As a woman in business, I know how challenging and ruthless, however rewarding, the workplace can be. My experiences range from the high point of being recognized as the recipient of The President’s Award in Leadership to the low point of being refused admittance to a closed door meeting after being told “no one wants hear a woman talk”.
Today, whether you’re a female entrepreneur building a business, holding your own in a public or private company, or conducting business from your home office, your mental toughness is tested in everything you do. Make no mistake, women desiring success need to hone the skill of mental toughness. I know from first-hand experience after one particular situation in which I faced imminent personal danger, how mental toughness enabled me to escape unharmed.
Mental toughness does not mean you have to be a bully, displaying unruly, arrogant behavior toward someone or something in order to convince others of your mental superiority. Mental toughness is an inner strength we can cultivate and a skill we can learn. Mental toughness is responding resiliently to setbacks, adversities and challenges. It is the ‘grit’ that helps you work through difficult situations, remaining focused on your goal.
Mental Toughness should no longer be dismissed as a “notion” reserved exclusively for the C-Suite. It is a “must-have” developmental skill for everyone.
Here are two top workplace challenges women face today and how mentally strong women overcome them.
- Every Woman Can Fiercely Own Her Career
Mental Toughness is a “must-have” developmental skill necessary in order for you to fiercely own your career despite encountering relentless competition and intense stress. Feeling the deck is stacked against you often dissuades you from applying for promotions that translate into better opportunities and increased pay. Fearing success often results in feeling disempowered to the extent that you feel you can neither control your career or your emotions.
How will you acknowledge these feelings, yet remain resilient? Here are three ways mentally strong women develop the mental toughness to stay motivated as they work their way up the ladder.
1. They leverage the three key resources of skills, people and finances.
2. They seek help from career coaches and mentors, and invest in career development courses.
3. They confidently build their careers by setting realistic goals, developing a strong mind through discipline, and humorously admitting their mistakes.
I encourage you to shout out loud that being a woman in business is a win for everyone. Stand firm and bring vitality to the life-affirming journey of owning your career and living life on your own terms.
2. Effective Self-Promotion in the Workplace
Mental toughness is an attitude that leads to fearless risk-taking. Do you know why most talented women in business are not promoted as quickly or as often as men? The major reason is that most women are not assertive in communicating their accomplishments. When you are committed to being assertive, it increases your confidence to declare your successes, effectively manage your career, and be perceived as someone of value, authority and influence. Assuming peers and managers know about your successes and accomplishments is a mistake that can be fatal to your career success. By not claiming credit for your work, you cheat yourself out of the recognition you deserve.
Here are four ways mentally strong women assert themselves in order to establish a high value on their presence in the workplace:
- They establish authority and trust by demonstrating such assertive behaviors as good posture, good eye contact and simple body gestures.
- They talk about their professional experiences with confidence, poise, and purpose.
- They act decisively and avoid being wishy – washy, either in word or action.
- They tell stories highlighting their successes. Storytelling helps to illustrate skills, accomplishments and expertise, making you memorable in the minds of others.
Clearly understand that effective self-promotion is not bragging. It is an important and essential way to help you stand out from the crowd, feel worthy of tremendous success, and feel more in control of your life and your career’s direction.
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Copyright 2016 Jennifer Touma Mindscape