During nearly twenty years of working as a leadership coach I have helped many women become more effective in both their work and personal lives. However I am still surprised by how often women underestimate their capabilities and hold themselves back from success because they feel they’re “not good enough” or “don’t deserve it”. In contrast, this is not usually a conversation I have with the men I coach. I believe many women hold themselves back from achieving their goals through a lack of confidence. Women are their own worst enemy!
Have you noticed how most women will only apply for a job if they think they meet 100% of the criteria, whereas men will apply even when they know they don’t meet most of the requirements! From my experience women frequently let their doubts and insecurities limit them, whereas men tend to push themselves forward despite their doubts.
As an organisational psychologist and professional development coach, my focus is on overcoming these obstacles and helping women “push forward”. Here are what I’ve found to be the top five reasons why many women find it difficult to invest in themselves and their professional growth. Have you found yourself making these comments?
1. I’m not sure this is the “right” time.
The reality is it often never feels like the “right” time for you to take this step for yourself. But it might be the “best” time. People who have created success and happiness in their lives found the necessary time and money because it was important to them. They did not get blocked by all the reasons why “later” would be better.
2. I’m not really sure what I want.
Women often worry “Will this give me what I want?” Why were you searching in the first place? Possibly because you are looking for something more in your life. Is this questioning coming from a place of resistance? Firstly, any investment in yourself requires some upfront research to check that what you’re getting will be worth it. Then it requires the courage and commitment to engage in the process.
3. Sometimes I think I’m “not good enough”.
When it comes to personal and professional development you need to rank yourself as a priority in your life. You need to know what you want and take the necessary actions to help you achieve this. It’s not up to your partner or anyone else to push you into making this investment in yourself. It’s your life – it’s up to you!
4. Perhaps I’m scared of success.
Women hold themselves back from personal growth in so many ways – from having no time for themselves, feeling guilty about investing in themselves, being too busy to fit it in, always “doing” for others, or sabotaging their efforts whenever they try to implement changes in their life. I see so many women who block themselves from being what they could be because of a fear of what their life might be like if they were successful.
5. Sometimes I think I don’t deserve it.
Most women feel guilty about spending money on themselves and feel more comfortable giving to others. Each time you overcome your fears, gather your confidence, push through the resistance and put yourself first in terms of your growth, then your success has a flow-on effect to all the other people in your life.
What could you be doing that will help you contribute in a more rewarding and meaningful way to the people in your life? What do you need to “break with” in order to “break-through” to the life you’d like to be living? I’d like you to join me in the WYSE WOMEN Leadership Development program, a “break-through” program specifically for women.