Every time a client compliments me on a job well-done, I think “Wait. What? Me?”
I am always certain that I could have done more. I assume my clients are complimenting me because they just don’t know any better. I pass off my accomplishments as “good luck” or “coincidence”. I feel like a fraud, a sham, someone who’s just masquerading as an entrepreneur and writer.
And I’m always waiting for that ball to drop. For just one client to catch on and realize that they could do SO MUCH BETTER if they dropped this dead weight.
I’m not alone in this. I bet a lot of you feel the exact same way. In fact, a 2011 study by the Institute of Leadership and Management showed that over half of females felt self-doubt in their jobs, compared to less than a third of men.
Why is it that so many women feel this way? Dr. Valerie Young blames sexism, saying “Consciously or unconsciously women know they’re being judged by a different standard”.
I can certainly relate to that – can you?
As girls, many women in my generation were taught to behave in a certain way. We were to do what we were told, and never to complain. It was the woman’s job to take care of everyone else, in every way – mother, wife, nurse, cook, maid, chauffer, whatever – and to be good at all of it.
That line of thinking just sets you up for self-doubt and failure. Instead of focusing on the value that we bring, we focus on achieving perfection (in everything, all the time). We don’t allow ourselves the luxury of being tired, or worn down, or imperfect.
Next time you start to feel that way, remember: you got where you are for a reason. You’re good enough, you’re smart enough, and doggone it, people like you!
Give yourself the credit you deserve.