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!