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Flipping Work Woes into a Confident Career
Have you ever stopped to think about your level of fear in your job? Do you find the same frustrations repeating despite changing employers? If you do sense fear surrounding your career, can you imagine what it would look and feel like to walk into the office every day, feeling secure and excited, emanating calm confidence?
Although career fear can affect both sexes, in my practice, I find it more common among women. Typically, women are socialized to be fixers and bridge builders and are valued for being kind and generous. If a women is assertive at work, she is more likely to be labeled as difficult and bitchy, as opposed to a man who might be thought of as effective, strong, and powerful. A woman wrings her hands about the way she will be perceived by her peers and subordinates in a way that many men do not. This is a double standard that has existed for many years, and neither sex is completely to blame; both play their part.
Women are guilty of perpetuating this stereotype by continually not asserting themselves in the workplace.Women are less likely to negotiate salary when accepting a job offer, ask for a raise, and apply for higher-level positions.
Why do women assert themselves less? One major reason is FEAR: fear of rejection, not fitting in, and being outcast. Some women fear being seen as “unfeminine.” In many fields, women are still trying to prove themselves and their worth.
These fears bundle together and can make you fall prey to “The Disease To Please” (based on the book The Disease To Please: Curing the People-Pleasing Syndrome by Harriet B. Braiker).
Take a moment to answer the following questions:
- Do you say “yes” when you really want to say “no?”
- Do you apologize often? When you are actually not sorry? When you are angry as a way to diffuse and/or end an argument?
- Do you avoid confrontation at all costs?
- Do you put everyone else’s needs above your own?
- Do you need everyone’s approval? Do you spend ample energy and time trying to convince others your decisions are right? Do you feel compelled to defend your actions?
- Do you sit quietly in the wings, hoping someone will acknowledge your talents?