As a mom, do you nurture your own success?
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure… Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you…And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
- Marianne Williamson, A Return To Love
When Kelsey Ramsden, (mother of three and owner of four companies including Belvedere Place Development, a construction firm in British Columbia) started out, she reports that she didn’t have too many supporters. People told her, “It can’t be done. You’re crazy. You’re a woman. You don’t know what you’re doing in the construction business.” When she would hear this criticism a little voice inside her would chirp, “Watch me.”
This year she is set to bring in $50 million in revenue. By founding Belvedere Place Development, she entered and conquered a heavily male-dominated playing field. While being named Canada’s top female entrepreneur two years in a row, she is no stranger to self-doubt and fear of failure.
We all have both external and internal voices telling us why we can’t play big. Kelsey handles her critics by offering up a little challenge.
As a woman, as a mom, as a breadwinner – Do you ever feel consumed with inner criticisms, fears and anxieties to the point that you feel it may be holding you back? Do feel it is okay to nurture your own success? Do you fear failure or feel stuck because you don’t have the right experience, credentials, background?
Over the years I have come up with a 4-point strategy in thinking that will help you to tackle any internal or external naysayers.
The 4-Point Attitude Shift to Playing Bigger
It’s Okay to Shine
Grab your Shadow – it’s Coming with You to the top (Watch, me!)
Failure Means You Are in the Game
Faking it Means You Are Growing
It’s Okay to Shine – Many moms struggle getting out front for fear of seeming “full of themselves”. They are so used to caring for others, nurturing others to shine that it feels odd to nurture their own success. They play small to stay under the radar, to not make waves, to not outshine their partner or a family member. It’s true, when you shine, yes you are taking a risk – but the light that you shine gives the greatest gift to those around you – as Marianne Williams says – it gives others the permission to shine. So you are actually acting as an example to help others out of their own base camp mentality – think what a gift you could be giving to others! Kelsey Ramsden is an example – she struggled with self-doubt and ultimately learned to shine – so can we!
“The thing that kept me so focused and motivated at the start was proving it to myself. I had a lot of naysayers because I never was good at all the traditional boxes you would check as a woman.” – Kelsey Ramsden
Grab Your Shadow – it’s coming with you – Everyone has fears and anxieties. It’s perfectly fine to work with affirmations or any cognitive tools to help you to work on and heal your thinking. Meditation is seriously helpful. However this is a very common sentiment that I hear:
“What if I’ve tried everything and I can’t get rid of my anxiety or fear?”
Well, hold hands with your fear or anxiety, because like it or not, it’s coming with you. It may not go away (right away) but it’s not going to stop you from living your life to the fullest.
Failure means you are in the game: It’s scary to think of failing. But the truth is we all fail. Every single human fails – and sometimes we fail daily. I’m on a one-woman-mission to eradicate fear of failure. Own it! Yeah – that didn’t work so well. I will take what I’ve learned and do better tomorrow. End of story! If you encounter haters or sail pokers – acknowledge them for being on your path. Do they have something to teach you? If yes, learn the lesson. If no – walk around them.
Kelsey Ramsden on Failure: “Smart entrepreneurs ask themselves what’s the worst thing that could happen if they do fail. They play it out. Imagining the worst case scenario and asking themselves if they could handle the answer. For example, if I were to fail for some reason with our Academy, my only setback would be a bruised ego and the need to start another business. Okay, can I handle that? Yes — I can. Turn the light on when the monster is in the room. You’ll find it’s not as scary as you think.”
Faking it means you are growing – We will delve into this a lot deeper next week but suffice it to say EVERYONE who has ever made it big had to fake it from time-to-time. I often hear women saying …”I don’t know if I can do that – I’m not there yet.” (Ironically most men do not suffer from a fear of faking it.) Think of it this way. You are HERE and you want to get THERE. Between here and there is a land called FAKING IT. Just walk through it. You will eventually get there.
Take a moment to answer the following questions:
Do I feel that it’s okay to shine?
Does my shadow get in the way of my growth?
Do I fear failure or do I see it as part of the growth process?
Do I embrace “faking it” or do I see it as inauthentic?
Write down the 4-point attitude shift on a piece of paper and place it somewhere you can see it daily. And when you hear the voice of doubt – either internally or externally as Kelsey Ramsden did – thoughts such as…
It can’t be done.
You’re a woman.
You don’t know what you’re doing.
Practice saying those two little words that will kick your ass back in gear, “Watch Me.”