8 Dumb Things Women Tell Themselves That Stop Them From Achieving Success

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I’d like to introduce you to the naysayer preventing you from achieving success! I know, I know, you’re thinking, “FINALLY some answers! Someone to blame!” Pull out the mirror from you purse, sister, and take a look. She’s YOU.

Women constantly tell themselves some incredibly dumb things that stop them from achieving success. Here’s what they are and how to do something about it.

1. “I’m not smart enough.”

Being “smart enough” is highly subjective and dependent on many circumstances. Unless you’re vying for a position completely outside of your expertise, say NASA Scientist, you should never assume that you’re not smart enough for the task or job. It’s about how you apply yourself to what’s at hand, whether it’s a new job or a task at work. Approaching the task aggressively, identifying possible solutions, and educating yourself on issues you’re not familiar with are great ways to demonstrate that you in fact are very smart.

2. “I’m not pretty enough.”

I’m here to tell you that you are pretty enough and it has nothing to do with how much makeup you’re wearing or how short your skirt is. Presentation is important and a sloppy-looking person is a bummer on society no matter their profession. But a new outfit isn’t going to cut it on it’s own.

If you’re truly feeling unpretty, and, more importantly, if you think it’s making a difference in your success, you need to start by looking within and addressing the insecurities that are holding you back.

3. “She’s younger.”

Ok, if you’re trying to make the Olympic team, your age may just impeded your success. But for the rest of us, age ain’t nuthin’ but a number, baby. As you “mature” into your late 20s and 30s, you’ll find that your confidence will increase and you’ll feel more secure in your abilities. But that doesn’t mean that every once in a while you won’t have those pang of jealousy when you see a new grad stroll into the office, full of energy and empty on baggage. What she doesn’t have is your experience, connections, and confidence. Focus on that and you’ll have no reason to worry about the newbie.

4. “Why would they want to hear from someone in my position?”

This is right up there with “That’s a stupid idea.” Don’t ever discount what you have to say if you think it’s relevant to the conversation. Grow a set and speak up! Until you start expressing yourself, no one will ever look to you as a contributor. Don’t wait for doors to open for you. Step up and do it for yourself.

5. “I don’t have the experience,” or “I don’t know how to do that.”

Unless there truly are some specific requirements for a position you want (aka NASA Scientist-type stuff) you have more applicable skills than you think. In her book, “Lean In,” Sheryl Sandberg notes a 2011 McKinsey study showing that while men are promoted based on potential, women get a leg up based on past accomplishments. Sandberg notes that this is problematic and encourages women to apply for the jobs they want, not only for the jobs that they think they are qualified.

6. “I don’t know enough people.”

Networking should be a routine part of your life so if it’s not, change that. Don’t worry so much about having to meet new people as focusing your attention on building relationships and learning more about the people you already know. But, if you’re new to an area or profession, you might have to hustle a little bit and actually put yourself out there. Join some professional organizations or reach out to your school’s alumni office for guidance.

7. “I’ve been out of work for so long.”

Returning to work after an absence can be extremely difficult. Don’t make it tougher for yourself by being insecure. Regardless of the fact that you’ve been collecting a pay check, you’ve (hopefully) still be acquiring skills that would make you valuable to an employer. If you stayed home to raise kids, you’ve become a highly skilled manager. If you were laid off due to the economy but have since been volunteering with Junior League, you’ve acquired leadership or fundraising skills. Think about what you’ve been doing with your time in between jobs and how you can sell that as a skill. Trust me, getting the kids fed, coiffed and out the door on time for school every day is a major skill and absolutely applicable at the office.

8. “I can’t have a flexible schedule.”

This may be shocking to you but you can actually ask for things from your employer. Whether it’s negotiating a compensation structure or a work-from-home scenario, just ask for it. Worst case, they say “no,” at which point you can decide for yourself whether that is a deal-breaker or not. Many employers are willing to go the extra mile for employees they value, especially if it means increased productivity for them. Always, always stand up for yourself and ask for what you want.