We’re human. We all make mistakes. There is no such thing as perfection. But here’s what you can do if you want to stop these common mistakes from happening.

You can recognize where you fall short and take steps to overcome it.

Many women in business are making these common errors, and below I’ve listed the top 5, and what you can do about them.

#1 They Have a Lack of Confidence

Many women are suffering from Imposter Syndrome, which is a cruel belief that we got where we are by sheer luck. And that at some point, someone will expose us. We believe this to be true over our demonstrable past of hard work, intelligence and perseverance. We believe we are less than what we are.

This silly belief stops us from displaying the kind of confidence required to achieve success.

Women are incredibly hard on themselves, and this needs to stop if we want to become the best versions of ourselves in life and business.

So how do we do this?

We learn to advocate for ourselves. We build our confidence one step at a time. We convince our minds that we are intelligent (because we are), and we convince our minds that we are damn good at what we do (because we are). And we do this by keeping a journal of our accomplishments.

Every woman should have an accomplishment journal. Each week, you reflect on what has occurred at work and record all the things you’ve done well. The sales you’ve made. The presentations you’ve aced. The project that outperformed. The person you helped.

Keep a log of your professional triumphs because, during those days when you start to doubt yourself (and those will come too), all you need to do is pick up your journal, which proves you otherwise.

Photo by Hannah Olinger on Unsplash

#2 They Don’t Say “No” Often Enough

Women were raised to play nice and to put other’s needs before our own. No wonder so many of us struggle with co-dependency where we are sacrificing ourselves for the benefit of others.

This isn’t helping you get ahead in life and business, and it certainly isn’t improving your confidence. When you don’t know how to say no, you are allowing people to walk all over you. You’re allowing yourself to walk over you. Strong women understand where the line is. They know there are times when a firm “no” is required, and they aren’t afraid to say it.

So how do we do this?

Practice saying no, time and time again. And I encourage you to spend some thoughtful time organizing your boundaries in life and work.

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say ‘No’ to almost everything. “

Warren Buffett

#3 They Avoid Conflict At All Costs

Conflict is part of life. You are naive to think you can avoid this throughout your working career. Successful women know when to enter a battle boldly, and are not afraid to do so. It shows they value themselves and their opinions and are willing to stand up and share, regardless if it’s uncomfortable to do so.

It is not about being “right” all the time, but it is about practicing your will to free speech and learning to share when appropriate.

Many women avoid conflict, choosing not to share their opinions or thoughts on something happening at work. And by doing so, you are devaluing yourself.

So how do we do this?

We practice entering conflict when it’s necessary. It will allow you to:

  1. Open your eyes to other perspectives (encouraging your growth)
  2. Teach you flexibility and humility
  3. Practice your listening skills (your non-judgemental listening skills)
  4. Practice emotional control as you listen to something you may disagree with

Whenever you’re in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude.

William James
Photo by Dai KE on Unsplash

#4 They Have a Poor Professional Image

The way you dress directly translates into how seriously you are taken in business.

Many women still make the mistake of dressing for the nightclub or grunge party when heading to work.

While I advocate for women being authentic in their style, there are times when a professional outfit is required; and that’s when you’re in the office.

Successful women don’t need to wear pantsuits, but they need to dress appropriately and not flaunt their body parts as the main attraction. The trick here is not to trade on your sexuality.

So how do we do this?

We make sure our outfits are work-appropriate by taking inspiration from others around us and in our industry. And we buy clothes that fit us appropriately. If your body size changes, change your outfit.

#5 They Don’t Invest in Themselves

Women are plagued by self-doubt, which stops them from investing in themselves. But the more you invest in yourself, the more confident you become.

Many women feel the need to check with others before they decide to invest in themselves, whereas men push ahead without anyone’s approval but their own. We are great at making excuses and therefore procrastinate. Then it gets dropped the bottom of the list and never gets done.

We also suffer from a fear of success. We fear we will become more than we dream. We fear we are more intelligent or successful than the females before us. And sadly, we hold ourselves back because of this fear.

The truth is, women who invest in themselves go further.

So how do we do this?

List 3 things you have been putting off that you can do now. Is there a course you want to take, a networking group to sign up for? A challenge to accept? A self-development course? Pick 1 of them and do it today.