Internalized oppression refers to the internalization of negative beliefs and stereotypes about oneself that are perpetuated by society. This internalization can have a significant impact on an individual’s self-confidence, self-worth, and ability to succeed.
In the context of entrepreneurship, internalized oppression can hinder success by limiting a person’s belief in their abilities and potential.
I chatted with mindset coach, Daisy Jones-Brown to discusses how internalized oppression can affect women of color in the workplace. While the majority may perceive the work environment as safe and non-toxic, women of color may still experience a toxic environment due to subtle forms of discrimination and exclusion. This can result in a lack of confidence and a feeling of not being able to fully show up as themselves. (Hello Paul Lawrence Dunbar, We Wear The Mask)
When women of color decide to step out on their own and pursue entrepreneurship, they may initially feel confident and empowered. However, they soon realize that they have internalized certain beliefs and mindsets from their experiences in corporate America that can hinder their entrepreneurial journey. These beliefs may include:
- A fixed mindset
- A fear of failure
- A reliance on external validation.
Think about it, in corporate America, success is often measured by external factors such as promotions, salary increases, and recognition from superiors. However, in entrepreneurship, success is dependent on the individual’s ability to bet on themselves and take risks. This shift in mindset can be challenging for someone who has been conditioned to seek external validation and fear failure.(Black excellence is a heavy load to carry, but that is another post for another day.)
To overcome internalized oppression and succeed as entrepreneurs, mindset shifts are crucial. This involves unlearning limiting beliefs, embracing a growth mindset, and seeing failure as a stepping stone rather than a punishment. It also requires women of color to reclaim their value, embrace their unique identities, and show up fully in their work.
Daisy Jones-Brown’s work at Brown Suga Wellness focuses on empowering Black women to overcome mindset setbacks and reclaim their value.
Learn more about her by Listening to our podcast episode.