The Truths Every Female Needs to Hear, Part III

ColetteCarlson2Sometimes the truth hurts… but it doesn’t have to! Sometimes you find yourself laughing while listening to ridiculous situations being dramatized by a funny motivational speaker and think, “Yes, I do resemble that comment!” The latter is the situation I found myself in earlier this month while listening to Colette Carlson deliver her presentation, “3 Truths Female Business Leaders Need to Know,” during the 4th Annual Executive Women in Agriculture conference hosted by Top Producer magazine and Farm Journal companies.

“Leadership is not a job title,” said Carlson. “Leadership is a state of mind. Be the kind of leaders others need.” Since the number one characteristic people want from a leader is trustworthiness, it’s time to “speak your truth.”

CAUTION: Speaking your truth is not the same as speaking your mind, says Carlson. Speaking the truth means you say what needs to be said with tact and diplomacy. Respect yourself enough to speak up; respect someone else enough to tell them what you need.

“We teach others how to treat us,” says Carlson. “Most likely, you’re teaching your company, your boss, your kids, and your family that you will keep taking on more and more responsibility to make their life easier. By saying ‘yes’ to everyone else you are saying ‘no’ to yourself.  It’s time to speak your truth.”

wonderwomanWomen often don’t get what they want and deserve because they don’t ask for it. Too many of us don’t say what needs to be said with clarity and tact because it makes us feel uncomfortable. Too many of us complain over what little power we have in a situation, rather than using the power we have to go after what we need to live the life we desire. It’s time to dig deep, be brave and stand in your truth.

Literally speaking of “standing in the truth,” remember that body language shapes who you are. Body language affects how others see us, and it also affects how we see ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy has shown that power posing — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain. A “power pose” might even have an impact on our chances for success!

“The Wonder Woman power pose – legs wide, fists on hips – has been proven scientifically to boost self-confidence by increasing testosterone and decreasing cortisol,” writes Carlson in a blog post entitled, Do You Know the Wonder Woman Truths? “…Try this effective hormone manipulation next time you’re faced with speaking up for yourself. Take two minutes in a private place (bathroom stalls work great), strike the Wonder Woman pose, and notice how much easier it is to face your fears.”

LIES2Keep in mind that not even Wonder Woman depended on herself alone. The ruby in her tiara allowed her to connect with colleagues and loved ones back home. Who’s there to support you when you have tough decisions to make? If you haven’t already done so, Carlson recommends cultivating a mentor, sponsor, friend, or coach to help you meet your goals. Also be accountable to yourself.

Hold up the mirror and be honest, challenges Carlson. Are you doing what YOU want to do? Stop the “lies”! Limiting Ideas Eliminate Success. Be honest about yourself or your choices.

“Avoiding the truth limits your potential,” says Carlson. “What is not speaking your truth costing you? Risk being real!”