Professional Development

3 Ways Women Sabotage Themselves in Business

Written by Peter Jones

There’s a new book out there by Tara Mohr called Playing Big, and everyone should read it. It’s a how-to for brilliant and talented women who are playing it too small and could really use a chance to break out of self-sabotaging patterns to fully live up to their potential.

Here are three takeaway strategies to counteract some common things you might be doing to hold yourself back.

1. Change the “this before that” approach

We’re all guilty of this one. “I’ll have that chat with my boss once I’ve done x, y, and z.” Or, “I’ll approach this contact once I have x, y, and z to show for myself.” Sometimes we’re being careful and coming up with a solid game plan, but other times we’re just scared to make the big moves.

If you find yourself having a “this before that” moment, ask yourself if that assumption is based on real strategy, or if whether you just assume you aren’t ready for the next step. If you can’t find any real reasons to wait, then don’t.

2. Don’t let your “commitment to quality” hold you back

Sometimes “commitment to quality” just means overcomplicating things and “endless polishing.” Being detail-oriented and quality-concerned is great, but can be crippling. Rather than obsess over details at every stage, allow yourself to brainstorm, think big, and let your preliminary work be just that—preliminary. Waiting for every idea and aspect of a project to be perfect will delay its completion and your success. Besides, it might just be a cover-up for fear and insecurity. Be bold and own your work.

3. Don’t hold yourself back because you don’t have the degree

Mohr says, “Talented women with a dream believe they need another degree, training, or certification because they are not ‘enough’ as they are.” We all like the structure and reassurance of being a student, but sometimes it’s time to take the leap into the big, bad business world without the safety net.

Figure out what you can do with the training you already have and start there. Don’t take no for an answer. Get as far as you possibly can—and only stop for more education when it’s absolutely necessary. You’ll probably surprise yourself at how far you can go without that next degree.

Make 2016 the year of you. Make sure you’re not holding yourself back because you don’t think you’re good enough. Chances are, you are your own worst limiting factor. Get out of your own way!

3 Ways You May be Sabotaging Yourself at Work (and what to do about it)

About the author

Peter Jones