I spent the day yesterday with a room full of highly successful local business women. Some I knew, and some I only knew by reputation. We were at a leadership seminar, learning about leading others, our businesses, and ourselves.
What struck me the most about the day, was how these confident, successful, assertive women talked openly about their own self-doubt. Lack of belief, negative self-talk and un-assuredness were rife.
I was somewhat surprised by this, but shouldn’t have been. In my work as a trainer, I visit people at their workplace and talk to them one-on-one. In that setting, I often hear phrases like “I don’t know what I’m doing” and “I don’t know why they gave me this job”.
It strikes me that this is far more common than we realise. Obviously, this doesn’t affect everyone, and some people do have a true belief in themselves. I admire them. But many others are just putting on a mask, hoping that no one finds out what’s underneath. What takes more courage, is to take the mask off and show yourself honestly. This demonstrates to others that maybe there’s no need to wear a mask, when are actually all the same underneath. Who are we really hiding from? And why?