Don’t Let Negative Voices Control You.
Many women hold back in their careers because deep down inside they worry someone will call them out some day and show that they do not really know what they are doing. It is so common it has been given a name, Imposter Syndrome.
In this great interview with Tamara Mellon, co-founder of luxury shoe line Jimmy Choo and author of In My Shoes: A Memoir, Tamara speaks directly about how even though she was so much of the drive behind Jimmy Choo’s success, she never really stood up for her potential or her contribution. Not only does this unflattering humility many women suffer from affect our current pay and prestige, but Soledad O’Brien points out it has been estimated that women lose an average of $1 million dollars over the lifetime of their career because they start at a lower pay than they are worth!
Honestly, I cannot think of any woman I have coached who has not suffered from this and the other affliction Soledad brings up in this interview–the propensity to over work, hoping someone will notice, commend you, and give you a raise. I know I am guilty of both.
Of course, sometimes we are more prone to succumb to these messages than others. That is why it is important that you do things that keep you out of those places, or help you recover from them rapidly once you notice you have taken a walk on the wrong side of your emotional town inside.
Here are some sure fire ways to help you avoid letting these voices control you.
- Have a mentor or advocate, who you both admire and trust. When they tell you how great your work is, it will help boost your self image more than your mom, your best friend, or your children can. Why? Because you believe this person knows more than you which is why you chose them as a mentor.
- Make a list of your accomplishments and keep adding to them. Make sure you put in the details about how your creative idea was the thing that… or your catching this problem before it multiplied, saved… Really be specific, rather than just noted you completed X, Y, or Z. We so easily forget all the amazing things we have done, especially when something doesn’t go as well as we hoped.
- Read your accomplishment list often, maybe daily, for a confidence boost.
- Always be studying something inspirational that will remind you that your main objective, always, is to conquer your own mind, believe in yourself, and have faith in your ability to carry out your goals.
- Stay rested, play, and exercise. A positive frame of mind starts with how you feel. The more depleted you are; the more likely you are to succumb to these stories of insecurity.
- Remind yourself that most women feel this way, and it has nothing to do with your capabilities.
The beauty of hearing someone as successful as Tamara describe her struggles in this area is that you realize you are not alone. You start to understand maybe you are more valuable than you have been willing to claim. Recognizing other women, who you view as having “made it”, also have this inner talk helps you begin to believe that maybe your voice that worries you are a fraud is nothing more than a gender enculturated story you have inherited– not the truth!
Do you have any tips to share, ways you battle your inner voices? Please share your ideas here by commenting bellow.