As women there are lots of things around in the workplace that hinder us on our way to the top but one that isn’t often talked about is how we actually hinder ourselves.

We hold ourselves back in ways both big and small by:

- lacking self-confidence

- not raising our hands

- waiting to be noticed for a job well done (so-called “Tiara Syndrome”- waiting for someone to put the tiara on your head)

- feel that one day we’ll be found out (“Impostor Syndrome”)

- being afraid to be ourselves and so hold back

- unconsciously using diminishing gestures and body language

- get embarrassed when praised

- finding it difficult to accept a compliment

- don’t present because we fear we won’t be good enough

...and there are lots more.

Einstein said that “Imagination is more important than knowledge” and we all have limits - some are imposed by others but many are self-imposed and we let them limit what we can achieve.

And that’s where the self-sabotage comes in - because we create our reality by the conversations we have with others and with ourselves.

You know that little voice in your head, I call her the inner critic, that says “you can’t do that” or “you’re going to mess up”, or “you’re not good enough”- these limiting beliefs get in the way of your success because we convey them in our behaviours and body language and they affect what we do at an unconscious level.

To give you an example…..many women in business feel that they are not being taken seriously and it’s often because their body language and unconscious gestures communicate “little girl” which makes you look small and unimposing. And this has a knock on effect on how you feel as well.

Research by Amy Cuddy of the Harvard Business School, has found that a woman’s body language has a profound impact on her body chemistry. The “little-girl” stance elevates the stress hormone, cortisol, making you feel less confident and so it becomes a vicious circle!

Getting rid of these internal barriers is critical to success. The only way to fully realize your potential is to free yourself from these limiting beliefs and create a new empowering way of thinking that will lift you and support you in the future.

And you can begin to do that right now by starting to pay attention to your internal conversations and identify the negative beliefs that creep into your mind on a daily basis.

What do you say to yourself that limits you?

What does your inner critic say? And how often does she say it? What triggers her?

Note down what you notice and see if there are any patterns emerging. Are there any messages that keep cropping up regularly?

Notice their effect.

Then take one of these messages and notice what happens when you contradict it....

because the first step to change is greater awareness.

About the author
Cath Daley is a highly experienced and successful Women’s Leadership Coach, Presentation and Communication Skills Teacher, Speaker and Author, physicist, proud Mum, traveller, loving wife and friend. She is passionate about helping women to tap into their natural feminine talents to be extraordinary leaders who make a bigger difference in the world. Through her training and coaching programmes she helps high achieving women to eliminate their personal limiting beliefs and become truly confident, influential and persuasive leaders and compelling speakers.