The number one thing that holds women back from succeeding in a place of leadership isn’t a glass ceiling.

Now, I’m a card carrying feminist (read: and pro-masculinity, so don’t get your assumptions in a wad), and just because I don’t think it’s a glass ceiling holding us back doesn’t mean I’m ready to throw in my card for barefoot pastures.

The single greatest thing holding women back is the misperception about our ability to do the thing we want to do. Our culture growing up made it really simple for those of us who were “bossy” or had high hopes of accomplishment to feel ashamed for our aspirations. And with shame comes doubt.

With doubt comes a lack of self-efficacy.

Self-efficacy: the belief that you can handle or accomplish what you set your mind to.

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In doing a tarot reading for an old friend yesterday, I sensed she just needed to hear that she was capable of handling the consequences of whatever decision she makes for the future. I suspect that we all need to hear that – as our early adult years are wrought with the whole “making decisions and then realizing that was a bad decision” process…

But the fact is, the more we mess up loudly, the easier it is for us to learn from our mistakes. So it makes sense that the more mistakes we made when we were younger, the more capable we are of making better choices in the future.

IF… we believe we’re capable of learning. Of figuring it out. Of handling the consequences of the choices we make.

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When you’re struggling with a decision, friends, what if you stop the battle within, lay out the list of pros and cons, and then step back from the decision and remind yourself that no matter which side you choose, no matter which way you go, you are capable of handling the consequences of your choice? What happens then?

To me it’s a no brainer. The decision is no longer a big one, because you recognize that there is an “other side” to this experience, and on the “other side” if you don’t find the grass greener, you can just make a new decision.

Test, and then adjust.

And trust.

Trust that you won’t make a choice that you can’t live with. Trust you’re capable of thinking through to the other side (and recognize that thinking it through is a tentative plan).

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One more thing: self-efficacy doesn’t mean you go it alone.

The ability to handle all things does not necessarily mean you create a silo for yourself.

It means that you know how to find the right people to support when you need it.

Being capable of dealing with the consequences doesn’t mean you wear a magical hat that makes everything perfect regardless of what you choose. But it does mean that you’re wise enough to consider outcomes and capable enough to request support when doing something alone won’t end up the way you find acceptable.

And that self-efficacy? That’s exactly why no glass ceiling will ever be enough to hold you back!

Enjoy the next decision you make!

If you liked this post, please comment below with one of the stories you suspect is holding you back!

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