By Serena Tijoriwala
Life comes with a lot of duties and responsibilities and as a woman, you may feel that you already have a lot on your plate just getting through the day. Add a career to the mix and things get even more complicated.
Work can be daunting; whether you’re trying to get that promotion, starting a new business or just trying to make your mark on the business world. And sometimes, doubt creeps in, with its good pal worry, and they stop you from achieving your goals.
It’s frustrating and can be discouraging.
Here at the BWi we have all been there at one time or another and we want to help you dispel the doubt and break the worry cycle, so keep reading to find out what could be holding you back and what you can do to overcome those obstacles. Let us help you take those steps on your journey from being a woman in business to becoming a bold businesswoman.
“Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.” – Babe Ruth
As a woman working in business, you may feel the odds of succeeding are stacked against you, simply because you have that much more to prove than your male counterparts.
Having to work harder to achieve the same goals as your peers can seem insurmountable and you may even think to quit while you’re ahead. And we get it: entrepreneurship can be a risky business, and success isn’t always guaranteed.
But don’t fret, because we’re here to help. Instead of fixating on the possibility of failure, try to focus on the prospect of success. Here are some tips to help you achieve your business goals:
Define your goal
First of all, set your goal: what do you want to achieve? Recognition from your boss or praise from your peers? Are you hoping to progress in your career or start anew?
Whatever it is, write it down somewhere you can see it – it will help you to visualise the outcome. Imagine it happening and how you will feel: what impact will it have on your life?
Make sure your goal is doable: do you need to break it down into smaller, more manageable pieces? By doing this, you’ve made it simple for yourself, and you can start tackling each bite-sized chunk, piece by piece.
Next, consider the goal itself: are you looking to achieve something or avoid it? This may seem like a weird question, but it’s relevant. Our brains respond differently to positive and negative instructions, and it affects our mental well-being. So by reshaping your goal to achieve a positive outcome, you’re setting yourself up for a more productive endeavour.
Engage in constructive self-talk
The things you say to yourself greatly influence how you act on the outside. Do you critique your every move at work? Are you drowning in self-doubt? Your negative thoughts about your performance will eat away at your go-getter attitude and that’s when the doubt sets in.
So, try positive self-talk – it’s an absolute life-saver. When you’re feeling super negative, try to reframe the criticism using positive language. Positivity has a huge impact on our mental state, so it will help you focus on giving yourself constructive advice instead of dwelling on the worry. For every negative thought, replace it with a positive statement – believe us, it will change your whole outlook.
For example, instead of thinking “I didn’t complete all my tasks today”, congratulate yourself for the tasks you did complete, and create a plan to tackle the rest in the future.
Or maybe you made a mistake at work, and are still obsessing over it, even after you took responsibility and did your best to fix it. Flip that positivity switch and give yourself a pat on the back: you took ownership of your actions and proved to be solution-oriented in a crisis.
Create a “fear checklist”
Are you nervous to go for that promotion at work? Are you scared to venture outside of your professional comfort zone? Then try “fear-setting”, a technique that measures the value of taking a flying leap of faith, against the cost of teetering on the edge of the proverbial cliff all on your lonesome.
First, make 3 lists:
- What are the worst-case scenarios if I do this?
- How can I prevent them from happening?
- If disaster does strike, how can I fix it?
Then, consider what you stand to gain from doing the thing that scares you: is it a positive outcome? Will it improve other aspects of your job or your life?
Now, compare it to not trying at all. Think about avoiding the action: what might your life look like in, say, six months, 12 months? Is maintaining the status quo the most advantageous option?
If you realise that the benefits outweigh the risks, then just seize the day, ladies! Even if you do fail, you will have contingencies in place, and you’ll know what not to do next time you decide to leap!
To put it in a nutshell: it’s all about mindset. Channel that positivity in your everyday work life, be honest to yourself about your fears and your capabilities, and celebrate achievements – no matter how small they might seem. We promise you won’t go wrong.