Negotiate Your Career Growth

Unwinding Patriarchy to Overcome Self-Doubt

December 07, 2023 Jamie Lee Episode 47
Negotiate Your Career Growth
Unwinding Patriarchy to Overcome Self-Doubt
Show Notes Transcript

What's one thing you'd do if self-doubt couldn't hold you back in 2024? 

Would you put your hand up for the promotion, the speaking opportunity, the face-to-face time with leaders you trust and admire? 

And what might it be like if you experienced zero guilt about achieving all the growth and success you wanted in your career? 

What often holds women back from taking action is socialized self-doubt and guilt rooted in patriarchal norms that are divorced from real, lived experiences. 

In this episode, we're challenging patriarchal beliefs that disadvantage women (as well as non-binary folks and some men) so you can be equipped with tools to overcome self-doubt and negotiate your career on your own terms. 

You'll learn: 

  • How self-doubt is often socially constructed and influenced by internalized patriarchal norms 
  • Why it's important to debunk patriarchal myths that portray men as inherently dominant and women as needing protection
  • What happened to me when I tried to be "like one of the guys" at a nearly all-male trading desk as a hedge fund analyst, and why I'll never do it again 
  • What you'll gain by joining the training on LinkedIn Live: Feminist Cure for Self-Doubt on Wednesday 12/20/23 


As an executive coach for women, I'm super passionate about helping smart women who hate office politics get promoted and better paid. 

I do this through my unique combination of: 

  • Self-directed neuroplasticity tools backed by science 
  • Negotiation strategies proven to work for women by academic research 
  • Intersectional feminist lens that honors women’s real, lived experiences 

To learn about my 1:1 coaching series and to book your free hour-long consultation with me, click here:

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Welcome to negotiate your career growth. I'm Jamie Lee and I teach you how to blend the best of negotiation strategies with feminist coaching. So you get promoted and better paid without burning bridges or burning out in the process. Let's get started.

Hello, everyone, it's been a while. I was recently away on a trip to Denver, Colorado where I attended elevation Zook festival. If you've never heard of Zook, it's a Brazilian social dance. It's a heck of a lot of fun. I really enjoyed myself, I made new friends, and dance the night away. It was fabulous. It was fun, and I came home with a bit of a cold. So if you hear me sounding a little stuffy or gravelly, a little sniffly, that's what's going on.

And in any case, I have this thought that my life is so fun. And I want to encourage you to find fun and enjoyment in music and dance in your own life as well.

Now, yesterday, I asked a question on Facebook that I want to ask you to. Yesterday, I posted on Facebook, what's one thing you do in 2024, if self doubt, could not hold you back? I have several executives, thought leaders, authors, as well as coaches like me, who are my friends on Facebook, and they all answered in a variation of one thing. The one thing that they would all do is that they would take action to get more visible, they would take action to grow their recognition, they would pitch to be on stages and to give talks to get published or to get interviewed on podcasts to be connected with leaders they've been following for years. So this quick poll of my own peers revealed that without self doubt, holding us back, we would go all in, we would take action, we would risk more failure to reap the reward of success. And when we go all in, take more action take more risks. Of course, over time recognition would follow. We make our goals with make our dreams an inevitability because we took action. So let me ask you the same question. What's one thing you would do in 2024? If self doubt, could not hold you back?

Would you put your handle for more hard jobs at your company? Would you volunteer to speak at the all hands meeting? Would you put yourself out there to be recognized as a leader in your field? Which will ask for a raise? Would you gone for the promotion to senior directorship or to the C level executive suite as some of my clients do? Would you risk no and ask for what you want?

Now for a moment, I invite you to engage in a little thought exercise with me.

What if I want you to imagine what if you lost the ability to think certain thoughts?

For example?

What if I'm not good enough? What if people think I'm a power hungry? SO and SO? What if I can't handle failure? What if I can't handle success? Just imagine for a moment with me. What that would be like what that would feel like for you in 2024. If you lost the ability to think these thoughts, that you're not good enough, that some people will have thoughts about you that you don't have the capacity to handle failure or success, however you define failure or success. Now half of you are feeling energized, excited, maybe even free and lighter. When you think about the future from that perspective.

And I can easily imagine that half of you are feeling like you're up against the wall of guilt. Instead of feeling light, it feels heavy. And now how do I know this? I know this because this is something that comes up in coaching sessions week after week with my one on one clients. When smart, competent women imagine allowing ourselves to have into wield more power, more authority, more money, more resources. We often experience socialized guilt,

and the socialized guilt underpins or self doubt underpins our anxiety underpins our feeling of stuck

and here's how I do know it's

socialized skill because just this thought experiment, I mean, we haven't done anything bad. It's not immoral. We're not thinking about doing anything criminal, we're thinking about doing something that's expected of us. That's normal to do. Growing our capacity to provide for our loved ones, whether that loved one is a pet cat, a pet ferret, or for children who live in your home. In growing in our expertise growing into our mastery growing into leadership.

We're taught to feel guilty women. In particular, as if we did something wrong, right, guilt is about having done something wrong. Or to be more precise, as if we broke the unspoken, long standing, internalized rule of society.

And the skill of the horse is banned from taking action going for the promotion, negotiating in our careers, getting more visible, it has us feeling as if we shouldn't go for what we want that would somehow be wrong. If we did, that we would need to feel guilt that we should question our own desires and wants and we should doubt ourselves.

And so let's just take a moment let's take a pause here and ask where does this unspoken long standing internalized rule of society come from? I'm of course talking about the patriarchy. The patriarchy is not monolith. A patriarchy is not a person, the patriarchy is not one specific gender. The patriarchy is an internalized system of beliefs, internalized system of how a society has organized people. Now, speaking of which, I am reading a great book called The patriarchs by Angel sav. It is Amazon's us best book of the year so far in 2023, and has won many other international accolades and praise. And here's the description of the book. The author AngelList really goes in search of the true roots of gendered oppression, uncovering a complex history of how it first became embedded in societies and spread across the globe from prehistory into the present.

I just started reading it this morning, I met AngelList at last nugget and just started reading it and I so far been captivated by how the author unwinds that wide spread myth that patriarchy is inevitable, and natural, because the male sex is by nature dominant. And the female sex is designed for procreation and requires men's protection. And if you hear the irony in my voice, it's because I don't believe it.

We have heard this story that we have heard this myth perpetuated by many men, older men, probably maybe your grandpa, your uncle. And so women too. You know what I just heard it reiterated the other week from Bobby. Bobby is a man I met at a networking event or professional networking event here in New York City. Last week, Bobby is super friendly. His technologist is highly educated, well informed. He was a great conversationalist. And I really enjoyed the chat. And we immediately agreed to disagree on this particular point, which is that men are by nature, aggressive, and women want to follow I when I heard that I just rolled my eyes to the high heavens. And I'm like, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.

I'm a feminist. I get why so many people, including women, even to this day,

rate 2023.

Believe this myth to be true, because it's so familiar. It's been modeled and repeated to us through our families and traditions and over millennia of gendered oppression.

And according to this myth, this idea, fathers are supposed to lead and protect and be dominant and mothers are supposed to be at home and nurture children. And we all know this with this ideal is so outdated, you know, most families in these days in this in this day and age, they don't follow this myth an ideal and in my real in my lived experience. That myth is also very, very

far from the reality, I was born in South Korea,

I am the middle of three daughters on the monkey in the middle.

I was born in early 80s.

And at that time, in the early 80s, back in South Korea, my mother was harassed, physically, emotionally harassed and abused by her in laws for the quote unquote, embarrassment of bearing only daughters and no sons in a patrilineal society. patrilineal means that fathers pass on the family wealth and the family name two sons, the eldest son usually gets most of the wealth. And the daughters don't because daughters get married out and they move into their husbands hopes.

So when I was born in the early 80s, in South Korea, this was also the time many baby girl fetuses were aborted. Because ultrasound technology had just been imported into the country. And with this information, people, both women and men prefer to have sons than girls. It's very sad.

And so at this networking event, it was mostly Asians at this networking event. And I'm like, hey, look, Bobby, look around. There was a gender imbalance in this room because of this patriarchal gender oppression. Yeah, but in any case, back to my story, when I was seven years old, on Christmas day in 1989, I know it's, it's, it's been 34 years, 34 years, my mother and my two sisters and I, we landed at JFK Airport in New York City, we emigrated to America. My mom initially reunited with my dad, but eventually she divorced him.

In this, she worked her tuckus off, she ended up raising the three of us by herself with no moral financial support from any male relatives. In my, from my dad's side, she did all on her own.

She raised all of us species and all of us to college. Throughout all this time, she's speaking broken English. Even to this day, she's still speaks broken English. And I'm so proud of my mom. When I think about my mom, my heart swells with pride and love. Because I know that she is an example of a very powerful person, a powerful woman, a woman who is a provider, a woman who is a protector, a woman who is a professional.

And I know she's just one of many, many examples of powerful women, powerful females who exceed their male partners. They're their husbands.

I love my dad. But I mean, my dad wasn't around, right? He's not the one who provided who kept a roof over my head. When I was growing up. As an immigrant kid in America, it was my mom. Yeah. So no, I don't believe the myth that patriarchy is biological, universal, natural, inevitable. I mean, sometimes it gets perpetuated. And because people believe it, we reinforce it. And so people think, Oh, we patriarchy is normal, because that's what we've seen. And because that's what we've seen. And we expected that because that's how it becomes normal right to tautological argument.

But at the end of the day, the narrative,

it has power, the narrative is widespread, and it feels really familiar. And it feels as if it could be true, I think, at the end, because it conveniently serves the interests of the few in power, mostly, but not entirely all men who want to wield control over other people, especially women's bodies for procreation, and many young men's bodies, as well as non binary people's bodies, so that they would go wage battle, they would go die in wars in the name of the very few. And we also know this is a pattern that we've seen repeated through millennia, as well as in to the present. And that is what the book is about. The patriarchs is great book. And one thing that I want to hide

like to hear

you know the concept of men being dominant and aggressive, aggressive and women wanting or needing men's protection, that is a binary construct that is so completely outdated, because not only because gender is no longer gender is not really a binary but a spectrum. But also because gender essentialism, men are this women are that one, gender is more superior, more stronger, whatever is problematic,

especially when we want to be more confident when we want to take action when we want to be authentic in our communication in our negotiations, right? If we assume men are a certain way and women are not, then it brings us back to this very problematic question of do we need to be like men in power, for us to have more power?

Do we need to perpetuate patriarchal systems and patriarchal ways of thinking and patriarchal ways of doing things for us to have more power and I, I genuinely in front of the depth of my heart, do not believe so and do not want it to be so in my own own experience. In my former life, as a hedge fund analyst, I was once the only woman at the trading desk, I was working with all men.

And at some point, I got so sick and tired of constantly doubting myself and feeling not good enough feeling like, oh, maybe maybe I don't belong here, maybe I don't know enough. I don't maybe I'm not doing enough. And so at one point, I'm like, I'm just going to try to be like one of these guys, I'm just going to try and puff myself up and be in authentically aggressive.

I found that very, very stressful. What was really trying to do, I was trying to outrun my socialized self doubt, by hustling by pumping myself up trying to be something I'm not to prove, my worth.

My my, to get validation from other people. And here's what happened, I got sick, I burned out. I was out sick for like a whole week with a stomach virus. So, generally, centralism does not work. patriarchal ways of thinking does not serve us when we are ambitious, when we are just as capable and confident. But the system is not set up to serve us well. Right. That was the case for my mother. Right? The system was not set up to serve her well.

For this reason, I am offering you something it's called the feminist cure for self doubt. This is a live training that I'm doing a December 28th at 6pm. Eastern.

And just to clarify, when I say the feminist cure for self doubt, I want to make it clear that this feminism is not about bashing one gender or making one gender more superior to the other. We've had millennials that already and we want it to be different, we need a better solution. Feminism in my world is about acknowledging the inherent worth and sovereignty in all human beings, regardless of their gender identity identification. I don't believe that gender is binary. I think gender is a spectrum.

Feminism in my world, it's about questioning the beliefs

that systematically and an unconscious level disadvantages women, minorities, non binary folks, as well as some men, but don't fully conform to this ideal of hyper masculinity, or as some people would say, quote, unquote, toxic masculinity, which is defined by a violent aggressiveness.

And so this is why I'm offering you this one time live training. It's called the feminist cure for self doubt. This is for

you if you are a woman or a non binary person, and you want to unwind this harmful gender socialization, and you want to be equipped with simple actionable neuroscience back steps that you can take immediately.

to unwind to cure your socialized self doubt so that you can take action to grow your visibility to grow your negotiation, leverage to grow your impact, to grow your income, to grow your power, and stop feeling bad.


The reason why I'm holding this webinar, this live training before the new year is because I want to set you up for long term success. There is a cognitive bias, or a psychological phenomenon called the Fresh Start effect. And we all experienced this the first of January, or when you crack open a brand new journal, or when you step onto a fresh, pure blanket of snow, there's that fresh start effect in your bed, ah, knew there was a break from the past. But here's the thing about the Fresh Start effect, it doesn't last, it doesn't last beyond the second or the third week of January for most people. But what you want, you want to be equipped with tools that's going to help you create a fresh start effect in your brain, no matter what day of the year it is, you want to create a fresh start effect in your brain, free from gender socialization, free from gender oppression so that you can show up even if you are the only manager, the only woman leader at that leadership table.

If you're the only woman who's putting her hand up for the big promotion to VP position, or to the C suite.

So at this live training, I'm going to walk you through four simple steps you're going to be able to implement right away. There'll be time for some spot coaching as well as live q&a. And I invite you to join me if you want to be equipped with the feminist cure for self doubt so that you

can advocate negotiate lead in influence in a bigger and more satisfying capacity in 2024 and beyond. The link is in the show notes, and I will see you then.

Would you like to dive deeper, come on over to Jamie Lee JAMIELECOA You'll get your free ebook How to ask for a big pay raise and get on the list so you don't miss out on more tips, scripts and invites from yours truly talk soon.