By nature, we women tend to be pleasers. We want everyone to like us.
High earners are no different. Almost every six-and seven-figure woman I’ve interviewed confessed to a “little girl inside me who wants to be liked.”
But financial success requires us to make difficult, even painful decisions that often have negative consequences for others—like firing folks you like, holding tight in tense negotiations, enforcing an unpopular policy, dismissing high paying but difficult clients, enduring multiple rejections and disappointments.
So many women I interviewed regretted not making those tough decisions sooner. As one told me: “I kept trying to be nice. Eventually I had to toughen up.”
Toughening up doesn’t mean you have to harden your heart, numb your senses, or act all macho.
Toughening up does require a dramatic shift in mindset, which sounds like this: I’d rather be respected than liked.
The recognition that earning respect is more important than gaining approval was what many called “a watershed moment.”
It’s what allows us, as women, to be forthright without being unfeeling, to develop a “rhinoceros hide” while keeping an open heart and to become confident leaders without compromising our femininity.
The real benefit of toughening up goes far beyond finances. You’ll be surprised at how powerful you’ll feel when you stand firm and speak frankly.
Admittedly, toughening up is…well…really tough. But I noticed that many high earners I interviewed leaned on what I call their ‘Love Nest.’
A Love Nest is comprised of family, friends, anyone who provides a safe place where you can be a scared little girl who wants to be liked, and they’ll listen empathetically, encourage you wholeheartedly, and accept you unconditionally.
I highly recommend you find yours. Try this. List the names of people in your life who you can be totally yourself with. When you’re feeling vulnerable, scared, insecure, contact someone on this list to tell you how terrific you are.
Trust me. It’ll make a huge difference.
I’d love to hear about a situation you’re facing (or have faced) where you need to toughen up. What helped (or hindered) you? Leave me a comment below.