Nice girls get what they're given.
Nice girls wait quietly.
Nice girls don't ask for more.
Where in your life are you playing the 'nice girl'?
I was at a women's network meeting last week where I was amongst some incredible social entrepreneurs, and corporate women making a difference in the world. All of them had a purpose, a passion, a drive. They were strong, ambitious, intelligent women - each and every one. Each was asked to stand up and speak for 2 minutes about their business, then deliver a Call to Action to the group - what did they need from the group that would help them in their business?
Almost all of them reverted to a 'little girl' personality - lacking in confidence, afraid to ask, shifting from one foot to another, not even sure what to ask for. Their entire physicality changed as they slipped into their 'little girl' archetype.
I was shocked.
I know women sometimes battle with self-confidence and asking for help - I mean, it's what I do for a living to help them step into their power and confidence, but to see such a demonstration of how deeply it runs in so many high calibre women was a great reminder of how we hold ourselves back.
Women get paid less often because we either don't think to ask or we're not sure how to go about it ("I don't do this job for the money").
Women got 16 times less venture capital funding in 2016 than men according to Fortune magazine, with funding opportunities assessed on performance instead of potential, like deals headed by men.
There are many factors at play in these examples, and it includes women needing to get used to asking or requesting for their needs to be met.
so Here's your challenge this week...
We've been talking about money the last couple of weeks, and how to go about asking for a raise. Let's dial it back a bit...
I want you to practice every day ASKING for something. Something small to start with and work up to the big things. It might be something like:
- Asking your partner to arrange a special treat for you - like a spa day, or a dinner out.
- Asking your friend to pick up the kids from sport, when normally you might rush from work to do it yourself.
- Asking a team member to finish a PowerPoint presentation, instead of fussing over doing it yourself.
- Asking your children to cook dinner if they normally do not share in it.
- Asking for someone else in the team to chair the meeting.
Get used to asking for your needs to be met - small steps make the bigger ones like asking for a raise that much easier. It's part of the process to set clear, healthy boundaries so you can have the career and life you desire. That is not achieved by doing everything for everyone else and feeling like a martyr and a victim when you deny your own needs to be met.
It's also an exercise in receiving. Allowing yourself to ask and receive something from someone else takes practice, and many of us have not allowed ourselves to do it in our lives.
Let me know how you get on with your challenge this week to ask for more more often!
P.S. Need help with setting clear, healthy boundaries so you can have career and life balance as an inspiring leader? Book a call and let's chat.