I know I keep banging on about confidence and women; it’s because when I really get to the nitty gritty in my coaching of what is holding excellent women back from getting senior posts, confidence is always there, even in the most outwardly confident seeming women. The causes are myriad and complicated, not least being in a world designed primarily for one gender, how we are socialised, unconscious biases etc…the list goes on.
One theme emerges often, us trying to be perfect. That is, aiming to be really excellent in our current role before even thinking about the next, and then staying too long in it, not because we love it, but because we don’t think we’re quite ready for the next one.
Here’s a coaching question to ask yourself: Do you set yourself high standards and then criticise yourself for failing to meet them?
You wouldn’t be atypical if you answered yes. I do it, too, sometimes.
One way of neutralising the impact is to a) be aware of it, and b) replacing the ‘I must be perfect’ critical thoughts with something like, ‘I am good enough and I will learn on the job’.
As an experiment, check onto a job site now in your field. Look at roles one or two or even three levels above where you are. Read the requirements for that role. If you meet at least 50% of them you are probably ready to start thinking about moving on up. Have you considered it? If not, why not?