Think fast. When you close your eyes and think of successful entrepreneurs and business owners, who comes to mind?
Honestly, I instantly think of men, then women follow. Why is that? It’s not that women aren’t great innovators or leaders, but it raises an eyebrow. We all have bold ideas, but men are seen as fearless and confident. Women? They’re sometimes seen as those who struggle with fear and self-confidence.
At least, I know I have and I’ve seen others do the same, especially in the workplace.
If confidence is essential to a successful career, then why is it that some of us live behind a mask of fear about sharing opinions, speaking up or initiating projects? It seems that we even monitor what we say when we do speak up. Could it be that low-level positions play a role in this? I’ve seen, sometimes, that women are given, or choose “softer” positions, like assistants, where the workload is sometimes just as heavy as executive positions. Then, we get frustrated and become fearful of not being considered a team player. We fear being seen as too negative or fear that constructive criticism is no longer instructive.
Fear causes us to stand in the background and justify silence that we’ve grown so accustomed to. It has become the validation of our imaginary, decreased value of the workplace and corporate ladder.
What if we removed fear?
We would actually eliminate what holds us back from professional success. Imagine finding the personal validation and comfort that only confidence can provide. Nice, right? We’re women! We were born to thrive!
You’re probably like, this is easier said than done. Well, if it makes you uncomfortable then that’s a step in the right direction. We must alter the way we think to include those healthy portions of confidence and poise. That changes the way we look at everything, from the way we walk into meetings to the way we approach small talk with executives.
Identify and remove the unhealthy fear! Sometimes, WE are what’s holding ourselves back from limitless professional success. Do you know a CEO that cowers in a corner? That bites their tongue to speak out about issues? Exactly!
Rosa Parks said, “I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.” She didn’t go down in history with a seat at the corporate board, but she was fearless for standing up for herself and knowing her worth!
Imagine if we all did that. Imagine where we’d be.