How does this hold women back? Below are 5 damaging ways that ‘humility’ as currently defined by society keeps women stuck and afraid:
1 - Women often believe that speaking up for themselves and advocating powerfully and compellingly for what they want makes them less likable.
Sadly, research has proven that they’re right – study after study has shown that society punishes women for being forceful and assertive, and that unconscious bias against women prevails.
2 - Many women feel guilty when putting themselves first or asking for what they want and deserve.
I’ve coached over 11,000 women in 11 years, and I hear about this type of “guilt” virtually every day from women. They feel guilty if they put their needs first, or pursue goals that may create some challenges, conflicts or compromises in their family life or marital system.
The problem here is that if guilt is the primary emotion women feel when putting themselves forward, they’ll be forever challenged with getting out of the gate and sustaining the power, energy and commitment required to succeed in the way they long to, because they’ve been culturally taught they’re wrong to want to.
3 - Many women believe that appearing proud of their accomplishments or talking about them will make them look bad.
Just as the online critic tried to shame me by saying I have no humility, our society still perceives that women who are confident and who talk about their contributions and achievements in a powerful way, are haughty, arrogant and proud. I ask this: Should people not be proud of who they are and what they’ve done? Is it better to feel you are not valuable , that your talents are not important and not needed in this world? Why is that preferable?
4 - Many women shun the idea of building a personal brand or understanding and communicating their competitive advantage.
Fourthly, so many women resist the idea that it’s important to identify their competitive advantage and talk about it. The challenge here is that if you can’t do that, you can’t build a powerful personal brand, which is all about knowing your specifics and talents, how you use those to make an impact, and leveraging them to support your desired niche. If you’re not comfortable building your personal brand, you’ll struggle in moving forward and generating the recognition, reward, compensation and fulfillment you long for.
5 - Many women shy away from networking, not understanding how to talk about themselves and what they want.
Finally, the adherence to appearing humble can hold women back from networking powerfully , but networking is the single biggest source (80% in fact) of landing jobs, and getting promoted and advancing in our careers. We simply can’t achieve our biggest dreams and highest visions without others. And finding great mentors, sponsors, supporters and ambassadors requires powerful networking.
I’d like to throw this out for us to think more deeply about:
Why is a healthy dose of pride considered a negative trait, when it fuels a person to understand their great value to the world and how to use their gifts and talents in ways that help others? And why are men encouraged to be proud, but women demeaned for it?