Have you ever wondered why so many women choose to veer away from the path of leadership or feel like it’s not for them? Much has been written on the barriers preventing women from reaching the heights of success as defined by CEO positions or board level directorships. But there are many other reasons.
I’ve been talking a lot about putting your Ruby Shoes on, stepping into your power and truly embracing your ambitions and aspirations and in today’s blog post, I want to focus on why many women choose not to put their Ruby Shoes on and essentially stay barefooted.
From my work with clients and my own personal experiences, I have determined there are 3 fears why women may choose not to lead others
1. What will people think?
When you make the leap from managing to leading, you are putting yourself into a position where you are potentially managing the people you used to work alongside with. Or just by putting yourself up as the leader, you start to worry about what others will think and this can be anybody – the woman on the street or the person in the next department. We tend to generalise the concept of “the people” as an amorphous group of bodies who are collectively watching us and wondering what we will do next. It can strike fear into your heart when you think “Ah, what will people think?” in case they look at you unfavourably. I love this quote from Dr Seuss as it encapsulates the perfect antidote to this fear: “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”
2. I don’t want to be visible
Putting yourself up to lead others whether it’s a team of 2 or 200 can be scary stuff! It takes guts to say to the world that you’re ready to do something bold and put your abilities and gifts to use. This is a big step and for some, it’s too much and the greater temptation is to hide as it’s safer. The key to this one is to remember why you want to take this step in the first place. A strategy I use in every aspect of my life is to make the reason bigger than the fear and when you do that, fear doesn’t stand a chance. Your reason allows you to step into your Ruby Shoes with such conviction that you not only step into them but you dance in them!
3. I’m not good enough
Oh, this can be a biggie too…how many times a day do you say to yourself “I’m not good enough” when in reality you’re better than you think you are? It’s good to remember that when you step into a leadership position – you’re not expected to suddenly have a download of all the skills and abilities to excel in that position (if you are, that’s an unrealistic and unfair expectation). This is about your growth and development and you will grow into the skills and abilities you need. You’re not the finished product and if you step into a role thinking you know everything, then that is a recipe for disaster. But if you step into the position knowing you are good enough and appreciating the massive scope for your growth – now you’re talking like a great leader!
You will always feel fear at some level and it’s not something that goes away but what keeps you moving forward is building your resilience and your persistence muscle. What holds us back can be a combination of faulty beliefs and excuses so the key is to scrap the excuses and embrace new and empowering beliefs and remember – no-one is perfect:
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are”
So no more bare feet…my passion is to help you discover your personal leadership power and step forward with courage and confidence. If you’re tired of holding yourself back and ready to play a bigger game, come and join the Ruby Shoes Revolution here and get what you need to DANCE IN YOUR RUBY SHOES!