Self-Confidence, Self-Criticism & Self-Sabotage

Based on workplace stats, the conversations regarding women being/feeling held back by men, and women opting out of next level and top-tier leadership roles, are apparently alive and well.

It’s true: Women DO self-select out of promotion opportunities. And, as we all know, this can be a smart decision based on her priorities.

Some women realize what’s involved in next-step roles, and in roles leading from the C-Suite, and decide it’s simply not worth it. Or doesn’t fit her bigger-picture vision of the work and life she craves. In fact, maybe this was someone else’s idea of a right next move, and never was her goal.


What bothers me is this:

With strong, smart women now in and entering the workforce, we STILL see lack of Self-Confidence… and STILL see Self-Criticism and Self-Sabotage holding us back.

Big time.

I’ve been there, too. And it’s not a fun place to be.

I want to be part of the story that STOPS blaming men, women, gender, life and organizational realities and SHIFTS the investment to champion, develop and support individual Self-Leadership and Ownership. 

Let the change begin with *me* vs *them*.

(By the way, you won’t hear a peep of male-bashing from me. I’m simply not about that and don’t promote it and don’t support it. I see blaming others as simply an excuse. We’ve all had colleagues and bosses who were some fabulous, others jerks, regardless of gender. Most of my key Mentors over the years were great men who not only brought out the best in me, a few were also Sponsors who removed a few barriers so I could succeed, opened doors to bigger challenges I was at first scared to step into, and yet deep down I knew… with support like that… how could I fail?!

(I still did fail at times… but not a single fail turned into a *failure*. And that’s another story for another day!)

What if we no longer blame women or men for today’s realities?

Let’s focus instead on taking Ownership. Owning it. As individuals. From a blame-free place of inspired action we’re most likely to create and bring our own new solutions.

Try this: If a he/she issue comes up, re-address it as gender-neutral and see how quickly perceptions and attitudes might change. (Aha!)

Sometimes it seems my own baby boomer generation fans these flames of male/female hierarchies. Let’s instead be ready and willing to succeed … in this fascinating game of work and life… together!

Self-Confidence soars 

as Self-Criticism and Self-Sabotage evaporate 

when you OWN IT. 

It’s Up To YOU!


©1993-2013 Ann Ulrich, THE BOLD! FACTOR®

Photo:  There was never a doubt in my mind as to what my logo would be when I launched my own business. Having been forever marked-down by my teachers – in probably every grade – for overly-enthusiastic overuse of the !!! in my writing, reports, art… I colored one BOLD RED in 1993… and ever since use it to my heart’s content! (!!)

6 thoughts on “Self-Confidence, Self-Criticism & Self-Sabotage

  1. I love this article Ann. We really need to own it. I agree that with confidence which some of us seem to lack; we can reach incredible heights. Thank you for an inspiring article.


    • How fun to see you here Afi! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. You know, the more I think about it, Confidence just may be THE key differentiator in achieving our own vision of the bigger, bolder life we want to lead. And as you say, Owning It helps us get there.

      You and I having this conversation and sharing it with others is another small step in encouraging others.

      OK, off to workout, which is a way I know works for me in building and maintaining my own Confidence. You inspire me, Afi!


  2. Thank you dear Afi for posting this article in the inspired LinkedIn Group: Global Women Executive Leadership Council. It sparked a thoughtful and controversial comments by a few smart savvy members counter-pointing my perspective on the importance of ME before WE.

    I highly recommend not only being willing to step into controversial conversations, but also being willing to hear and listen to thoughtful insights shared from perspectives other than our own. I always learn so much from people willing to take a stand and express their viewpoint. It’s invigorating! and brings us all together in a more meaningful way when we’ve welcomed a passionate conversation.

    YES *WE* is how we impact positive change… and unless it starts with ME , there is no WE.


  3. It all comes down to self value respect and self love. When we are able to live as a whole person with out apology and in unity of self, insecurity does not exist. It does not mean that we don’t feel out of balance some times,as all humans do, but that we don’t walk in saying I am a insecure person because I am a woman and I will wear this chip on my shoulder to my detriment.
    Be who you are on the inside, confident, respectful, a woman of self value and competent in your abilities with a very positive attitude.
    Man woman it does not matter, it is who you really are that counts.


  4. Pingback: Self-Confidence, Self-Criticism and Self-Sabotage « rockingyourrole

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