WORDS OF WISDOM
WORDS OF WISDOM
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.
Each step you make is filled with self-doubt, your organisation want more female leaders but it’s ‘not the right time for you to apply’. It’s not the right time because you just want to do 6 more months in this role and see how it goes or there are 4 men going for the same role who you think have more experience, “they’re sure to pick one of them and not me” you say, so why bother.
You enjoy your home life spending time with your friends, your partner, walking the dog, but when you arrive into that office things dip and slide for you. You could quite happily walk away tomorrow if you could find another way to pay the mortgage or your other ‘life bills'. You are successful from the outside looking in and from the inside looking out but you just don’t believe it and you really aren’t enjoying it.
You are enraptured by how successful other women are, they seem to be enjoying their careers so much more than you. Are you sure this is the case? Have you asked them? What if they’re saying the same thing about you, would it be true?
‘Life is short’ too damn short for self-doubt that makes you feel bad on a daily basis. Rise up do or change something even if it’s only your perspective. What will you look back on with fondness? What do you want to be able to say when you look back over your career?
There is a plethora of support out there to help you do different, please don’t go another day without finding a way to change what your success really looks and feels like.
Your version of you is different from every single person, even if at first glance it looks as though you have many similarities.
By all means speak with other women you deem as being successful, not for the reason to compare or feel bad about yourself. Find out what they are doing, perhaps they feel the same way as you and together you could identify what you can start doing differently, maybe they’re already doing something differently and their success and confidence is genuine. What could you learn from this?
We all have different stories, memories, backgrounds, goals and life experiences so there is no way your version of you is truly comparable to anyone else.
I'm writing this to support you in thinking differently about yourself and your version of success, especially if you’ve become adept at hiding in plain sight, deep in self-doubt.
Be a part of the diverse leadership your organisation or another organisation is looking for.
Your version of success can be even more rewarding if you were to really enjoy it. Swap the energy you’ve been using for self-doubting to something that helps you find your way to progress further if that’s what you really want, change roles or your career or simply renew your perspective about yourself and start enjoying what you currently do.
As well as the material things you might seek, surely life is about enjoyment, fulfilment and contentment.
Look after yourself, be kinder and help me to remove the sadness I sometimes feel when I speak to women like you.
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I'm older and wiser than I look. After many years working in the corporate world I decided to branch out on my own.......Brave eh?