Well, you can’t go anywhere at the moment without hearing about Sheryl Sandberg’s book “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead”. I have not read the book yet but I have certainly read a lot of reviews of the book – some praising and many critical. It’s a strange discussion as many have dismissed Sandberg’s ideas because of who she is, how much she’s worth and her privileged life and education.
But one thing we can’t ignore is that women are still not playing fully to their strengths and contributing at a higher level in the world of business.
This doesn’t mean every woman wants to work in the corporate world – indeed, many want to get out of it because it’s not conducive to how they want to live their life. I worked in the corporate world for over 12 years and I knew it would not be conducive to family life and ultimately to my own ambitions. I have every desire and ambition to lead a strong business and brand but I want to do it on my terms. Our time on earth is short enough as it is so why would we want to stay in an environment that does not satisfy us just to prove a point that we can play with the big boys?
Leaning in for me is not about working harder or longer. For me, leaning is about being more of who we are and if we have big dreams and big ideas, we stop letting our insecurities and our lack of confidence hold us back and WE GO FOR IT!
Here are my top 5 tips if you want to achieve more but on your terms:
- Know what is important to you and what your terms are! If you don’t spend time getting very clear as to what this means, you’ll end up dancing to someone else’s tune in the long term.
- Speak Up! What you want is important so if you need to say it…Say it! Don’t let fear hold you back. There have been times in my life where I really wanted something and I lost my voice. Not physically but emotionally – I could not articulate what I really wanted in the face of opposition and it takes courage to fight past that and say your truth. I did and boy, is it powerful!
- Don’t try and be Superwoman…ask for help! Get the right support and team behind you (this is true even if you’re a one-woman operation) so you can truly flourish! When you ask for help, you extend an amazing gift to others who can be of service to you so be generous!
- Get brave…yes, we all experience lack of confidence and the fear of failure but the key is not to let that hold you back. After all, if you want the moon and the stars, you are going to have to be brave to get it. As Dan Rather says, “courage is being afraid but going on anyhow”.
- Trust yourself. Sometimes we don’t trust ourselves enough and that leads us to trust others more which can lead us down a path that we don’t want to go down. So the key is to stay in touch with what’s happening within you at all times….this is where you need to have strong levels of emotional awareness and being able to express that.
Go forth and aim higher!