As many know March is women’s history month and it got me thinking about how far women have come in the workplace and business arena. And while we have made great strides, many of us still struggle to find our place in it. Here are four things women struggle with when it comes to advancing ourselves and how to overcome it.
Fear of failure. Most if not everyone struggles with fear of failing at some point. Fear often presents itself when risk is present and there is a potential loss if we proceed. The fact is failure is inevitable. Most try to avoid it altogether, never taking the risk and ultimately that becomes the actual failure. Since failure at some point in our life is inevitable, it’s better to focus on how you can work through it than what if it happens. Its not a failure that defines us or even the situation, it’s how we navigate through it. In John Maxwell’s book “Fail Forward,” he talks about how we will make mistakes in life, but let those mistakes be stepping stones to our success. So, if you are holding back because you’re letting fear freeze you, consider pushing past it and be prepared to find a way to overcome the mistake should one occur.
The work-life balance. Women often wear many hats, wife, mother, boss, sister, friend, volunteer, committee chair, etc. which can often place strain on having balance in our lives. The key here is setting boundaries in each area of your life and using the word “no.” Let’s just accept the fact that we can’t save everyone and everything in our life is not an emergency. You must focus on your priorities and add an organizational system that allows you the time to get things done so you can do what you love most in life. Don’t let the fear of letting someone down make you a prisoner and cause you to be up all night not taking care of you. The truth is if you do not take care of yourself, you cannot properly take care of those you love.
Support network. We become who we surround ourselves with in our circle. I know this is a tough one, but the fact remains that who you allow to speak into your life, influence your decisions whether you realize it or not. For example, if you are wanting to take more risks, but your closest friends or family members are risk averse, they will talk you right out of it because of their personal aversion to risk. If you have big goals and dreams for your life, then you’ll want to surround yourself with like minded people. Just like that phrase “we are what we eat” rings true, so is “we become who we surround ourselves with.”
Some will just never like you no matter what. This is a hard one to grasp for some and even I struggle with this one. The bottom line is about 2-5% of people you encounter will never like you and may even make it known no matter what you do or say. If you allow this group to fill you with self-doubt or focus on pleasing them, you’ll drain your opportunities for success away and never build the confidence you need to truly excel. This has been a tough lesson for me, but I realize that focusing on the 98% who want what I have to offer is where my success will be found.
Don’t compare yourself with others. Oh, this is where “the struggle is real” for women. We are constantly comparing our beginning with someone else’s middle or our middle with someone else’s end. We’ll look at a woman in all her success and think, “man I wish I had her confidence and was doing what she’s doing.” However, we leave one thing out; we do not know the cost she personally paid to get where she is now. We didn’t see how many times she failed and had to push forward, or who she had to let go of in her life and surround herself with, or what tough decisions she had to make to get where she is right now. The truth is, if we all sat in a room together, not matter what state we are all in, we would find that we all have the same fears, struggles, and questions about our potential success. You are uniquely you and no one can bring what you have to offer the same way. So, please for your sake, stop looking at all the other successful women around you, wishing you had her life, and embrace where you are so you can get to where you want to be. Because you can, one day at a time.
Laura Royer is the Founder of Catch Your Money. She offers business and financial coaching services. To set up a free discovery call she can be reached at 321-209-1225 or Laura@catchyourmoney.com.