The Anatomy Of A Great You
I was so terrified to start my own business. And even now that I’ve made the leap and I’m in it, for better or for worse — I’m still scared for at least a little bit, every day. I’ll have moments (or hours or days) when I believe that I’m not smart enough, not productive enough, not talented enough to make this work. I’ll be certain that I’m not competent enough to build a business and be a success, no matter how much I want it — and no matter how much I may have already proven otherwise. There are days I’m convinced that any success I’ve had thus far has been a fluke — a careful combination of luck and timing. So, even I grapple with feelings that I am just not good enough. How about you?
Not every day is like this, of course. There are days when I feel more confident, when I believe in my own ability; but it can be hard to remember those moments of positivity when I’m mired in feelings of self-doubt, when I feel like an impostor, or when I’m sure I won’t ever quite measure up to the sky-high success of the other women entrepreneurs I watch and admire.
My friends are often surprised to hear this, just as I’m surprised to hear of their own insecurities. The women in my life are incredibly smart, hard-working, and talented. And I’m not just saying that because they’re my friends (although, of course, these are many of the reasons I want them in my life to begin with!). I’m saying this because I truly believe in their abilities and their value — I see it and I hear it and I feel it every time I talk to them. So, it’s surprising to hear that they don’t always feel the same. But then again, neither do I.
Study after study confirms that this desire to be everything to everyone and the subsequent fear of not being “good enough” is pervasive, especially among women. And I’ve personally seen it manifesting itself not only in our professional lives, but in our personal lives as well. There’s no denying that it’s detrimental to our personal and professional progress, to our relationships, and most importantly, to our love for and confidence in ourselves.
Why aren’t I good enough?
There are, of course, a lot of varying factors that contribute to not feeling good enough, including the usual suspects: the unrealistic portrayal of women in fashion and media; the seemingly constant murmurs to be the best wife/mother/boardroom executive you can be; and, of course, Beyoncé.
If we recognize and pay attention to the source of our self-doubt, there’s a greater likelihood that we’ll be conscious of it and able to work through it once it starts to creep in. So it’s important to note that two of the biggest proponents of low self-worth require a little more self-reflection: constant comparison of ourselves to other women (particularly on social media platforms) and the insane amount of pressure we put on ourselves to do, be, and have it all.
As a society, we’ve identified invisible markers of success: do you have a booming career and a nice house? Are you married? Are you healthy and conventionally fit? More often than not, we compare ourselves to those we feel have already reached these “accomplishments” — even if their actual reality may be different than what we perceive or if our personal definition of success isn’t on par with someone else’s.
As for my experience, I’ve been so thankful for my 4 mentor's. I realize they are people I always gone to when I have new ideas (which is actually how I became an entrepreneur: I shared my expertise on how to be successful as an ambitious young woman, and from there it snowballed into joining and working for the most amazing companies). I have to admit, however, I never expected my mentors to be younger than me, and she certainly does not look like Yoda. But when I look back on the impact she has had on me and the advice she has offered, she is definitely providing mentorship.
When I find myself in comparison mode (one quick scroll through Instagram it does the trick!), I try to weigh my perception with the likely reality. And I remind myself that someone else’s definition of accomplishment doesn’t necessarily have to be mine. I’m always seeking to understand what “success” means on my own terms and remember to view my own life through that lens.
Remember, own your definition of success, not someone else’s.
Thank You For Reading