Where’s the Glass Ceiling?

While many women complain that they don’t get ahead in the workplace because of the proverbial glass ceiling, I’ve learned that the thing that inhibits and limits women the most is their personal glass ceiling. It’s the one build when you talk about yourself negatively (“that was dumb, but that’s me” or “I’ve always been a scatterbrain”) or when you pay attention to the toxic people who write bad things on the walls of your minds – and then keep those toxic people in your life (as though they have a right to be there). It’s also when you have weak or blurred boundaries, or don’t take control of your own life. When you engage in these or the other eight sabotaging behaviors I call “The Dirty Dozen” you are building your personal glass ceiling.
Here’s my personal experience with MY personal glass ceiling: Earlier this year I had a job speaking for a woman’s conference for which I’ve spoken many times, all over the country. But between my last engagement and the current one, the department completely turned over. So the new leadership was experiencing my programs for the first time – and in a classic sabotaging behavior, I decided it was a job interview and if they didn’t like what I did, it would surely impact my future work with them. I applied just enough pressure to make myself really nervous.
Then I did what so many of us do – I got stuck in an unproductive loop. I obsessed over the two programs, one of which I’ve been presenting very successfully for many years, including for that group. Still, I wrote and rewrote but just kept going around in a circle of information overload and confusion. I couldn’t seem to get to that “peaceful” place of being done. I was in a panic.
Fortunately, a couple days before the presentation, I had a meeting with my coach. I told her I wanted to scrap our planned agenda and just talk about the problem I was having. I told her what I’d done and everything I was feeling. She gave me some good feedback about the content. Then she asked what I wanted as an end result. I responded with a “victory rant” about how strongly I felt about helping the women to whom I was going to speak – and it came straight from my heart.
When I finished, she was quiet at first, and then told me she had goose bumps. Next she really rattled my head when she said, “Annmarie, you’ve been doing this for a long time and you know what you are talking about…and your audience needs to hear it. Take your foot off the brake. You are so concerned about what the department will think; it’s holding you back. Focus instead on how much your audience needs to hear what you have to say.”
Her words and the tone of her voice really shook me. She had a lot more to say about my “foot being on the brake” problem. It wasn’t comfortable, but I needed to hear it. When I got off the phone, I went back to my presentations. I spent about another hour reorganizing the outline and PowerPoint followed by a near perfect practice. I was amazed at the emotional shift and its impact on my work. Then I put it aside and did other work. I didn’t look at it again until shortly before I presented. And when I did I wasn’t “braking” and my foot was firmly on the gas pedal….and I did awesome presentations!!!
All day women were coming up to me, a couple with tears in their eyes, telling me how this thing or that one really touched their mind and/or heart and flipped their minds…permanently changed their thinking about one thing or another.
The difference between mediocre and awesome was some “tough love” straight talk, a reminder about my purpose and passion and a push in the right direction.
How about you? I’m wondering how many of you have your foot on the brake. How much are you letting fear of failure or rejection, a lack of confidence or something else hold you back?
Three times a year I offer a “Breaking Through Your Personal Glass Ceiling” webinar or teleseminar. Sign up for my newsletter and you’ll get notices for this and other workshops, teleseminars and webinars

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Who is Annmarie Kelly?

Annmarie Kelly is an Author, Speaker & Lifestyle Influencer. She helps women LIVE VICTORIOUSLY – out loud and in living color! I help women develop their own personal victory strategy so they can solve problems, transform adversities into opportunities, achieve their goals and create relationships where they feel valued.

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