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(Originally posted on womenworking.com)

There is no dearth of books, people, and courses advising us to “bring 100% of ourselves” to our jobs, tasks, and relationships. Though it’s very sound advice, it’s easier said than done. As women, we’re often faced with stereotypes about what our “100%” will look like. For example, we’re told that women are “emotional” and “competitive with each other.” Here are some tips to help you bring your authentic “100%,” and avoid buying into the stereotypes.

Friendships are more important than petty arguments. Fostering relationships with women who you look up to or learn from is vital, even if they sometimes rub you the wrong way – they’re not perfect and neither are you.  No one understands the pressures that you face better than other women in similar positions.

Make space for yourself. It’s easy to lose it when you’re overwhelmed. Even the simple activity of getting to work requires having so many things in place – doing hair, makeup, and finding the right shoes. It can get complicated. Don’t be hard on yourself. Make time to treat yourself.

Never believe the criticism. Constructive feedback can be useful. But if you are being unfairly criticized, the best approach is to distance yourself from the critical person. There is nothing to be gained in seeking their approval.

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