity, resilience and wonderful sense of fulfilment from what I do keeps me doing.