Breedlove's Briefing: Dear Women, Stop Stifling Your Authenticity

November 26 - Stephanie Breedlove

Hi! I’m Stephanie Breedlove, Co-Founder of HomePay, Author and Angel Investor.

I absolutely adore taking an idea and giving it life in the form a business, then leading it to its full potential. Nothing is more fun. (Seriously!) I’d love for every woman who wants to start her own business to say the same thing, so here I am, mentoring millennial entrepreneurs. When I’m not working, I like to recharge and head outdoors to hike, bike, or stand up paddle board!

Is that list of business news and trending articles you’ve tagged still unread? I get it. Allow me to help. Take a couple minutes to read my summary of articles serving the most pertinent, actionable business topics. Or, take 10 minutes to read the full article, and put another brick on the foundation of your growing career.

This Week’s Must-Read:

Dear Women, Stop Stifling Your Authenticity

Who it’s for:

Every woman. Your authentic self is your most successful and fulfilled self. Unleash her.

Why it’s important:

Do you often walk a tightrope to make others feel comfortable at work, whether it’s in your choice of language, your appearance, or if and when you choose to speak up? You are not alone. There is undeniable pressure for women to conform at all levels in the still male-dominated world of business, and the result? Nobody wins.

Women lose because they don’t get what they need to succeed. Men lose because they are shut out from other effective ways of operating in the workplace. And businesses lose many times over: Not only are they missing out on the many diverse ideas and talents that women bring to the table, but they also aren’t locking in on the needs of female consumers without having their perspective properly represented within their organizations.

It takes a lot of energy to transition from hiding your true self to confidently projecting your authenticity. However, it is also a lot of work to put up a front that isn’t getting you where you want to go; being authentic will get you a lot farther in the long run. According to a Deloitte survey on redefining leadership, 33% of respondents said that being authentic has been the biggest accelerator to career advancement, and 50% of respondents think leaders should be more authentic for their organizations to succeed.

So how do you confidently transition from walking that tightrope to using your authenticity as a superpower? You gotta do the work, and here’s how:

  1. Inventory Your Strengths: Make a list of ALL of the strengths you have and rank them from most to least energizing. The ones at the top of the list are the foundation of your brand as an authentic leader.
  2. Find Opportunities to Showcase Your Strengths: Devote time and energy to projects that showcase and develop these strengths. It won’t take a lot of energy to shine when you are working in your wheelhouse.
  3. WWMASD? (What Would My Authentic Self Do?): Now that you have a base of successful and authentic experiences, begin to strategize how you can show up in a way that aligns with your values and speaks to your strengths the next time. Be prepared, because preparation helps you feel empowered to speak and act in a way that lets your authentic brand shine.

Top Take-Away/Final Thought: When you see your authenticity as a superpower, it will give you a foundation to speak up for what you believe in, showcase what you have to offer, and help you successfully pursue your goals.

Want a deeper dive on tips and tools for unleashing your authenticity? Check these out:

Shift Forward, Redefining Leadership (June 2018 study by Deloitte)

Becoming an Authentic Leader

How Can Women Unleash Their Greatest Superpower?

Want to Be Happy? Stop Trying to Be Perfect.

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