Why you need to put your blinkers on and stop comparing yourself to others

It’s not who you think you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not.
— Teresa Ho

Recently I've been chatting with a range of people about comparing, judging and critiquing - particularly when we judge ourselves and find ourselves lacking in some way. 

In fact, it's the human condition. We all do it. But women are far more tough on themselves than men.

A recent UK study found that;

  • Women criticise themselves at least 8 times per day and that number is increasing,
  • 42% of women admitted to never complimenting themselves, 
  • 46% women said they criticise themselves at least once before 9:30am
  • The top five areas of criticism were weight, appearance, career, finances and relationships. (Weight Watchers UK 2016)


Studies also show that women under rate their own performance across many disciplines ranging from people management right through to more technical expertise. 

The problem for organisations wanting to promote women becomes more obvious when the same studies demonstrate that some men tend to overestimate theirs. (Geoff Trickey, UK, 2016)

So why does underestimating matter?

While self awareness is an admirable leadership trait, underestimation keeps you second guessing and missing out - and self flagellation with self awareness will simply get in the way of any progress.

Whether we are putting ourselves forward for a promotion, asking for a raise or pitching to win a big contract, it's far harder to back yourself and sell the value of you and your idea, if you are secretly doubting yourself.  

And while I don't want to diminish the role of bias and discrimination in keeping women out of leadership roles, being your own harshest critic is going to make it even harder for you to see your own potential objectively or accurately.

More stats

One statistic that sticks in my mind from a report entitled The Unstereoptyped Mindset is this -

  • 77% of men believe that a man is the best person to lead in a high stakes project
  • 55% of women believe the same.

And I'm fairly confident that the feminine tendency to compare herself, and find herself wanting,  contributes to this.

Women could use a little of the shameless confidence men take for granted.
— Annabel Crabb
Make the Friday Formula part of your non-negotiable weekly routine.

Make the Friday Formula part of your non-negotiable weekly routine.

The fix?

  • Put your blinkers on, and just get on with the work you really want to do.
  • Stop looking at how successful other people are on LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram - and start focusing on yourself and your plan in real life.
  • Stop comparing yourself to a future idealised version of what might be possible, and start being in the moment and celebrating today.
  • And stop criticising others for the same. If you must judge - critique the project, the policy or the process, not the person. 

Change your mind

You've probably heard of neuroplasticity where your brain begins to change depending on how you think. Well start thinking good things about yourself and change your brain positively.

I recommend the Friday Formula for consistently and routinely documenting evidence of your own wins and achievements (EVERY Friday, never fail from now on until the end of eternity) -

  • What your achievement was this week
  • The benefit you delivered (quantify or qualify) 
  • The core expertise used to deliver that achievement

Then celebrate how grounded and great this makes you feel with trusted friends, colleagues or ambition support network.  Then as soon as you're done celebrating, get on with the business of making a bigger difference again.

Vive la révolution! #ambitionrevolution #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes #feminineambition
#success #career #visibility #standout #leadership  #executivewomen #careerfutureproofing

Need help with backing yourself more effectively? Book in for a 45 min phone call to see if one of my programs will help.


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