I am sure that most of you have heard of the term Glass Ceiling in the professional field. This term refers to the main obstacle that women find when they want to access positions of greater power or rank within their companies. Apparently, there is nothing that limits or prevents this growth, however, there is a transparent glass barrier, which once you are close to reaching your goal, prevents you from continuing to grow as your male counterpart.
Today I will share with you 4 ways in which you can break this glass barrier with lessons learned through sports.
- Dare to do things for which you think you are ready: Women tend to be somewhat perfectionist and it is proven that if we do not believe we have the skills to do something, we prefer not to risk it. This is a characteristic that retains the female sex in their professional growth. Many times, it is a question of attitude rather than aptitude and anyone who has trained to run a race can say it; 5, 10, 15 km ... It's a matter of training ... 21, 36, 42 km ... It's a matter of daring to go beyond you. See your professional career as a sports career and dare to run a kilometer more, no matter what you think is not ready.
- Stop seeing vulnerability as a weakness: Hand in hand with our perfection comes the fear of not believing that we feel enough, the fear of failing and of what they will say. Big entrepreneurs have been bankrupted more than once and have risen to continue fighting for their dreams. We will not believe that an Olympic diver in his first attempt could make a leap of hands and enter the water without splashing a single drop, right? Being vulnerable allows us to learn from failure, try again and fail better, each time you fail better you will be closer to achieving what you want. The great athletes like the great professionals are defined by their reactions to failure, by the way they learn from it to pursue excellence.
- The sun goes out for everyone: the number of achievements and growth we can access is not a finite good, it can be as extensive and as large as our imagination. I have always believed that the professional growth of women will not be at the expense of others. More competition generates more growth, better returns and more profitability. Great athletes in the world would not have exploited their talent if they had not had someone at their side to make them go for more, could imagine an Agassi without a Sampras or a Federer without a Nadal. Healthy competition is key to professional and personal growth, see obstacles as part of it and as tools that make you better.
- Leave aside the "have everything": it is clear to me that we would all like to be successful professionals, have a relationship that will fill us in every way, an exemplary family, friendships that we could frequent and to accompany a closet full of clothes beautiful for all occasions. Searching for "having everything" in our lives that allows us to see is all that we need, instead of appreciating the things we do have. When you practice a sport, you stop focusing on perfection and look for growth, seeking to generate new abilities that will make you better in what you do. Your priorities in life can change direction, that is why you should focus less on a specific path and more on the actions that generate personal progress and bring you closer to your goal.
Sport generates confidence and allows you to see that with effort it is possible to achieve goals that at first seemed unattainable. The reality is not going to change from one day to another, so do not forget to also have a bit of humor before the situation to accompany bad moments in which someone doubts your abilities for being a woman, do not let yourself get involved in discussions of stereotypes and look for the way to continue breaking the glass wall.
It is a reality that Glass Ceiling exists and there are still many efforts that lie ahead, however, there are many women before us who have been creating cracks that allow us to access better positions. Let's continue having the confidence that our efforts will also generate a space for the women who will come after us.
Article written by Cecilia Vales, Founder and Executive Director of "She Wins Mexico", Nonprofit Foundation that supports girls and women of limited means through sports and education.