It might surprise you to know that I don't particularly like the word bitch. Surprising most of all because I called my book Lucky Bitch, but also most people describe me as easy going or "nice".
But, there's been a recurring theme in my life. Very often when I've stood my ground or fully embraced my natural leadership skills, I've been called a bitch. It's not very nice. So, I stopped being a leader for a long time and went out of my way to be nice to everyone, just so nobody would think I was a bitch.
But you know what's worse? The fear of being called a bitch. The fear of not being liked. The fear of putting someone else out.
That fear still comes up for me regularly ("Oh no, I'm raising my prices again, people will think I'm a bitch" or "Oh crap, I have to give negative feedback to a contractor, how can I do this without sounding like a bitch?"). For a long time, I didn't even want to share my successes because the fear of being called a "lucky bitch".
I know I'm not alone.
I've noticed a trend recently. Women all around the world are stepping up in a big way to shine even more brightly in the business arena. My clients and colleagues in particular are really embracing their roles as strong, powerful and wealthy women... but it's not all plain sailing.
Nothing brings up your worst fears and insecurities than going into business for yourself and it's easy to give away your power and energy so other people will like you and not feel threatened by your success.
It goes back to our earliest, most primitive fears of being ostracized or rejected from the tribe -being sent away alone to die by ourselves or get eaten by... I don't know dinosaurs or something. Anyone who has been mean-girled in High School dreads that feeling and it can affect your ability to create success in your life now as a grown woman.
So, if you're like me and fear being called a bitch for being yourself, I give you 50 Warning Signs You're Giving Away Your Wealth & Leadership Power
You might wonder what some of them have to do with your wealth and leadership. If you avoid making powerful boundaries or decisions because of what others would potentially think of you, you're sending very mixed messages to the Universe about your capacity for success.
Go through the list and give yourself a tick if you do any of these non-empowering behaviours on a regular basis.
- Tell yourself to let someone else have the spotlight (even if you haven't really had it for ages)
- Not sticking your hand up for amazing opportunities because you're "not ready" (this includes P.R, speaking gigs or other self-promoting opportunities)
- Suggesting in vague terms rather than simply stating your preferences
- Avoiding hiring people because "you don't like to lead"
- Doing things yourself rather than giving feedback or stating what you want because it's too "complicated" or even "demanding"
- Letting incompetent people stay on too long because you feel bad
- Always letting your partner pay (even if it's from your joint account)
- Always offer to pay dinner or coffee with friends but never accept it in return
- Buying extragavant presents for others but never for yourself
- Never questioning a bank error
- Avoiding asking for the return of a financial loan
- Never asking for discounts
- Accepting an interest rate hike on a credit card
- Avoiding asking for refunds, even if it's not your fault
- Keeping your financial ambitions to yourself for fear of judgement
- Lending money to others when you don't have it yourself
- Never refusing to lend money
- Accepting the first price
- Letting your clients decide your working hours for you (giving in to late night or weekend appointments when you really don't want to)
- Not charging friends or family for work you do for them
- Not changing enough or over delivering because you don't want to have a "project scope creep" conversation
- Doing work for free
- Having unclear boundaries in your business dealings, for example, who calls who, who is responsible for expenses, splits of profits
- Avoiding renegotiation of contracts because "that's the way it is"
- Giving work to friends or family even if they aren't qualified or the best for you
- Working with a pain-in-the-butt client because you "need the money"
- Not raising your prices (or asked for a raise at work) at least in the last six months
- Allowing a supplier or contractor to dictate what they want things, rather than what works for you
- Really needing to fire someone but chickening out
- Not having a proper space for your business, i.e working out of your bedroom because others need the room
- Saying yes to every single client even ones you know won't work out
- Secretly redoing work an employee did for you that wasn't up to scratch
- Covering for a co-worker rather than bring it out in the open
- Saying yes to a business arrangement you don't want to avoid hurting their feelings
- Saying to yourself "Well, I've made my bed now, I have to lie in it"
- Spending time with friends who complain about money or their lives
- Being passive in small decisions like where to go for dinner or which movie to watch
- Spending time with people you don't like very much
- Worrying about being thought of as a show-off
- Sticking with a hair dresser who doesn't do your hair the way you really want
- Avoiding sharing good financial news with certain friends or family
- Downplaying your wealth so other people don't feel bad
- Having nobody to share a business success with
- Being embarrassed to tell others how much you earn
- Saying yes to invitations you really don't want to go to
- Saying yes before you have all the information
- Feeling sick about a money conversation you need to have
- Avoiding conflict at all costs
- Agreeing to volunteering opportunities you don't have time or inclination for
- Giving the best to everyone but putting yourself last
God, doing this list was so helpful for me too! Nobody is going to be 100% perfect, but hopefully it's given you some areas to think about.
Now did you go? Add up all your ticks:
Score less than 15
Nice one girlfriend. You are really embracing your power and you're starting to realise that standing up for yourself doesn't mean you're a bitch. And if people think that, it's their problem not yours. Keep kicking butt and changing the world.
Score between 15-29
You're well on the way to being extremely powerful around your role in the world. Pick the area that's the weakest for you and apply some of your strongest lessons. It might be taking your kick-butt attitude from the board-room into your relationships, or vice versa.
Score 30 or more
Girlfriend. The only person who will suffer from your fear is you. It's time to stop making everyone else happy and stand up for what YOU want. Yes, it will be an adjustment for a while for other people in your life, but they'll just get on with life. And you will too.
P.S If you're ready to get extremely powerful around your own money power, look out for my upcoming Lucky Bitch Money Bootcamp - join my list below and you'll be the first to know.