According to Emmy Award-winning television producer and host Helena Lerner, women have the power to be great. That power, however, is often overshadowed by false beliefs about themselves. Women often entertain negative thoughts and engage in self-defeating behaviors that sabotage their lives, specifically their careers. Most undermine themselves in the workplace, hindering their chances of reaching growth and success.
You may not be aware of them, but there are several ways you’re doing damage to your career. From thinking too small to being dishonest, here are the most common behaviors and beliefs that hold you back from achieving your greatest potentials at work:
Thinking Too Small
Most women don’t think big and high enough, even if they are tremendously talented. The result? Mediocrity. They’re either too scared of criticism or believe their ideas won’t work. Women activists, however, keep urging women to have high visions of themselves. Don’t be afraid of what others have to say. Discover your greatest potentials and do your best to achieve them.
Assuming All Responsibilities
Women have been known to assume responsibilities for everything instead of delegating them. If you say ‘”Yes” to everything at work, however, you may end up being overwhelmed and overworked, which often lead to fatigue and inefficiency. You also hamper your ability to do the job at hand if you over-commit to a specific task.
Being Competitive in the Wrong Way
Relational aggression, which involves sabotaging other women in the workplace, is one sure way you can damage your career. This typical catty syndrome has its roots in being competitive in all the wrong ways. Relational aggression includes behaviors, such as rumor-mongering, gossiping, bullying, backstabbing, and icing people out. These not only hurt other women, but also turn off men, especially those who hold higher positions in the company.
Instead of speaking authentically, many women say “Yes” when they mean “No” and say “No” when they mean “Maybe” or “Yes,” hiding their inner potentials behind a mask of false modesty. To achieve your goals, you must learn to communicate and articulate your needs and wants effectively. Be honest; don’t say “No” to a project if you believe you can accomplish it well.
Being a Too “Good Girl”
For a long time, women have been told not to rock the boat and talk back. They’ve been taught to be a peacemaker, to be selfless, and remain soft-spoken. While this type of attitude is good, it can be harmful in the workplace. There are many situations at work where capable women could’ve landed a better position or achieved a better recognition, but failed because they kept mum and didn’t challenge feedback just to avoid confrontation or conflict.
Don’t let these attitudes and behaviors hamper your growth and success in the workplace. Remember, you’re bound for something great. Never let anything hold you back.
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Myra is a writer and an editor. She has penned speeches, magazine articles, educational materials, and online content. She enjoys traveling, doodling, taking photos, and laughing to "Friends" reruns.