I had lunch with a girlfriend recently who relayed a story which I thought perfectly summed up the way many women look at themselves and their achievements. She was spending a weekend clearing out old paperwork and looking through various files she had accumulated from a long career. She came across a paper written in her specialist area within education and read it with real respect and growing envy at the author who had written such a good piece, wishing that she could write that well and completely in awe of the researcher who had penned it. When she got to the end, she found the date scrawled at the bottom and realised that she had indeed written it herself many years before!
It was such a paradigm shift because after she realised she had written it, she immediately questioned it’s quality, validity and discounted it. The irony of course is that it had been a brilliant paper when written by some anonymous competitor, but when it was her own work, it was nothing special. We do this to ourselves all the time. I occasionally look at my old PhD thesis, which was a quantitative survey of over 800 people and look at all the ANOVA’s and regression analysis I statistically analysed in 80,000 words and look at it in disbelief, thinking "I wrote that?". I literally wouldn’t believe it if it did not have my name on it. Ladies, we need to give ourselves some credit! As funny as my friend’s story is, it’s also sad if we don’t take time to recognise our achievements and continue to discount all that we have achieved before.
Get Some Credit!
- Write down 10 things that you have accomplished that felt like a huge challenge before you accomplished them. You know, those things that kept you up at night? For me, it was passing my manual driving test as a 24 year old, having my PhD viva, presenting to colleagues for the first time? What’s yours?
- How does it feel to see those accomplishments in black and white?
- What does that tell you about your current challenges?
- How can you give yourself credit on an ongoing basis?