Women Empowerment: Steps in Breaking Free from Playing Small

October 30, 2023 ◊ By Julie Bockarie ◊ Confidence

Women Empowerment: Steps in Breaking Free from Playing Small

In a recent heart-to-heart conversation, a dear friend of mine shared her feelings of inadequacy and a belief that she wasn't meant to shine. She revealed how she hesitates to step into the spotlight, take on leadership roles, or voice her ideas, and she certainly hates to speak in front of a crowd, no mater how small. This conversation took me back to a time when I grappled with self-doubt, making me realize the incredible potential women leaders often underestimate within themselves

My friend's conviction that others were destined to shine while she remained in the shadows resonated with me because I had been there before. I recall a time when I allowed fear and self-doubt to eclipse my ambitions. I hesitated to take risks, speak up, or pursue leadership roles, convinced I lacked the qualifications and confidence for success. But along the way, something changed. I discovered the power of courage and resilience. I learned that growth often emerges from embracing failures and challenges.

While my transformation wasn't an overnight feat and far from a linear journey, it was undoubtedly worth every step. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone, and it made all the difference.  I realized that success is not a predetermined fate but a continuous journey of learning and growth.

Women leaders often play small, not because they lack the ability, but because they underestimate themselves and their potential. It's crucial to break free from self-imposed limitations and stereotypes holding us back.

The truth is, it's not about others shining while we support from the sidelines; we all possess unique talents, ideas, and capabilities. To achieve our leadership aspirations, we must do the following:

Challenge Self-Doubt: Acknowledge that self-doubt is a common companion on the leadership journey. Rather than letting it dictate your actions, confront it and take action despite it. Your unique perspective and valuable insights matter.

Learn from Failure: Failure isn't a dead-end; it's a stepping stone to growth. Embrace it as an opportunity to learn, adapt, and emerge stronger. Many successful leaders have a history of failures that led to their eventual triumphs.

Seek Support: Surround yourself with mentors, friends, and colleagues who believe in your potential and encourage your leadership journey. Their support and guidance can be invaluable.

Set Goals and Act: Define your leadership goals and devise a plan to achieve them. Taking concrete steps toward your objectives will boost your confidence and help you overcome the fear of playing small.

Own Your Success: When you do achieve success, don't downplay it or attribute it solely to external factors. Recognize your hard work and the skills that brought you there.

In conclusion, it's time to break free from self-imposed constraints and recognize our worth as women leaders. My friend's journey serves as a reminder that self-doubt can be a formidable barrier, but with the right mindset, we can overcome it.

Let's embrace our potential, support one another, and strive for the leadership roles we rightfully deserve. By doing so, we empower not only ourselves but also inspire future generations of women to lead with confidence and resilience.

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