What steals our joy, creates anxiety, and leads to discontentment? From my perspective, nothing more than trying to be someone we are not.
Along the leadership journey, many of us women somehow get the idea that who we are is either not enough, too much, or just plain average. So, we either overcompensate, undervalue ourselves, or just check out. Why?
A number of potential reasons…
1. Comparison: we compare ourselves to others. We say, “I should be further along in my career by now” or “My peer is so much better at being strategic than me.”
2. Negative Self Talk: we talk negatively to ourselves. We say things like, “I’m not good enough, my idea is stupid, or I sound stupid every time I talk.”
3. Imposter Syndrome: we believe we don’t belong and we worry we will be exposed as incompetent.
4. Constructive or Negative Feedback: we received feedback that has chipped away at our confidence. So we overcompensate and lean into the trait that others are more accepting of and comfortable with. We leave part of ourselves out of the equation.
5. Proving Ourselves: we believe others don’t think we belong so we keep pushing to prove we do.
6. Unnoticed: we don’t feel our opinions or ideas are noticed, heard, or considered so we stop sharing them.
7. Squelched: we’ve seen our ideas squelched and dismissed so we no longer feel comfortable sharing.
8. Undervalued: we don’t believe we have anything of value to say so we don’t.
My guess is that you’ve experienced one or more of these feelings before. I’ve experienced all of them at some point (plus some).
Perhaps over time these feelings have chipped away at your confidence. You’ve forgotten that you have SIGNIFICANT value and that you have something to offer that nobody else does.
So how do you get your confidence back? You realize your SIGNIFICANCE!
It takes two-steps. This may make it sound quick and easy, but it’s not…it’s a process that requires diligence and intentionality.
Create awareness of how you feel in different situations.
• Track how you feel.
• Determine if your feelings led you to either overcompensate, undervalue yourself, or check out in the situation.
• Pay attention to whether there are certain people or situations that consistently draw out negative feelings or reactions in you.
• Analyze why you feel that way.
• Take time to go deep and remember other times you’ve felt similarly.
• You will likely begin to remember the source of your insecurity. (Hint: it is probably further back in your memory/life than the current situation you’re dealing with)
• And when you do, move to Step 2.
Remember who you are!
• Remind yourself that the old tape you’re playing in your mind based on that insecurity is NOT representative of who you are. It’s a label you’ve given yourself that can be erased and re-written.
• Write a list that describes all your amazing qualities.
• Keep that list with you and look at it often.
• Next time you show up to a meeting, interaction, or project, bring out those amazing traits that make you genuinely you and let it SHINE.
Leadership is a journey. We don’t start out having all the answers and we don’t end up having all the answers. However, it’s entirely possible to feel purpose and peace in the process of leading.
It’s not about getting it all right. It’s about getting comfortable with who you genuinely are, accepting it, relishing in it, and showing up every day with those significant, genuine qualities that make you SHINE.
If you’re interested in digging deeper and learning how to lead genuinely while creating wins for your organization, join my April women’s leadership program SHINE. Seats are limited so get your spot!
As a leader for the last 15 years, I always struggled with me. This constant disconnect between who I was in the office and who I was at home with my family or friends weighed on me. I don’t even think I could have really articulated the weight at that time, but it showed up in my life through anxiety. How many of you can relate to waking up ruminating at 3am? The second-guessing what I said or how I acted, the calls on the way home to my BFF reliving the day over and over again, and coming home to my hubby just to have the same conversation again was exhausting! (Probably for them, too!)
I wasn’t being genuine. I wasn’t being congruent. I wasn’t bringing my whole self to the conversation. I was bringing the part that got me there – the tenacious, determined, strategic go-getter. But, I had forgotten the compassionate, caring, warm, empathetic person that is also me.
That’s the genesis of Genuinely You Leadership. I believe that for many women we don’t bring our whole genuine self to the conversation – and I mean all conversations both in and out of the office.
For me, my conversations outside of the office were more compassionate, caring, and warm. Yet didn’t include a lot of the planner, strategic, action-oriented mindset that is also me.
Why not? Maybe I was afraid that if people saw the more action-oriented side of me they’d see me as pushy or annoying. Truthfully, I was scared of what they’d think.
But that’s exactly who I was created to be – all of me. Compassionate, go-getter, kind, strategic, empathetic, results driver. That’s what makes me genuine, real and one-of-a-kind. (And, that goes for you too!)
When I started to mesh what I had originally thought were opposing characteristics together and started to live and lead more genuinely in every situation that is when the magic happened. That’s when I felt more purposeful and more at peace.
That’s how I’m striving to live and lead every day from here on out – genuinely me. It’s a daily conscious decision for me now and one I’m actively pursuing (and you can too!). After all, as one of my favorite sayings appropriately goes, “it’s the journey, not the destination.”
Now, maybe you have a different challenge. Maybe at home you lead more comfortably, but at work you struggle to speak up. It may even be that you struggle to be your genuine self around certain people or in certain situations. Whatever your unique scenario, you feel deep down like you are leaving a part of you out of the equation and you’re stifled. You aren’t being congruent.
I believe living and leading more genuinely is possible for you too. If you’d like to join me on the journey, I’d love to connect.