The most recent post caused my readership to shoot up 500% overnight. Being the realist that I am, I know that it was just a one-off and externally driven event. And being the scaredy cat that I am, a small voice inside me also says that’s a good thing as too much attention is something I wouldn’t know how to handle.
I do have this annoying voice in my head which likes to downplay and ‘undo’ whatever good or successful thing I think I have done. If it’s good, it was probably attributed to me being lucky or being in the right place and time. If it’s bad, well, that’s just me.
And I know it’s not just me. There is a multitude of published studies clearly demonstrating women as the inferior sex when it comes to matters of work, earning capability, confidence and outspokenness. We’ve all heard the maxim “If a man is outspoken, he’s confident; if it’s a woman, she’s a bitch”.
Just this morning I was sitting in my CEO’s office with another top manager, discussing big-picture company strategy in a conference call. I’d been involved in parts of the modelling work (mainly data gathering and liaison with finance) and 2011 revenue budgeting (things I can do in my sleep, such as calculating historical average multiples) but I still felt inadequate relative to them.
I’ve cut my teeth doing financial analysis and asset management for nearly a decade; I’ve gained the chartered financial analyst status; I’m working in a foreign country and attended global conferences and meetings. People have often commented on and praised my career history. I’m pretty proud of what I’ve accomplished. But yet, there are some times when I wonder how much I really know.
Listen to me! That’s my negative voice taking over – so let me rephrase that. I do know this: Eckhart Tolle has said that being aware is not just listening to that voice inside your head; but being aware of THE VOICE that is listening to that voice inside of your head. Quote: “When you notice that voice, you realize that who you are is not the voice—the thinker—but the one who is aware of it.”
I know that often my thoughts about myself are often initially negative (it’s like automatic) but, Alhamdulillah, so far in my life, due to my upbringing (my mother is a big positive thinking advocate), discipline and faith, I can manage to overcome that voice. I’ll either throw myself more into what I’m doing – if I can still change the outcome – or being positive about it if I can’t. And hopefully just like in science, negativity and positivity will (eventually) attract.