For women in the workplace, challenging issues like unequal pay, sexism, and gender barriers are only just the tip of the iceberg. The reality is that a woman’s experience in the workplace is often coloured by gender stereotypes, and these biases can lead to deeper rooted issues like a lack of women in leadership, or an environment that’s non-inclusive. For some, that adds pressure when managing their own expectations, for others, it results in overcompensating for being, well, female.
“We entertain stories that the various voices in our heads tell us, all the time,” cautions Janice Chua, a life and career coach at Janice Chua Coaching. “Often, we allow the negative stories to take hold, for instance, “you’re not good enough” “what are others thinking of you”, “you’re too bossy of a lady”, and the list goes on.”
To get around this, Chua advocates becoming one’s strongest cheerleader by telling stories that grow us instead. “What about ‘I am a force to be reckoned with’, ‘I am strong, I know what I’m talking about’, ‘I take charge because I care’. Start entertaining those awesome stories about yourselves and in time to come, the voices that serve to bring you down will get fade into the background.”
Here are five ways to reframe challenging scenarios in the workplace and turn them into wins.