A recent survey of top executives revealed that they see self-imposed mindset limitations as the primary challenge to their organizational leadership. I see that all the time in my own coaching work with private clients and when I provide leadership development programs to major corporations. To live your full potential, you have to let go of that old, tired, heavy baggage that will keep dragging you into the past. The way to buck the trend of women leaving before they reach the top positions is for women to empower themselves and each other to break out of those terribly restrictive psychological and emotional limitations.
Silencing the Evil Twin Within
Women are especially adept at self awareness and self critique, which is one reason they make fantastic leaders. Sometimes, however, we take it too far and succumb to self-sabotage, which serves no good purpose. Too often we undermine our own success by listening to those deeply ingrained voices in our heads that say “You aren’t worthy. You aren’t good enough, smart enough, young enough, old enough, brave enough, strong enough, or deserving enough.”
I call those voices of negativity “The Evil Twin Within.” But as soon as you silence her with positive affirmations it can be a life-altering, paradigm-shifting, career accelerating transformation. You’ll have more energy and contagious charisma. Your work-life balance will improve. You won’t be stressed-out by internalized false identities – the kind that carry over from childhood to hamstring adult success.
Changing the Outcome from Within
As business authors John Assaraf and Murray Smith explained in one of their books, by the time you are 17 years old, you’ve heard ‘no, you can’t’ an average of 150,000 times. You’ve heard ‘yes you can’ 5,000 times. That’s 30 ‘no’s’ for every ‘yes,’ creating a powerful belief that you are bound to fail. What to do? You could blame your parents, teachers, or the system – but blame doesn’t lead to self-empowerment.
A more effective approach is to change the way you think of yourself and how you talk to yourself. Believe in you and identify with the grand success you deserve. When you have the internal edge of a more intentional attitude and proactive approach you’ll get the job done faster, better, or more consistently. You’ll win the promotion, even at the very top, because you have practiced acting as the CEO of your own career destiny.
Bucking the Trend
Change is scary, no doubt. But there is no such thing as growth without measurable change. Each promotion projects us into unfamiliar territory where we find ourselves out of our comfort zone. But that is the place where positive development happens. That’s the final frontier.
Step out there and dream big! Invite success into your life – living always one step out of your comfort zone where profoundly exciting transformation takes place. Cultivate your internal dreams, make them your external reality, and let’s reverse this unwanted trend!
So tell me, how do you want to reinvent yourself?
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Sarah Hathorn is a leadership development mentor, executive presence coach, image and branding consultant, public speaker & author. She is the founding CEO of her own successful company, Illustra Consulting, and the creator of the proprietary Predictable Promotion™ System.
1-800-267-3245 | www.illustraconsulting.com
Copyright © 2013, Sarah Hathorn, AICI CIP, CPBS