Taking a Leap
As a leadership coach and organizational development expert, I’ve had the good fortune to be able to work with a lot of high-achieving women through the years. Whether I’m coaching a woman to help her reach the next level or helping her with a specific workplace issue that may be blocking her from further success, I’ve observed a pattern with women’s mindsets about taking a leap or a risk which prevents them from progressing further and living and leading in big ways!
Here are the 3 most common mindset blockers I’ve seen:
- Getting Other People’s Opinions: Being social creatures, we tend to want to ask “our tribe” what they think about a certain career move or if we should voice that opinion, give that feedback or ask for that raise. If you need to get some other opinions that’s fine, but be cautious of how much feedback you ask for or how long you linger in collecting that feedback. Not everyone understands your situation or scenario and some may even be threatened. You know your situation the best – trust yourself and your inner compass.
- “I need more experience.” This is the most common phrase from women who are afraid to take a step, period. I know… you can think of a million reasons why you need more experience for whatever it is you want to do next. Yet, while you are ruminating on how you’re not qualified for “x” the movers and shakers of the world are just doing it and putting one foot in front of the other and getting that raise, promotion or idea into action. And guess what – they are no more qualified than you.
- What if I fail? Failure is just experience disguised. We’ve turned it into a loaded, gut wrenching thing in our minds. Reframe it by thinking of it all as experience for the next time!
So, what can you do to start taking more leaps? Much of the work here is based on a foundation of trust. Trust with yourself. Gasp! In today’s society where we are focused on getting feedback, asking for opinions and finding the “expert” who can help, we’ve lost sight of our own inner counselor. As women, we are wired to know how to handle a situation and how to navigate our worlds and it takes some intentional slowing down and quiet reflection to access it.
Here are some other strategies for your toolkit!
- Become aware of the internal voice that says, “I can’t do that or I’m not ready yet…” If you’ve ever taken the time to meditate or journal, you may have noticed that our inner dialogue is a Negative Nelly! It’s a running loop of, “that sucked, or you could’ve said it differently, or why did you do that…” and on and on. It takes intentionality to counter this stream of pessimism. Start with this – for every negative thought or voice you notice within yourself, come back with a positive one and keep that positive reframe train going!
- Amplify your strengths: Most likely, you have many strengths! Yet we tend to focus on our negatives and amplify them by talking about what we lack and are not good at rather than amplify our strengths. Start by writing down what you’re good at. Look at the list, take it in, memorize it and then start spreading the news by telling others what you’re good at!
Don’t wait for your turn, just do it. We spend a lot of energy and time waiting to be “discovered.” Waiting for someone to give us permission to speak, permission to lead or waiting to be validated. Don’t wait – just do it. It will feel scary; your heart will pump and you may even sweat a little. That’s ok – just take one action today and it will become easier. At the next meeting, state your opinion, don’t wait for someone to speak about it first or someone to call on you!