For many women, the glass ceiling is real although often subtle and hidden.
Those seeking leadership roles talk about bumping up against the many barriers to securing a seat at the table including unconscious bias, lack of access to internal networks of power and influence and the need or desire for greater flexibility.
But it is not just the external barriers that are hampering women’s advancement. Of equal importance is the inner glass ceiling holding many smart, capable and talented women back from the top jobs.
In conjunction with learning how to overcome the external barriers, women need to work on clearing the gunk and smash through their own self imposed unconscious limits.
What is the Inner Glass Ceiling?
The Inner Glass Ceiling is the incessant self talk going on in a woman’s head. Yes men experience this too but it seems to be to a lesser extent. Women internalize what’s going on around them and are more susceptible to patterns of overly critical self talk; the need to be perfect, fear of not being good enough or of not being worthy, just to name a few.
And because how we think, determines our actions and behaviours, the internal inner gunk gets in the way of many women being seen as strong leaders. The negative self talk often leads to fear, inaction and shying away from doing what it takes to achieve their potential and to be seen, heard and valued as a leader.
Everything starts with what we think!
Your inner world shapes your outer world. If you don’t fully believe in yourself, your brain isn’t able to visualise your goals or motivate you to take action. If you have any self-doubt, hidden fears or uncertainty, you’ll sabotage your efforts and be prone to procrastination or perfectionism.
Doubts and self limiting beliefs can hold us back from voicing our opinion, speaking up in meetings, saying yes to the big opportunities, presenting with confidence or generally showing up as a strong decisive leader.
We all have an inner glass ceiling…
It’s created from our experiences, parents, teachers, thoughts, fears, beliefs, perceptions, and internal brain patterns from a very young age. What we believe and think affects us at EVERY level of our leadership and life success!
I have worked with many women who come to me saying that they know that they are capable of so much more but are frustrated that they are stuck and holding themselves back for no apparent reason.
Sarah was a great example of this. She was achieving ok results as a sales manager but no matter how hard she worked she couldn’t break through to make serious improvements for herself or her team. She knew she was sabotaging herself and that she wasn’t living up to her full potential.
Sarah’s inner glass ceiling was showing up as a lack of confidence, self worth and beliefs around her ability to make sales. We worked together on breaking through these limits, replacing old disempowering beliefs and generating new habits to reinforce a new way of thinking and acting.
And the result; Sarah has recently been recognised as the top performing sale person within the business. And the benefits don’t end there. She has also achieved some personal goals that up to now had only been a dream.
To shatter the inner glass ceiling …
Sometimes I would have liked to take a massive swing at mine with a big sledge hammer!
Seriously… it’s as simple as learning how to release the old patterns and the self imposed unconscious beliefs and replace them with new empowering ones.
It’s about retraining your brain to get rid of negative limiting beliefs, habits and behaviours and reinforce the right positive beliefs, habits and behaviours to support the achievement of all you are capable of.
The good news is that brain scan studies have proven that you can re-wire and strengthen the key areas in your brain that control your conscious thoughts and unconscious feelings and emotions that influence every decision you make and action you take.
Once the glass ceiling is shattered, the transition to achieving a new level of success happens with much less effort. Where as before it may have seemed like you were constantly pushing up hill, suddenly doors open and opportunities show up.
So for just a moment, imagine what would be possible for you if you were to shatter your inner glass ceiling.
The answer to getting that next position, promotion or pay rise may not be to work harder or to learn more. It may well be to invest in shattering your inner glass ceiling.
Sometimes it only takes the smallest adjustment to totally alter the course of your life!
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