Women in leadership positions in credit unions: The barriers we create in our minds

Think about this … I was planning on putting on a telesummit with 25 other women.  I had hand-selected them, had the email invitation to them, and was excited to be organizing and facilitating it, until those words creeped into my brain – I’m not big enough or famous enough or smart enough. I even threw in tall enough and told my husband I was cancelling it before I even got started.  He asked me why and I gave him my spiel of the “enough” nonsense.  He looked at me and said, very calmly and lovingly, “are you nuts?” He continued with “People want to be around you. They trust you and admire you.  They respect who you are and how you are in it for them. Don’t let them down.”  What do you say to that?  I said I would give it until 6:00 and if I have any second thoughts, I’m cancelling it.  So, at 1 minute to 6, I hit send on 25 emails and turned my computer off, totally.  I couldn’t bear people telling me no and called it a night. Then, 12 hours later, at 6am, I turned my computer on and 24 of the 25 said, “yes, absolutely, thank you for asking me, honored,” and on and on. I looked for the 25th and an hour later it also came in with a big yes. She was in Australia and the time difference was the only reason it was late.  I share this story often because no matter who you are, what you represent or why you do what you do, “enough” will creep in and you have to do everything to chase it away. It’s all about those barriers that we have in our minds, are they real or not?

The telesummit was a huge success. The women, the information, the value was such a winning combination. I had created a barrier that could have cancelled everything great and left me with the “oh woe is me syndrome.”  You see I had created barriers that were bigger than my goals and already had the scenario playing out of what would happen if I had decided to go through with this crazy plan. I decided that the only way I was going to use the word “enough” was to convince myself that enough was clearly enough. All the results I knew in my mind that were going to happen, didn’t and that is usually what happens. We are so sure that whatever we want to do won’t happen in a positive way that we can visualize failure and smell it before it even has a moment to be created. Why do we do that?

There are several things that cause us to lose our confidence and feel like the barriers are closing in.  Here are just a few: 

  1. Age – Many times we let our age define us. Whether we are too young or too old. Sometimes we tell ourselves that and sometimes others tell us what we should and shouldn’t do.  If you want to break down some of those barriers, don’t listen to them.
  2. What other people think – No matter what we tell ourselves, we still compare ourselves to others. That is really a waste of time and energy. Why compare yourself to those on social media since they are showing only what they want you to see? Where is that being authentic? Feel good about what you are doing, what you have already done and what you are planning to do. Don’t let anyone take that away from you.
  3. Toxic people – Who are you surrounding yourself with? Are they people that you trust and admire? Will they support you to reach your goals? Or…are they energy vampires? I make it a point to release all toxic people from my life. I don’t lose them because they can be found.  I release them so they don’t return. 
  4. Fear – As I mentioned, we have great imaginations and we tend to create an entire volume of stories that can happen to us. Fortunately they don’t.  Fear is a choice. I encourage my clients to step into the unknown and I always ask, “What’s the worst that can happen?” and follow that up with, “What’s the best that can happen?”
  5. Are you living in the past or hoping for the future? We all know that the past is the past and it can’t be changed. However, when you concentrate on the future, you do have the ability to make it something that you are excited to reach…but it’s still not here right now. Being in the present and living in the present lets others know that you are ready for the opportunities that are in front of you and that you are taking the present for what it is…a gift.

Do you see yourself creating barriers from any of the reasons I mentioned?  Time to talk it out with a coach or mentor or someone you trust and flip your mindset to the positive side, so those barriers are taken down, not built up. The truth is, most people are not willing to disregard some of the feelings they have and do what needs to be done to eliminate the barriers. It’s time to understand that when you break through the barriers once, you will realize it was never as bad as you thought it would be.  When your “Why” is strong enough, you will be willing to do the “How” …

Think of it this way … Start small – we have to practice to get it right. If you’re in sports or play an instrument or anything that you want to become the expert in, you have to practice. You start small and work your way up. The more often you face that barrier and confront it, the more successful you will be and the next time it shows up, you’ll be able to walk right through it. 

Then … Trust yourself – What will it take for you to stop worrying about what others think or what their opinion of you is? When you start to trust yourself, your potential is unlimited. No matter how successful we are, we still second guess ourselves. When I was at a conference, a Queen was in the audience and she told me that every time she has to make a decision that will affect someone’s life, she second guesses herself, so consider yourself in great company. Take time to learn the lessons that life throws your way. These lessons will be critical to your success as you make progress along your journey toward your goals.

Arthur C. Clarke said, “The limits of the possible can only be defined by going beyond them into the impossible.”

Judy Hoberman

Judy Hoberman

Men and women sell, manage, recruit and supervise differently.  Judy Hoberman, creator of “Selling in a Skirt”, shares essential insights about gender differences and how to embrace and use those ... Web: www.sellinginaskirt.com Details

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