Last week I attended the Pennsylvania Conference for Women and had the pleasure of hearing Arianna Huffington speak. She shared her ideas about what it takes to be successful for a woman in business today.
My biggest take-away from her talk was when she spoke about “the obnoxious roommate”, that nagging voice in our head that constantly tells us that we aren’t good enough. I’m sure you are all familiar with this voice. “You can’t do this.” “You should have said this.” This roommate moved into our lives somewhere very early in our childhood and seems to have taken over the kitchen, “You’re too fat”, the living room, “You should stay on the couch where it’s safe and you won’t make any more mistakes”, and the bedroom, “No one will ever love you. You don’t deserve it”.
Do you have an obnoxious roommate like this who has taken over your life?
If so, how much attention do you give your roommate? How much of your energy does she consume each day?
I’m certain that this roommate may be trying to protect you from harm by keeping you from playing big and getting hurt, but the end result is that if you give her voice credence, you never will be big. You will never get out of your comfort zone to expand your skills, your network, your personal and professional relationships, your career and your life.
Our quest for perfection starts at an early age. And since no one can possibly be perfect (there is no such thing as perfection after all even though we all chase it as if it were attainable), we will use any excuse to beat ourselves up for not measuring up. The quest for perfection and our obnoxious roommate, who is the voice to all this self-doubt, are relentless unless we tune it all out.
One sure fire way to quiet these voices is to create another louder voice to drown out the negative one.
Start keeping a success journal. Each day keep track of all your accomplishments, big and small, and each week review your entries and write down what all this says about you. This is the best way to quiet the obnoxious roommate in your life and let a new supportive and positive roommate move in.
It’s your choice. Evict the obnoxious roommate and take control of your life and career or let her stay in your life knowing she will keep you from reaching your full potential. What will it be?