3. If you don’t have people in your life who will hold up a mirror of truth, find a coach to give you honest feedback.

Having a mentor or a coach at work is a valuable way to be groomed to reach the next in step in your career path. Ask if your organization has staff coaches or a mentor program. Or look outside of your organization for a coach to provide an honest, outside perspective. Look for an executive coach, leadership coach, or life coach–these are all synonymous. You can find coaches who have areas of expertise or passions that they bring to their coaching. Interview a few coaches to ensure you find the right fit.

4. Perfectionism hinders peace of mind and productivity.

Studies show that women have a hard time approaching something novel until they feel they can produce a perfect outcome. Conversely, men have a much easier time jumping in without fear or hesitation. Neurological studies further inform us that the phrase “fake it until we make it” has foundation in fact. Neural plasticity means that we are building the bridges of new neural pathways in our brain as we move through the motions. Whether we know exactly how to achieve the outcome, we are building a road map as we learn and do something new. Accept a project that might be beyond your qualifications and your comfort zone. Ask for help–and tell yourself that you have the confidence needed to accomplish the task. “Fake it ’til you make.”

As women leaders in business, we are accountable for how we think and act. People form perceptions of us based on those actions. Go forth without the need to be “perfect” (easier said than done, but one day at a time) and ask for help when you need it. Find your trusted friends or co-workers. Make a pact that you will provide each other honest feedback. Get a coach to be your mirror of truth if you don’t have a trusted co-worker. Project that powerful, graceful leader within you.

Kirsten Blakemore Edwards, MA CPCC, is a Consultant for Partners in Leadership, helping companies create accountable cultures, while improving employee engagement and effective communication. She is an executive coach and facilitator.​