A common question we often ask ourselves when we feel inadequate is, ‘do I belong here?’ I should know, because I’ve said it countless times in my life, and even though many would never believe that I secretly wonder if I'm qualified to hold a position of authority, the fact remains that I do. Instead of standing securely in who I have been made to be, it’s easy to disqualify myself from great opportunities.
Ok, so I admitted that I have done it, what about you?
Maybe you started your business, and it took off with gusto, but you still quietly question if anyone will find out you really don’t know what you're doing. It could be that you graduated with honours, got offered your dream job, but still don’t believe you're worth the amount of money they're paying you. Even though you desire to break the glass ceiling, you don’t believe that you have what it takes to get where you want to go.
Sometimes it feels like an adolescent problem, but more and more women today are comparing themselves to one another. Are you comparing yourself to the women around you? Sizing them up to see who does it better, and who has earned more success. Can I just say - STOP IT! It’s a trap. The closer you get to your own success, the easier it seems to give into living with your insecurity. Trust me when I say, ”don’t go down the rabbit hole."
The truth is that is doesn’t matter if you question your level of ability, your appearance, or how people perceive you. Buying into the self doubt becomes a crutch, and before long you wind up needing constant validation from others to pull you from its firm hold.
As a life coach, working with female entrepreneurs, I talk to a lot of women who suffer with anxiety, bouts of depression, and issues in their relationships. All of these stem right back to not knowing our value and worth. Please hear me when I say, that there are extreme cases when we need to seek a medical professional. But for many women, the anxiety will cease when confidence arises.
You may be asking, how is this possible? How do I move past the anxiety and feelings of insecurity and believe that I have a place at the table?
I would hate to leave you hanging without sharing with you three keys that will boost your confidence level.
Own your past. All of it - your failures, the rejection, and even the feelings associated with them. It may seem hard to move past those fears, but when you own them, they stop owning you. It’s time to realize that what has happened in your past does not define you, and has no power over your future. So, own it! When you are able to own what you don’t like about your past, you will start to see all of the amazing qualities in yourself you do like. And, own them too!
Lift someone above you. It takes a strong woman to encourage someone else, especially when you think they don’t need it. The best way to belong is to serve those above you. Maybe it’s your boss, or a leader in your life. It could be a friend who seems to hit the jack pot at every turn. Celebrate her! Her win is also a win for you. You’ll have your moment to shine, but in the meantime throw a party for those who have worked hard for it.
Adopt the attitude that everyone wants to be your friend. I met a woman not long ago with a self deprecating attitude. She assumed that people didn’t like her, and guess what... it translates. And, not in a good way. One of the best lessons I ever learned was from my mom who told me to assume that everyone likes you, until you prove them otherwise. This is a great lesson to take into your personal and professional life. It’s not about being arrogant, it’s about being who you were created to be.
Last week, I spent three days with some of the most creative women in design. Somehow I found myself rubbing shoulders with amazingly talented women in the industry, and several times wondered why I was there. I began asking myself, ‘do I belong here?’ Do I belong amongst the ranks of women who truly know what it means to hustle? To be in the presence of women, who have seen their business go to the next level. It was a soul searching moment. A time where I had to put into practice owning who I am, celebrating the women around me, and believing that every woman there wanted to be my friend. Guess what happened? I was myself. I gave myself permission to belong, and in the process I learned a ton about myself, and how I can take my business to the next level. As a bonus, I met some incredible women, and was able to encourage them that they too, belong!
We Are Better Together!