As a Life & Career Professional Coach, I help professional women to design and implement lofty goals for more expanded career and lives. I have noticed that the majority of the women I work with, seem to face similar emotional barriers when pursuing planned change.

The book ‘How Women Rise” provides great context to better understand the most common self-defeating behaviors that we women tend to repeat. The authors, Sally Helgesen and Marshall Goldsmith suggest that women can succeed by rethinking 12 old habits. These might be patterns of behaviors that had fixated but don’t add value, on the contrary, are deceiving. The read was so refreshing because it finally put some structure to a dilemma I had experienced in my own personal and professional journey.

Those habits are: 1) Reluctance to Claim Your Achievements; 2) Expecting Others to Spontaneously Notice and Reward Your Contributions; 3) Overvaluing Expertise; 4) Building Rather Than Leveraging Relationships; 5) Failing to Enlist Allis from Day One; 6) Putting Your Job Before Your Career; 7) The Perfection Trap; 8) The Disease to Please; 9) Minimizing; 10) Too Much; 11) Ruminating; and 12) Letting Your Radar Distract You.

The good news, is that an expanded awareness allows for more and better choices. Here are some steps to change self-defeating behaviors: First, 1) recognize what behaviors are impacting you negatively. 2) Make a commitment to change. 3) Decide what behaviors will replace the habits that you want to leave behind. 4) Start taking baby steps in the direction of the new ways 5) Be consistent knowing that sometimes you might fall behind. Keep going. 6) Have some self-compassion if you get stuck, knowing that if you did not follow your plan, there is always a second chance, or a third, to do it better.
Recognizing what slows you down and becoming committed to positive change are important steps. You’re in the right track to experiencing self-control and personal empowerment. This is the beginning of a journey that will bring you rewards and growth, both in your career and in your personal life.


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