Today’s Biz Ladies post comes from Tara Sophia Mohr, a writer, coach and teacher who helps women play bigger in their careers. She’s a columnist for Huffington Post who has been featured on the Today Show, Forbes Woman, Whole Living and in numerous other publications. In today’s post, Tara tackles some of the lies that may be keeping you from true success, and she offers even more advice in her post 10 Rules for Brilliant Women. Thanks, Tara, for this inspiring post! — Stephanie
Read the full post after the jump . . .
You’ve learned so much about the tactics of running your business, but what if what’s holding you back now isn’t the operational stuff but some lies running through your head?
In my work helping women play bigger, I see biz ladies telling themselves 3 big lies — to the detriment of their careers and their happiness. Are these untrue thoughts holding back your business?
Lie #1: “I’m not ready yet.”
We’ve all got an inner voice that says, “I’m not ready yet.” “I’m not ready to submit my portfolio to that magazine.” “I’m not ready to reach out to that major potential client.”
Here’s my loving question to you: How the heck do you know? I know it feels like you aren’t ready. I’m all for women tapping into their inner wisdom to assess what’s right for them. I really, really am.
But smart and talented women consistently underestimate what we are ready for. When we feel scared of leaving our comfort zones or of failing, we come up with what sounds like a very mature reason to not go for it: “I’m not ready yet.” We usually follow it up with the very responsible “I’ll get more experience/education/practice first.”
In my own work, I decided to give up assessing what I’m ready for and be guided my own creative impulses and dreams instead. When the Today Show called, I was overcome with the feeling of “I’m not ready yet.” I was sure I had to hone my message more, or practice doing some smaller, regional TV shows. But I also knew that the “not ready” voice in my head was usually wrong. I put one foot in front of the other and did the show. The “I’m not ready voice” turned out to be completely false. I did better than fine — it was a great segment and a huge impact on my business.
What would happen in your business and life if you set aside the question, “Am I ready for that yet?” and instead followed your creative impulses and your heart’s desires?
Lie #2: “If this was really my calling, I wouldn’t feel so resistant to it.”
You might have noticed that while on the one hand, you feel called to start the business, to do that more radical thing with your creative work, to start writing, to start speaking — whatever it may be — on the other hand, you also fear, resist, and generally want to run the other direction from that calling.
We’ve got a false idea in our culture that we’ll always feel in love with our callings and run toward them with open arms. The truth is that we resist our callings — sometimes for decades.
We avoid our callings because they take us out of our comfort zones and because they demand that we leave the herd. We resist them because going for them entails risk of criticism or failure.
If you see your resistance as a normal reaction to your calling, what new possibilities open up?
Lie #3: “All this great feedback should make me feel more confident about my work.”
Not true. Fascinating research by Dr. Carol Dweck at Stanford University shows that praise doesn’t boost confidence. Get this: when people praise kids on their innate talents in some area (e.g., “Wow, you are so good at art!” or “Wow, you are very gifted at math!”), they become avoid doing more challenging tasks in that same domain (art, math, etc.).
Why? The kids worry that their next piece of work will prove that they aren’t actually so gifted.
Many creative women (myself included) have had this experience too: praise about their abilities has made them feel afraid to put themselves out there and take risks.
Dweck’s research uncovered that when kids are praised on effort (as in, “Wow, I saw how hard you worked on that painting – good job!”) rather than innate abilities, they eagerly jump in to a next, more challenging task.
In your own life, can you pay less attention to praise you receive, and focus on congratulating yourself for hard work and persistence?
Has one of these three lies been impacting your business? Please share in the comments.