This one is for you, ladies. But gentlemen--you'll want to listen in. You may find that you relate.
Today is American Business Women's Day. A day to honor the contributions of women. And, a day to claim and deepen those contributions through acknowledging and redirecting four of the most significant ways women hold themselves back.
Ladies. Colleagues. As you read, be honest. Do these self-saboteurs resonate with you?
Do you find that as you run your business you:
1. Hit snooze on your BS detector
You know something just isn't right. About a person. A situation. A decision you've made. A request you're fielding. Something's out of whack, out of alignment.
But, you ignore the niggling feeling. You tell yourself you'll "keep tabs"...see how things unfold. It's not that big of a deal. It can wait. The truth?
You get busy. Other, more pressing issues take your attention away. The next time you check in, what was a little out of alignment has steam-rolled into a major issue.
More of your time and energy is needed to fix it than if you had just paid attention--if you had just "nipped it in the bud" in the beginning.
Listen to your intuition. Tune in to it. Honor it. Use it. Trust yourself. Save yourself unnecessary depletions of time and energy.
2. Let work rob you of your joy
You love your work. You love the people you work with. You love your company. It's like a child to you. With needs that are always--always--on your mind.
Satisfying those needs can be exhilarating. Affirming.
Yet, there's a tipping point. A point at which taking care of your business can take over your life. When you're in it, it can be hard to see when you've crossed that line. Your work runs you rather than you running it.
You may need to depend on others to signal you when you've crossed the line.
When was the last time you felt pure joy that had nothing to do with work? Joy that came from simple moments with yourself or those you love. Are those moments rare?
Take stock. Be honest with yourself about what you see.
3. Forget your 'why'
You've got unique challenges to growing your business in a way that fuels your life.
Those challenges have no shortage of solutions. Highly recommended, proven solutions adapted by other entrepreneurs in your similar stage of growth. The truth?
Most of those solutions may be totally wrong for you. They don't get at your core needs.
The problem is, it's easy to get eyeball deep into implementing a solution before finding out it doesn't work for you. It can be hard to effectively identify the nuanced "why" of your need for the solution in the first place.
Return to your why. Why you do what you do? What's the connection of the proposed solution to your highest purpose and deepest beliefs?
Give yourself permission to filter your decisions carefully. Be selective.
4. Stay silent
You see things others don't see. You've picked up on core sensitivities about people. About how they work together. About the relationships in your company. Things others see as touchy feely.
You know they matter. That they count. Yet, you're not sure how much to push that drumbeat you're feeling.
So, you don't speak up. You're concerned about getting shot down. Marginalized. Put down.
I get it. Even in your own company, you can get caught up in...
Will they hear me?
Will they be willing to hear me?
So, you stay silent. You hold yourself back.
After 25 years running my own company, let me tell you:
Listen to yourself. Live your truth. Claim your sense of knowing. It's your company. Have faith in your intuitive sense of what needs your attention, when, and why.