Today, I wanted to share three stories that I’ve collected on what it can feel like to be a woman or person of color in my field – architecture. Names and identifying details have been altered, but the basic structure of these stories is true—and they are recent. They are not from the 1950s or 1960s, they are from today.
Today I’m sharing with you a confidence hack from a woman who recently took my Build Yourself Workshop.
I’m excited to share with you some confidence hacks from real women who have put Build Yourself suggestions into practice, or created their own. Today’s hack comes from Kelsey who was struggling with anxiety at networking events and put a Build Yourself ‘hack’ into play–she pretends that she’s a host of the events she goes to, and approaches people with that mindset in place. From the outside–it just looks like she’s a friendly and confident person.
Today we’re going to do a little quiz. Have any of these situations ever happened to you?
You are in a job that isn’t challenging you. You:
- Believe that there’s nothing better out there and you need to put in your time to learn from your situation in this job.
- Think about switching jobs and end up applying for equally unchallenging jobs.
- Apply to new jobs including some that feel like reaches.
- Apply to a number of jobs that you don’t feel fully qualified for, knowing that women consistently underestimate their value. Prepare for any interviews you get with mock interviews and practices that build up your confidence. Recognize that if you get rejected, it’s not a statement that something is wrong with you—you’re just not there yet.
You have a client that always asks for more than they paid for. You’ve finished the last revision round for them and they’ve asked for more changes. You:
- Feel that you need to keep the client happy at all costs and so you just swallow it, cancel your plans that night and make the extra revisions.
- Get pissed off about it, tell all your friends you hate this client and then do it anyway.
- Tell them you can’t get it immediately but you’ll do it.
- Let them know that the revision period is closed as per the contract, but you’d be happy to discuss adding the extra work for extra pay. You know you’re of value and upholding your boundaries only helps the client respect you more.
You have a new junior employee that you are supervising. You:
- Feel awkward about telling them what to do and avoid it.
- Hold back constructive criticism and do too much of the work yourself instead of delegating it.
- Give them assignments but find yourself expressing them in tentative language and upspeak… “Could you maybe make these revisions by the end of the week…?”
- Give them assignments but find yourself spending tons of time overexplaining what they need to do so that you are not a bad or disappointing manager and you don’t make their life or job too hard.
- Give them assignments in a firm but friendly way, make yourself open to questions but ask them to use their resources and intelligence to do whatever they can on their own, and give them honest constructive criticism that they can grow from.
These are real stories.
These are real situations that have happened to real women. What they share in common is that they illustrate the confidence–real inner confidence–is about more than just the hair flippin’ and swagger. Inner confidence is about having the mental state that allows you to address every situation that comes into your work life from a position of power.
Confidence is the #1 thing I see holding women back. For this very reason I created an inexpensive mini-course to help women deal with their inner critic and loosen its death grip on your happiness and growth.
Introducing Defeat Self Doubt
Defeat Self Doubt is a five-day audio course that will help you manage your inner critic and put it in its place. Designed for busy women, it comes with daily audio lessons (ten minutes or less!) and short daily exercises that integrate into your daily life. Defeat Self Doubt is the five day journey that helps you break through your doubts and unlock your potential, confidence and energy.
What women are saying about Defeat Self Doubt:
“During the course, I had hit a slump while working on a new project. Reflecting and acting on how my confidence was affecting my work made me realize that I still had a lot to offer and a lot of experience that I shouldn’t discount. I turned my negative energy towards asking for what I was worth, and I secured my first client! I also reached out to partners and now have meetings scheduled with them. One big takeaway was that we all go through the questioning and doubting ourselves so I wasn’t alone in thinking or feeling that way. It’s how I acknowledged these thoughts and took new actions that made the difference.”
“I really really enjoyed this course! I was fairly amazed at how easily I could pin-point my inner critic and it felt really empowering to be able to notice that that voice “sounded authoritative” but that it was essentially a pathological response. I found that I could ease up on my anxiety just by noticing what was happening and using the strategies you suggested. Thank you.”
Ready for the change yourself? Get the course now.
When I first started my business, I found myself staring down an empty work calendar. I was totally unbooked–except for one tiny little workshop gig. I didn’t know how to get work, I didn’t know what I what I was selling. I had no clue what to say at cocktail parties.
I felt like an impostor.
If you looked in Jae’s closet, you would have seen a scene straight out of those movies where the main character needs to loosen up–rows of the same shirts, pants and jackets–all in black and white.
I’ve written to you before about how I see issues of confidence as the #1 thing that holds women back from their full potential — no matter where they are in their career — it just shows up in different ways.
For that reason, I’ll soon be releasing Defeat Self Doubt, a mini course that I’ve created to help you put self doubt to the side. It will help you rewire your brain for more confidence and ease. Rewiring your brain is all about little hacks that help you build a new reality that you first start to live–then start to believe. Over the next few weeks I want to share with you a few hacks that I used to do that for myself, especially when starting my business–which was imposter syndrome central for me.
I’m not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions.
New Year’s intentions–well that’s another thing.
Does it ever take you the better part of an hour to send off an email that should have taken you five minutes, as you agonize over every layer of meaning?
Do you ever find yourself dwelling on a conversation you had with someone earlier in the day, going over every nuance of the interaction?
Do you ever defend a boundary of yours at work and then immediately feel bad about it–and worry that your boss is disappointed in you and doesn’t see you as a team player?
This week in Build Yourself+ Live Online we looked what I like to call ‘saying no to say yes’ learning to implement boundaries to all the unfiltered priorities of others (because all the priorities means no priorities) in order to direct our careers in the way we want them to go. We, as women, struggle to say no because we’ve been trained to be accommodating and put others needs ahead of our own. We also get more pushback when we say it–I get women really comfortable learning to say ‘not yet’ as a starter step which is both easier and sometimes can deflect negative perceptions of us. It’s hard to say no but it’s one of the key skills that will move you into the next leadership level.
Saying no is about time management, yes, but it’s also about unearthing a deeper skill–that of checking in with our inner wisdom.
When we practice saying no, we also remember to ask ourselves, what do I really want to be saying yes to?
When we spend our time and energy engaged in people pleasing, we fall out of touch with actively curating what we want, what we really, really want. When I first started this workshop, I thought each participant would, with the help of my strategies, hit the ground running on pursuing what she wanted for her professional life. I’ve learned, over time, that part of my job is to unlock the ballsy (and yes I used that word) girl within you and let her out again.
So when’s the last time you did something, or overdid something just to please someone? Was it today? Was it this morning? Was it five minutes ago?
Do me a favor, say no once today. It’s one of the best ways I know to tap into your “yes”.
I got an email the other day from a coaching student that showed me I was making an impact. She forwarded an email that she had sent that week to a consultant she was working with.
I think it’s a model for all of us.