Have you ever wanted to feel more confident, be less afraid of criticism, and more willing to speak your mind? If so, then I’ve got the book for you. Playing Big: Find Your Voice, Your Mission, Your Message by Tara Mohr addresses the challenge that finds women, all too often, “sitting on their big ideas rather than sharing them and holding back their most provocative questions rather than asking them.”
It’s back to school and back to work and that usually means lots of prep, lots to organize and lots of attention to stress and anxiety. Why is it that we rev up our worrying as we shift into the fall season? One answer lies in the nature of our brains.
In an interview in the April Harvard Business Review, Sheryl Sandberg said, “Women face huge institutional barriers. But we also face barriers that exist within ourselves, sometimes as the result of our socialization. For most of my professional life, no one ever talked to me about the ways I held myself back.” (Harvard Business Review April 2013 “Now Is Our Time”).
I’m glad the business world is now buzzing with commentary about Sandberg’s book “Lean In.” The book has not only triggered some readers to wonder if she is blaming women for not getting into the Board room, not only brought the ‘f’ word, feminism, into the picture, but has also introduced an honest conversation about the internal barriers that inhibit women from asserting themselves.
Far from blaming women for not showing up in greater leadership positions, Sandberg names both external and internal factors that make it hard for women to assert themselves, to sustain high self-confidence, to maintain resilience in the face of work place adversity, and to keep up the emotional support that it takes to overcome the multiple barriers to success.
I’ve been very earth-bound this year. I’ve been growing a new wing of my consulting business, The Resilience Group, with my work partner Dr. Jane Shure, marketing leadership coaching, formulating what words of wisdom I can deliver in speaking engagements, hoping to be of practical use to my clients, building our new website and creating our new brochure — all solid work for my professional passions and the realities of managing a business.
As the new year approaches, I ponder at what cost I have attended to this solid ground.