If the Giants’ World Series Game 6 sucked you in on Tuesday and you missed Tara Sophia Mohr’s talk at Speak to Me, you missed something special. Here are three nuggets of wisdom we gleaned from the evening…they are sure to keep you thinking, inspired, and playing big.
American women are liberated but not empowered. Why? A failure of imagination. We need to imagine a different world and make it so. Three strategies to help us:
1. Quiet Self Doubt
All of us have “that voice” – the one that doubts. It’s normal, even for wildly successful people who you would think never second-guess themselves. It’s actually a safety instinct that keeps us from doing things outside our comfort zone. From an evolutionary perspective, that instinct kept us from harming ourselves, but now it also might be limiting our potential. The voice is most chatty when we are pushing ourselves and things are hard or uncomfortable, or even just different.
Quieting the voice is not simply a matter of turning up the volume on confidence to drown it out. The inner critic will always find another way to express itself. So we need to cultivate a new relationship to self-doubt. Choose not to listen to it, and focus on listening to the part of you that wants to be heard.
2. Unhook from Praise and Criticism
We often get so tied up in what everyone else thinks that we can’t hear ourselves. Seeking praise or fearing criticism becomes the driving factor in our actions rather than listening to our own internal voice. This again has evolutionary ties as once our very survival depended on being liked by people more powerful than us.
Countless studies show women are better at reading body language and facial expressions and tend to take in a larger amount of social cues than men. However, it’s not always easy to interpret what body language is about us, or simply about the person in front of us. Which is a problem because women are more likely to interpret the social cues as “feedback” than their male counterparts, and will often take it as a reflection of their overall self-worth.
Tara argued that any “feedback” you get, can’t really tell you about you – or your abilities. It can only tell you about the person giving the feedback. Only by understanding that lens, are we free to listen in an open, constructive and productive way. Start using feedback as a useful tool in our work, and separate it from any indication to our self-worth (positive or negative!).
3. Discover Your Inner Mentor
It’s wonderful to find a great “outer” mentor, but it’s even more helpful for each of us to create and have our own “inner” mentor. It involves a process of envisioning your own best self in 20 or 30 years, and using it as a guiding source. In her work, she has seen leveraging an “inner mentor” as a powerful tool for women to find clarity, direction and support on their respective journeys.
For Tara’s full presentation, including taking us through the process of discovering our own Inner Mentors, check out our Media Library HERE.