I have spent a considerable amount of time studying the stories and habits of successful women leaders in our society. On the surface, we might all seem similar, but when you study how they approach life, think and speak, you start to get in touch with the attitudes and behaviours that make all the difference!
It is interesting that the most significant differences seem to stem from the habit of HIDING. Here is a list of the most significant “6” hiding habits I have found that all successful women leaders who Play BIG! have learnt to deal with and overcome:
1) Hiding behind your work
How many times have you thought “As long as I work really, really hard, someone will notice and they will give me the recognition I deserve” only to get disappointed when nobody notices and what you are doing is taken for granted. Women leaders who Play BIG ! know it THEIR JOB to articulate and assertively negotiate win-win success scenarios both at home and at work
2) Hiding behind your self-limiting vision of yourself
We have been conditioned by society, and even by our parents, to underestimate and downplay ourselves and our worth. Either because this is the habit of “good girls” or because this has been modelled by the women around you all your life. As a result of this, you are less likely to Play BIG! and believe you are ready for opportunities and therefore less likely to go after them, more likely to take the first salary offered to you without negotiating for more, and less likely to speak up and leap forward with your great ideas and plans, both at work and at home.
3) Hiding between luck and fate
Do you hide between luck and fate, or do you work intentionally with faith? Although they look similar on the outside, one is a recipe for failure, while the other is a pre-requisite to Play BIG ! Do you know your strengths and do you work intentionally to capitalize on them? Can you list your achievements? How many times have you believed that your success is an isolated incident, or a result of luck, that is very hard to achieve again? How many times have you beaten yourself up on your failures, seeing them as personal lasting flaws and not isolated incidents that you can learn from to create future successes?
4) Hiding behind perfectionism
Yes, brilliant women want their work to be of the highest quality, and that is truly important. But how many times have you been afraid of taking the leap to the next step, and so used your commitment to perfect quality as a fancy cover for your fears? How many times have you continued adding element after element to your creation so that you never had to finish and put your work out into the world? How many times have you not moved forward on your plans because planning is your comfort zone and so you sent all your time coming up with the perfect plan and it never saw the light? Do you not Play BIG! because your fears about showing up find cover under the conviction that you have to build something large and complicated for it to be valuable?
5) Hiding behind “the degree”
There are many good reasons to get more education, but education alone will never give you the experience you need to Play BIG!, create, speak up and lead. Sometimes it is true what you really need to make the next step is that extra degree. But, I am willing to bet that, more often than not, you do it because, like many other brilliant women, attending the next training is within your comfort zone, whereas taking the leap, getting your hands dirty, failing, falling, learning and gaining your experience is not. You therefore end up hiding behind the need to study, hoping it will lead you automatically to what is next! You assume that more education will transform your fears into easy confidence when in fact, all it does is put confronting your fears from leaping now on hold for a longer while.
6) Hiding behind a “mask” of strength and power
As women, we have been taught that to be successful and influential, we must be strong and in control. To make it in a “man’s world”, you must show you are tough, and so from an early age, you become experts at wearing protective mask(s) to avoid being labelled as weak, incompetent or incapable. The sad truth is that as a result of wearing these protective masks so well for so long, it becomes almost impossible for you to distinguish between being weak and being vulnerable. The reality is, however, that only in embracing your vulnerability and letting go of your masks can you and others connect with your true self. It is only when you show up wholeheartedly as the real authentic, vulnerable being you really are that you tap into your resilient inner strength and really Play BIG! and speak up, create and lead.
One of the main objectives of the Play BIG! women leadership journey is to help you come out from your hiding and transform your boundaries into frontiers. You will be challenged to make that courageous leap forward towards your own happiness and success!