Female business success is a mindset question first handed. Have you ever listened to the voice in your head telling you never-ending stories making yourself smaller, scaring you or intimidating you especially when it comes to critical business situations? No worries, this is not just you – many of us women do suffer from this inner monster – our internal dialogue.
I have put together the top 7 reasons, why this is happening especially to us women and what you can do to shift your mind to success:
- You believe you need to work extra hard to become equal to your male colleagues: Congratulations, with this mind-concept you shoot yourself directly in the victim position. You are believing that you are supposed to work extra hard to become equal to your male colleagues – this means you are not accepting and recognizing your own work as “enough”, you always believe you need to do more. Therefore you are always on the hunt for something which is beyond reach and you will never achieve it. Have you ever thought that you could need to work less because you have some special female power which is allowing you to close deals faster and get in touch with clients on a very different level than your male colleagues? Well, think about it! Stop this little voice and get your power out there!
- You believe that they are treating you in one or another way because “you are a woman”:
Again you make yourself smaller from a mindset perspective. THEY don’t treat you in any way because you are a woman, BUT because it’s what you BELIEVE they are doing. Ever heard of self-fulfilling prophecies? Here we go. If I believe they treat me unfair because I’m a woman, then they WILL do. However, if you reframe this thinking to “I am treated in the way that I want”, it’s you how is taking over the power and control of your business life again. This has to do with two elemental powers: Self-Esteem and Confidence.
- You believe that other women in your consulting business are weird, bizarre and you prefer working with your male colleagues:
That is a nice one, and I believed in this during my career big times. Here is what is happening. There is a law of attraction – whatever you are doing, will happen to you in a different way. Easily explained:
a.) Imagine you are a bit scared of calling your clients. You don’t really know why but you feel deep inside yourself a fear of being rejected or your client might not take you seriously.
b.) At the same time, you are judging other women in your company in the way that they are weird, bizarre and you prefer the men working with you.
Now we put a.) and b.) together and apply this law: You are judging other women (b.)) and have at the same time fear of being judged by your clients on the phone (a.)). Therefore this happens for a reason – you judge them, others judge you and you are scared about it. Hence, try to get a feeling of your inner dialogue when it starts judging around, stop it (YES you have the power to) and find positive aspects of your colleagues. This will help you in a positive direction.
- You believe that accepting every task shows your commitment:
Being busy in general is a good thing – however the question is, with what! Over the years I observed a strange tendency in business consulting. Whenever there is a meeting planned and there is a group of people, let’s say three to four, with a team of two consultants (one male, one female) and two people from the client. Let’s guess for a moment, who will be asked to bring coffee and write the minutes?
YES you got it, most likely the woman – no matter what grade and position she has. This is such a normal thing and the average woman would of course have no problem in doing so. She’s contributing to the client’s happiness and maybe even to the success of the meeting.
HOWEVER – have you ever thought about what you show is what makes your commitment? Of course, on the short term, everybody might be happy to get the coffee – BUT have you been hired to make coffee and write minutes? Most likely NOT. It’s an assistant’s job and you are a consultant.
If you remain in this habit of always asking if you could help to bring coffee, organise lunch and doing all of this other admin stuff, you will be connected with these actions.
Now you might say “I want to do it and it isn’t really a problem” – well have you ever seen your most successful colleagues doing it? And have you ever thought that someone would dare asking them to bring a coffee? Exactly here is the point.
As long as you are not capable to set limits for your tasks – especially IN YOUR OWN MIND – you will remain at the place of frustration you are right now. Because you’ll start to get sucked into the admin tasks, you feel save there and you are taking less and less risks and exposures to new and challenging things, because you know, you are good at organising etc.
At the end, you’ll be a better assistent but you’ll never reach the galaxy of tremenduous success. the actions you show are the believes others will have about you. Do you really want to remain in the heads of others in the way that you were able at least to make good coffee? Think about it! Behave in the way, you want to be memorized – as an awesome consultant!
- The fear of saying NO:
I know a lot of female consultants, and I had to count myself to this group of women as well for some time, who are afraid to say NO to additional tasks they get from their bosses, clients etc. out of fear.
Maybe you would call it “I wanted to be polite”, “someone needs to do it and I know all others have the same workload as I have”, “I didn’t want to disappoint my boss / client”, “It just took some hours overtime, and I did it with pleasure”. And of course you have NEVER thought about to ask for a fee rise in your project or a salary rise from your boss when doing additional work continuously, right?
So why do most of us women fear to say NO? Saying no has first of all something to do with setting your limits – and setting your limits mean to reject somebody with an attempt. Most of us learned during all our lives that we should be nice to others, always trying to help out and make it for the others most pleasantable. I will not even dig into female violations and all of these kinds of really horrible things. Fact is, we have a hard time to say no because of any reasons. This makes us weak and non-reliable because we don’t set our limits.
And setting limits is actually a good thing – it gives security to other people because they know exactly on what they can count on us and on what not.
Here comes a practice-advice for you: Just for one single day, observe yourself and get an idea of the amount of situations you would like to say no but you said yes instead. Keep track also on how your inner dialogue is arguing with you. Whenever tention becomes to strong, breath out strong through the mouth for several times and let the negative emotions leave your body to the sky via your head.
- Believing that your male colleagues know way more than you:
This one is really eye-opening. Over years many of my clients believed that their male colleagues must be real geniuses because they were bursting with self-confidence in any situation with the client and always had a great answer to questions. They never questioned themselves or their competence and it looked from the outside as the most powerful habit ever possible.
Most women envy these men because they show exactly the behaviour they want to have as well, but they are to afraid of living themselves due to their huge amount of fear and insecurity.
Here is the great secret to this miracle.
Men suffer from fear, low-selfesteem and insecurity in the same way as we do – BUT their coping strategy is a different one. While women tempt to go in the defensive and start looking for comfort from others in their weakness, men focus on the attack to get through this situation of discomfort.
They look for the fight, we look for cover – here is the big difference. The trigger is the same in both situations – only the coping strategy is different.
Therefore, try to go out and rock that stage, nothing will happen and you’ll be surprised how acknowledging your male colleagues will be.
- It’s never to late to become the consultant you want to be:
Have you ever took the time to plan your future character when setting your annual goals in a way that you could grow into it? Most of the times, our current behaviour, beliefs and mindset is not fitting with the goals we set – if we try to achieve them with the mindset we currently have, we will fail. Therefore we need to figure out specific behaviours, habits and believes which are currently hindering us to achieve our goals and substitute them with behaviours, habits and believes we will need to achieve our goals.
Then we need to take daily action to grow into this new character every single day – to change a habit it takes 30 days or more, therefore keep tracking your changes and your goals, break them down into monthly, weekly and daily goals and be constantly reminded of your goald you want to achieve.
You’ll be surprised who powerful mindset training really is, especially when you emPOWER yourself to become this better version of yourself.
BY Steffi Egger