I’m writing this week about some of the ways I see women get lost in the crowd and slow down their career growth.
How many times have you seen a woman raise her hand timidly in a meeting… and then make a suggestion in that baby girl voice.. trailing off at the end into a question?
When that happens, here’s what we hear:
“What if we [this is a good time to zone out because this is just a filler comment] maybe, you know, changed our marketing focus [this must a bad idea because she doesn’t even believe it] from Live Journal to Facebook?” [hmmm…. Would it look bad it I took another cookie?]
Leaders make choices. They take positions.
Sometimes they’re wrong and sometimes they’re right.
But they’re willing to take a stand instead of dithering.
Do you dither? Do you hesitate to speak up? Do you have a hard time making decisions? That might be why you’re getting lost in the crowd.
I’m a reformed wishy washy decision maker….. Yes, of the paper-plastic variety. I can see all the possibilities—which is sometimes a great skill for a creative….but that knowledge used to make me get overwhelmed and frozen. Unable to choose. A
I was so, so afraid of getting it wrong.
But I unlearned that habit because I knew it was holding me back. And it not only supersized my career growth, it made my life better as well.
Yeah, yeah, you’ve heard the advice—lean in, lean in!
But do you ever think, that’s just somuchflippingwork….?
hughhhhh (exhausted sigh.)
Maybe you’re a working mom, working the ‘double shift…’ no, wait, it’s probably more like the triple shift—working a long day, coming home to take care of your family, and then logging in a few more hours at night. Or maybe you’re balancing putting in the hours while you pay your dues…study for professional development tests……and then go out multiple times a week to check your networking box.
I just got so exhausted writing this, I had to take a break.
But now I’m back…. With the second way I see women get lost in the crowd and slow down their career growth.
I see a lot of exhausted women come through Build Yourself Workshop…. And I see a lot of exhausted women decline to take Build Yourself, because they’re so exhausted they feel they just don’t have the time.
But I’ve also seen women break through.
I’ve seen the busy business owner take the time upfront to hire a project manager—it felt like she’d never make the time to hire—but once she did, it took less time than she thought to find the right person. And doing so allowed her to show up at 100% for the high-level clients she was booking.
I’ve seen the working mother get a promotion—and go home in time to be with her daughter. And she told me she had time to craft. To CRAFT? What working mother you know who has time to craft?
So what’s the secret? These women are working smarter not harder.
Feeling like your career growth has stalled out? Are you getting lost in the crowd? Stuck in the mid-career malaise, the sea of shiny faces at the bottom of the pyramid?
We all know the feeling of waiting to be picked…. And sometimes our careers feel that way—whether it’s hoping we’ll get put on the growth track at our companies, or hoping our dream clients will say yes.
Over the next few days, I’m going to be writing about some of the ways I see women get lost in the crowd and slow down their career growth.
One of those ways, is they look backwards and not forwards.
What I mean by that is that every day, at work, they behave like the person they are in their career now.
Well, duh? I am the person I am now, right? Are you about to get really meta on me?
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’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.
Welcome to my book report! Today we’re talking about techniques to communicate powerfully and get what you want.
Think of these book reports as cliff notes to best books on a topic–I read them and pull out the most useful information for you, so you can apply it to your own life. And if you’re intrigued–feel free to nab a copy for yourself.