In my work as developer of assertive women leaders I come across something that seems to be across the board when it comes to progression. Blocks! Some may call them barriers, others may call it the glass ceiling. I have recently earned the title of ‘Plumber’ because I like to remove blocks to progression and success. There may be many factors that block women’s success but what are they? Here are some that I have come across time and time again in my work:
These are the factors that we feel we may not be able to do anything about. They may be other people’s attitudes, the weather or lack of suitable opportunities. Sometimes we have to surrender to the things that we have no control over and come up with our own back up plan. When it comes to external factors we can do two things:
- Accept the things we can’t change and adjust how we think about them. This involves a lot of positive thinking and looking at how we can use that potential block to our advantage.
- Accept that we can’t control what people say to us, especially if the words they use have a negative impact on our our progression or success. This will involve some serious mental toughness, especially if the “words of worry” are coming from our loved ones. I like to put it down to them talking with love.
Now these are the biggest factors that block our progression or success. These are the things that we can do so much about because we have the power to. Many say the things that block women’s progression in the workplace or success in business are children or lack confidence. Here are 4 of the ways you can deal with these internal blocks :
- Remove your own blocks – There may be blocks to your progression or success but they are blocks that only YOU can remove. If you have many blocks remove them one or a few at a time and get help if you need it.These blocks may be other people’s voices, fear of the unknown, children or what ever you come up with. When there is a block remember that the thing you want is on the other side and if you want it badly enough you will go and get it.
- Let having children drive you – Having children or childcare has been one of the most common issues I hear of that stops women progressing in the workplace or business. I want to challenge that because I will be bold enough to say that it isn’t children that stops us, it is guilt! I felt it then when I got over it I carried on. There are many women out there, including me, who haven’t let the fact that they have children hinder their progress, whether they are single parents or not. Karen Blackett OBE, Chairwoman of MediaCom UK is a prime example of a woman and mum who made it to the top because she removed her own blocks to progression and success. In this day and age there are people who can help us to look after our children as we strive for progression and it is up to us whether we use them or not.
- Drown out the noise – This takes practice and can be done. Many of the women I’ve come across have mentioned that they haven’t started business or progressed because of what others have said. Now come on! Are these noise making people living your life? Are they feeding you or your family? If the answer is no then drown the noise until it becomes white noise. This is your career, your life and your dream, and the more you remember that the more you will survive and prosper.
- Everyone has confidence – You are more confident than you think. I just think that women have to develop the confidence to be assertive and just go for it. Think more about what you can give and give it. Think more about where you deserve to be and get there.
So in essence you can remove your own blocks because you have the power to. The blocks, walls, barriers or, whatever you choose to call them, are owned by you so become your own wrecking ball and remove the blocks to your own elevation.