Have you ever seen a good, intelligent hard-working woman passed over for promotion, or not fulfilling their potential? Could it be because they are inadvertently working against their own best interests?
It may be that they are self-sabotaging their own success, pulling back every time they are offered an opportunity, or doing a poor job of their own work because they are always helping others.
Psychologist Collett Smart from Family Smart says there are some ways Christians in particular self-sabotage. “As Christian women we can feel like we’re being a good witness and that kind of translates to being a doormat. We can couch it in terms of humility and we think it makes us look more godly somehow.”
Collett Smart says that some common ways females self-sabotage are by procrastinating on making decisions, being apologetic for their decisions, being perfectionist, being unwilling to make mistakes or avoiding conflict. It starts at a young age, when even the brightest girls sometimes display signs of helplessness when faced with a problem to solve.
It can also manifest in what Collett Smart calls ‘imposter syndrome’.
“Imposter syndrome is when we feel like we’re imposters and we’re just about to be found out. We actually feel undeserving or guilty. It’s a mistake that we’ve ended up in our place of expertise and at any point someone’s going to tap us on the shoulder and say, ‘I know you, you shouldn’t be sitting in that chair.’”
Paradoxically, in the Christian community this kind of false humility may actually prevent us actually using our gifts for God.