Are you undermining your own success?

Ladies, Are You Undermining Your Own Success?

It’s a man’s world.

How many times have we heard our mothers tell us that?

Problem is – she’s right.

In a world where we constantly hear of women’s rights, equal rights, and the ever-familiar saying, “you’ve come a long way, baby,” we’re not quite there yet.

According to a Rutgers Fact Sheet, there are 535 seats in Congress. Women currently hold 100 seats, or just 18.7%. Of that 535, women hold 20 seats in the Senate and 80 in the House of Representatives.

Of the 197 heads of state, only 22 are women.

Of the top 500 companies by revenue, only 21 are headed by women.

But before we point the finger anywhere, we have to look to ourselves.

How women sabotage their successHow Do We Sabotage Our Success?

Here are some common ways women undermine their own success:

1. We say “I’m Sorry” all the time. You may not realize it, but women do a lot of apologizing – for things they don’t need to be apologizing for! For example: You’re at the copier alongside a co-worker and it starts jamming papers. “I’m sorry,” you say. For what?!

Start keeping a mental note of just how many times you’re saying this in social situations. Once you’re aware of it, swallow that apology. Speak from a place of confidence, not cowardice.

2. We’re always striving for perfection. No one is perfect. No one is superwoman. Stop comparing yourself to other women, thinking they’re doing it all or doing it better. We’re all individuals, with our plusses and minuses.

The road to perfection leads to one destination – burnout. There is no such thing as “perfect” – so stop trying to achieve something that doesn’t exist.

3. Our internal dialogue leaves a lot to be desired. What you continually think, you become. Don’t keep putting yourself down – keep your thoughts positive. Replace that negative self-talk with empowering, success-oriented thoughts instead.

4. We care too much about what others think of us. Remember, it’s just their opinion. And you’re interpreting their opinion. Stop wasting your valuable mental energy worrying about what others think about you. Remain authentic and aligned with your values instead.

5. We display tell-tale signs of a lack of confidence. Don’t use a weak tone of voice. Don’t end your sentences with a question. Speak confidently, clearly, and concisely.

As contributor Kathy Caprino says, if your “no” really means “yes,” “ok” or “maybe,” (meaning you simply can’t stand up for yourself or are afraid to say “no”) — then you won’t achieve what you want – financially or otherwise.

Success tip: Don’t forget to be aware of your body language at all times. For instance, don’t twirl your hair like a nervous schoolgirl – you’ll be perceived as one.

6. We run away from situations. contributor Kathy Caprino calls this the “pendulum effect,” where you run from one thing to another to avoid the thing you think is causing your difficulty.

You know how it goes – you’re burned out, frustrated, maybe even disillusioned by something – so you feel like you have to escape the situation just to survive. But, if you can work in the here and now to improve your situation, you’re going to come out of it bolder, more confident in your abilities, and ready to take on the next big challenge.

7. We don’t celebrate our achievements. Give yourself credit for your accomplishments! Don’t keep going and going without that mental boost – use all your past achievements to propel you forward to new, bolder heights of success.

8. We sometimes forget to dress for the office. Don’t dress for the nightclub. If you wear plunging necklines, super-short skirts or too much makeup, people notice that – and not your business sense.

We all have many aspects of our personality – analytical/logical, creative/thoughtful. You can express your fashion sense and your feminine side – and integrate the masculine side, too. Combining your best features makes for the most effective presentation.

9. We’re actually afraid of our own success. “I call it your “success set point” – the point at which, if exceeded, you become uncomfortable and afraid of your success (or love, or financial reward, or health, etc.)” says Kathy Caprino.

How often we think we’ll jinx ourselves if we’re too successful. Stop worrying. You’re capable of more than you realize.


Looking back through history, women have come a long way. The blueprint is there. Legislation has been passed and some doors have opened.

More doors can open as we believe in ourselves- really believe. If you relate to any of the 9 ways women sabotage themselves, get serious about overcoming it. The rewards will be well worth it.

In an upcoming post, I’m going to delve more deeply into three of the top ways you may be undermining your success – and what you can do about it.

If you’re tired of sabotaging your own success and you’re ready to gain the tools you need to boost your chances of becoming a respected, admired, and recognized business leader, check out my course, “The Three “D”s to Gaining a Seat at the Table”.

This course is all about inspiring and empowering business women to build the confidence, clarity, and structure needed to make BOLDER moves and soar to higher levels!

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