Breaking the glass ceiling has become a common metaphor. It refers to the external barriers that unfairly blocks women from advancing their careers. This barrier can be unintentional, the cause of unconscious bias and intentional in the form of overt discrimination and “power play.”

Like you, I’m thrilled that “breaking the glass ceiling” and saying “no” to a bias against women (or anyone for that matter) is gaining strength. Women are getting louder, standing stronger and no longer putting up with biases from others, but what about bias towards yourself?

The glass ceiling will not truly break until we…the women…stop with the harsh judgement of self, by identifying our own internal barriers and reorient to living, speaking and being comfortable with confidence and inner strength.

This harsh judgement of self, often the result of social conditioning, creates invisible barriers to success, well-being, happiness, health, confidence and clarity. It is the barrier to breaking your own glass ceiling and sadly, this harsh judgement of self creates an energy of “walk all over me.”

Women across the board, struggle with self-doubt, feelings of “not enough”, self-comparison and guilt…we work extra hard at giving and pleasing in an attempt to prove ourselves. We go to great lengths (not even realizing what we are doing) to make sure our voice is peppered with language that won’t make us sound too strong or too confident.

I think you know what I mean, it’s just that, we don’t want to appear arrogant and I’m so sorry…I’m not sure what I’m sorry about, but I am…and I do feel guilty for not…well, I’m not sure what, but I do and that was so nice of you to say, but honestly, it was sort of just luck…and this old thing – I’ve had it for years.

Looking back on my life and career(s) I now see how I created my own mile thick glass ceiling built upon decades of worrying what others might think or that they wouldn’t like me, not wanting to appear too confident in fear of appearing arrogant and doubting myself at every turn and when I did accomplish something that I felt good about, it was quickly followed by “how will I top that”…raising the bar, again and again – or worse, completely discounting my effort and not once in my adult life (until recent years) did I utter the words, “damn Suzy, that was good!” Sound familiar?

So how do you break your own glass ceiling? By unveiling what is hidden, which always begins with awareness.
Here’s a few ideas to get started:

#1: Make a commitment to yourself that you truly want to know what’s getting out of your own way – without commitment, status quo prevails.

#2: Be ever-so-mindful of your self-talkhow are you biased towards yourself?

#3: Watch both your spoken and written modifiers”just”, “maybe”, “sort of.”

#4: Brag – yes, brag. If not to others, to yourself – turn up the self-celebration to loud (and dance too).

#5: Practice Sacred Selfishness: The Practice of Prioritizing Selfbecause breaking your glass ceiling is one thing; feeling happy, healthy and energized once the ceiling is broken…this creates sustainability of both success and well-being and one does not work without the other!

The ball is rolling, it’s moving into our court and now women have a choice to make – play by the same rules or play differently. Bringing empathy and intuition…the innate traits that make women beautiful from the inside out, to the table with confidence and clarity!

I sort of think I might just choose to play differently…oh wait – I AM choosing to play differently!  How about you? Post in comments below!

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