All too often in life we hold ourselves back from being who we are meant to be. I’ve seen it time and time again, amazing women getting to a certain point and then holding themselves back.
It’s easy to find lots of excuses for not doing, being and having what we want in our life. Women I see time and time again, also have that external reference so the focus on EVERYONE else almost to the point of martyrdom.
They give up on their dreams and ambitions for their partners, families and children… sacrificing their own fulfilment, yet this can cause resentment and later in life feeling like they’ve had nothing of their own.
Typically, we blame others or the circumstances we find ourselves in when we have the attitude that life happens to us and not for us. Often, we need look no further than the mirror to discover what is holding us back.
I know for me I held myself back for most of my life, as I didn’t feel enough that lead me to believe I wasn’t worthy of a great life, love and working in my passion. I kept myself stuck in a business and belief system that kept me small and “safe” yet I was chronically lonely and unhappy.
BUT there is some great Noggin Knowledge here to explain what’s going on for you if you’re holding yourself back. It’s simple to understand so you can KNOW it’s not you as such, it’s simply a brain process that is happening.
Here’s what I see as the common challenges that holds women back and the Noggin Knowledge behind each one to help you overcome them. EXCITED to share these simple yet powerful changes…
What’s Holding YOU Back?
1) Imposter Syndrome
That feeling of “Who am I to…?” that I’m sure is all too familiar to so many women. I’ve worked with Managing Directors and owners of HUGE businesses yet they still feel like they’ll be “found out” at some point.
How to spot it?
That when you step outside your comfort zone that there is that voice of “Who am I to…” and a fear of being “found out.”
There is a belief here that is deep rooted that the imposter syndrome runs from. It’s likely related to when you were a child as those are our most deep-rooted beliefs, that like an elastic band will ping us back when we try to become more.
Look at what your triggers are? Ask yourself the following questions, “is it true?” and create a who I already am list of all the wins in your life so far.
That continual looking outside of yourself to others, thinking that the grass is greener in their life when truly it’s not. And driven hugely by social media and the mindless scrolling of the highlight reel of others’ lives.
How to spot it?
Being in other’s business more than your own and wishing you had their life and putting your achievements down as a result.
Women are designed and hardwired to care more what other people think. There is a part of the brain called the mammalian part that looks for love, care and connection… it’s physically bigger in women and supercharged by oestrogen.
Think about who’s business am I in right now? Ask yourself when you can feel yourself losing that focus on YOUR business? Byron Katie talks about 3 areas of business:
- The world
The only place we can truly influence our life is in our own business, yet we spend the least time there.
Modesty is a very English trait, it’s seen as boastful and arrogant to talk yourself up SO we tend to dim our own light and talk down our own achievements. I often see it in clients they’ll have done something amazing, yet it’ll be the last thing mentioned in a weekly reflection.
How to spot it?
When we do amazing things and yet we still normalise it and put it down. We don’t think that we are worthy or deserving of what we truly want.
To stand apart from others and stand out in the crowd is scary, again the mammalian part of our brains wants us to fit in and be part of the “norm” yet we capable of so much more. We strive to achieve to prove ourselves, yet because it is externally driven, it is NEVER enough.
Start to take compliments with a simple thank you and shut up. And each day write down the positive things that happened or have been said to you. Then also start to work on your self-identity, if you don’t know yourself you will always put yourself down as you’re measuring yourself externally, rather than by how you feel. Start to know and appreciate all your gifts and skills, to programme your brain to do the same.
Fear is the most natural feeling in the world when we change and grow. It’s designed to bring us back when we step out of our safety and comfort zone. Yet on the other side of fear is who we truly are.
How to spot it?
The physiological symptoms are the same with social fear as with actual bodily harm fear. The brain can’t tell the difference between the two. So your heart rate will increase, your muscles will feel tense and you’ll likely have sweaty palms and not be able to think.
The brain has one real job and that is to keep us safe from harm and it’s done its job when we wake up to a new day. The brain sees staying the same as safe, as that has led us to survive before and it always choses survival over happiness. So, it looks for patterns and repetition, anything out of the known pattern is unsafe so fear is triggered to pull us back. Imagine it like an elastic band snapping you back to what is known and safe.
Know that it’ll always be there when we’re growing into something and welcome the growing pains. Think of the pace of change that feels good to you, rather than too fast or too slow. And also have a really clear intent behind your change, a powerful and heart felt intent that you love and feel excited about.
5) Scarcity Mindset and Lack
From the minute you wake up, you are living in lack. You start with feeling tired, so you hit snooze so then you start the day tired and late, then the rest of the day you’re fighting against the clock.
How to spot it?
You see the world through a lack of lens so there is NEVER EVER enough… time, money, confidence, happiness, love there is just never ENOUGH.
The brain has an overarching emotion, that can be either positive or negative… this is called the hedonic tone. So when it’s negative you’ll be living in lack, when you’re positive you’ll be living in abundance and gratitude.
Start to reframe your perspective, focus on what you DO have and not what you don’t. Where we focus, we get more of, so focus on the positives even when it feels hard and like you’re lying to yourself. This IS NOT a positive mental attitude this is active appreciation for what you do have. And each day practice gratitude, write down 3 things you’re grateful for in your life. You might not feel it at first that’s normal but keep the practice and you’ll start to feel a shift to heart felt gratitude.
So from the list above chose ONE action to get you started, just one thing that you can commit to and focus on.
How to be YOU…who you’re meant to be?
Wow a BIG old question for a blog as this is the basis of what I teach and coach BUT all I wanted to share some ideas to get you started.
THIS to me is the most powerful thing I can teach you … how to be YOU. This is what bought me back to me and a happy, contented life not without its challenges BUT I wake each day with a grateful, happy heart.
1) You’re more than your roles
You’re not only a mum, wife and corporate highflier they are your roles they are NOT you. Instead if you focus on YOU, then who you want to be in those roles, there’ll be less need for pretending and faking who you are.
2) Accept and be proud of your past
Becoming who you are only starts with accepting of your past in a powerful way where you become the heroine of your own story. You let go of the victim mentality and instead, become proud and grateful for how your story has shaped you.
3) Let go of who you are NOT
Let go of the ideas and expectations others place on you, you CAN’T make anyone else happy EVER so let go of trying and instead focus on your own feel good. That the true path to a happy and fulfilled life in a body you love.
4) Investigate your beliefs
If you’re life isn’t where you want it to be there will always be beliefs holding you back. They are our framework for how we live life, kinda like a lens of the world. How to start? Chose an area of your life that isn’t serving you right now and write down ALL your beliefs about that area … ask yourself “Is it true?”
5) Live by your values
Finding your values, is like coming home to yourself and joins up the dots of your life so far. The more you live in alignment with them they more you’ll feel like YOU, the more you move away from them the less you feel like well… YOU.
I believe that our ONLY true job in life is to become more and more of YOU, through your experiences that shape you and ultimately leave a legacy of being the YOU-iest version of you.
P.S. If you’re a woman leading in the corporate world, feeling like you’re fighting to be heard, respected and treated equally, then my FREE Empowerment Panel series is starting in June, is for you.
The intention behind these events will bring together incredible women leading in the corporate world. To share experiences and knowledge to support each other for more impact and influence, collectively be a force for good and drive more parity and equality! Click here to register your place.