There’s a lot of talk happening about empowering women to be more confident, take more risk, be influential leaders, be innovative… but much of the advice is leaving women wanting.
The articles itemizing qualities of confident women such as; “admit your flaws, say no, listen more, don’t conform, ask for help, ect” are often as helpful as telling a depressed person to, “just be happy and think positively”.
Add in the conversation around workload, responsibility, work-life balance, overwhelm and more… it’s leaving most minds in a conundrum.
Today, we look at the most common reasons women aren’t succeeding and believe chalk it up to that statistical analysis of behaviour. But aren’t we forgetting a step? Before behaviour happens, thoughts occur.
The keys to women’s empowerment, happiness, fulfillment and feeling more valued at work – is all connected and it all starts with the thoughts being experienced within the privacy of one’s own mind.
Empower Your Thinking To Work For You
The reason the 5 C’s of Mindset directly affect confidence, risk and one’s ability to become an influential leader is because it ultimately starts with empowering your thinking to work for you. When it comes to change, that happens within a person before it ripples into a culture. For the women who want to be happier, feel more fulfilled and more valued at work, learn how to shift your mindset and the thoughts you are having and you’ll have a direct correlation to feeling more confident, take more risk and become that influential leader everyone is searching for.
There’s a reason athletes have been training their minds and bodies to respond to their sport for decades – it’s because without training the mind, the physical result cannot occur.
Mindset Training Is A Must Not A Bonus
Train the mind, change the emotional connection, transform the physical experience. Those are the steps that lead to solving our bigger picture problem. Advance your thinking with these as a simple starting place, and then empower yourself with further training so that you relieve yourself of this sink or swim mentality, that isn’t serving.
So let’s get started.
The 5 C’s Of Mindset:
#1. Change Your Perspective:
Mindset is a perspective. It is the exact thoughts that are on repeat within the privacy of your own mind. Anyone who wants change has to start by taking a look into the thoughts that govern their decisions and actions. If you are consistently thinking to yourself, “I don’t earn enough money”, “I’m not valued”, “no one listens to me”, “nothing is ever going to change” your perspective will keep you from feeling good and therefore being able to get the result you’re seeking.
How do you change your perspective effectively?
Don’t allow your thoughts to be your truth. Get a specific structure and process in place to help you navigate your thoughts daily. When you’re repeating thoughts that don’t serve you, you can start by interrupting the thought with a question. It can be as simple as asking yourself, “Is that 100% true?” or “Is this line of thinking on track with the outcome desired?”
#2. Connection Over Isolation:
Connection is a critical part of the human experience and yet so much of our North American culture cultivates isolation and internalization. Both isolation and internalization breed feelings of doubt, fear, protection, defensiveness. When something goes wrong or you’re challenged, it’s easiest to retreat inward, avoid, deflect, blame and withdraw. When this is happening choose connection over isolation instead.
How to choose connection over isolation effectively: Get a mentor or confidant who can listen and ask you questions. The goal is not for the person to fix your problem, but rather to create connection so that you can come to alternative solutions within your own mind.
#3. Creatively Cultivate Habits & Patterns that serve you
Humans are habitual creatures. When you consider the desires you’re harbouring in private, the patterns and habits you currently hold are the ones keeping you from attaining what you want.
To get to the next stage of engagement, leadership, fulfillment, and even happiness, you have to think and behave in a way that supports that next stage. This means you need to learn how to leave behind the old model that is no longer serving you.
For many though, it’s that inability to creatively challenge the old habits and patterns that keep your internal thoughts stuck on repeat. Consider the last reason you gave yourself a pass for not going to the gym, having that extra glass of wine, doing that one thing that makes you happy. This is also why not everyone is a millionaire and stats show that most women by the age of 40 are on a steady decline of unhappiness.
Figure 1 – Average happiness index value for the period 1972-200 Source: Based on responses to question 157 of the General Social Surveys
The patterns and habits you developed early in life are likely the ones you struggle to break free of today. To move forward, become happier, be more confident and feel more valued, assess the habits and patterns in your life that make you feel good versus drain you of energy. You can do this in your personal and your professional life.
How to creatively challenge your habits and patterns:
To move forward, become happier, be more confident and feel more valued, assess the habits and patterns in your life that make you feel good versus drain you of energy. You can do this in your personal and your professional life. This can start as simply as rating your energy level on a scale of 1-10 after you do something you always do. Then if it’s a 1-4 out of 10, imagine what else you can do instead to achieve the same result but with more energy. For example, if you’ve always driven the same route to work but it’s filled with potholes and construction leaving you angry and frustrated by the time you get to work (which would rate a 1/10 on energy scale) change your route to work.
#4. Commitment To Self-Growth
There’s a saying in sport, “Time under tension builds muscle.” Your brain and mindset are the same, they are a muscle you must commit to developing and building so that you grow. Your personal and professional growth is your responsibility and necessity. Whether you work for a large corporation and you ask for professional development dollars to help you perform better at work or you invest in yourself outside of work you mind is a muscle that must continue to grow.
How to effectively commit to self growth:
Create a ritual that you perform daily to grow and expand your thinking. Many will look for industry related training and believe if they are learning more about their industry this is the answer – this is a big mistake and one that typically costs organizations engagement and leads to attrition. Self growth requires you to learn how to train your thinking to handle change and move past it. Just like pushing past the burn of a workout, time under tension builds transformation within the mind when you have tools to support it’s growth.
Without training your mind on a daily basis your brain cells die and become rigid in neural pathways, not to mention that your thoughts affect your physiology and DNA. Find a program that is delivered in segments, speaks directly to brain and mindset development and has built in support that delivers daily training or tools. It’s also important to look for something that applies to situational experiences so that you train your brain how to grow through situations. This is the foundation to happiness, fulfillment, being valued and becoming the success you desire.
#5. Challenge Yourself To Have A Prolific Mindset
What does it mean to have a prolific mindset? It means to challenge yourself to nourish your mind so that you can formulate new ideas, opportunities and options regardless of your environment or current situation. For the most part, your thoughts become fixed based on your education, past experiences and how much you’re encouraged and supported to move past situations rather than allowing them to define you. While most look to the outside to fix or transform, the reality is it doesn’t work this way, you must challenge your thinking to make real change occur.
All human beings move back and forth between prolific thinking and fixed thinking on a minute-to-minute basis, yet it’s proven that the most successful people have learned how to remain within a prolific mindset for longer durations of time. The benefits are endless because it sets the mind to search for ways to thrive and experience life and living rather than maintaining a pattern of survival.
CEO & Founder of Wealthy Woman Warrior™
Andrea created her proprietary mindset training, Power To Thrive™ over 15 years ago. We're now in a time where one's environment is constantly changing and pushing people mentally to their limits - if you don't have tools in place to help you navigate disruption, you simply need to get it. Invest in your mind and your success will follow.
Andrea Carter is on a mission to empower 1 million women to reach their economic potential by 2025. She believes that through collaboration and these 5 pillars women can rise to relevance.