How many of us are committed to regular reflection and seeking feedback on how we show up in our professional lives? My guess is not many.
Asking others to provide comments – albeit constructive – can be scary. As for self-reflection, for some of us this is just plain difficult and not a natural skill.
I have a way to understand your self-awareness on who you are, how you show up in the world, and what others see when you’re stressed.
But first, let me tell you how I discovered something really important about myself and how it changed everything for me!
Over the past 3 years I have had 3 separate falls resulting in broken bones. Yes I realize I don’t have a great sense of balance (as hard as I work on it). But I also know that these accidents have stopped me dead in my tracks.
Fifteen years ago I had my first major fall resulting in 3 surgeries over several years. This too forced me to make some big decisions, like postponing grad school. It also gave me the opportunity to learn how to accept help from others. After all, I always felt it was my job to help everyone else.
In my coaching practice, I work with clients who are most often looking to change. It may be a job, a career path, or a different way of approaching something. Whatever the reason, we work toward establishing a viable plan. Once in place, I always ask the most important question – what will you take with you and what are you going to leave behind?
Most often the client is surprised. Why? Because they don’t realize they have a choice.
I confess – I lean toward being a big picture kind of person. I get frustrated with details. I dream, I vision and I get going on making them happen. I look to others to sort out the technical and minutiae.
Over the years I have let go of so many little things I thought were important because they caused me a lot of stress. But there are some things that just shouldn’t vanish. They are the small details that make life better.
These are the top 5 little things I pay attention to:
This is something I have been wondering about. Now maybe I am slow to pick up on it, but I have been noticing there are a lot of women hitting a mid career chasm. I see it with acquaintances and clients.
It seems to creep up on women in their late 30’s and to mid 40’s. It is insidious when it gets hold. It seems to start with a slow burn inside that manifests in unhappiness, frustration and waning confidence. I wouldn’t call it a mid life crisis – these women have happy marriages and family lives. Rather it is focused on their jobs and careers.
These women all have differing backgrounds and life stories. What they share in common is the mid career chasm. It is as if they have woken up from 15+ years of a career they are now questioning. They seek passion and a way to make a difference in the world. And for some, the realization they are unlikely to make it to the corporate C-suite has them disillusioned.
Are you like I used to be, struggling with creating a clear path to a goal? You know where you want to get to but something goes wrong in the execution and setting up an effective process to getting there makes your head ache.
We’re about to change all that once and for all.
I grew up at a time and in a family where the word “goal” never came up (except in hockey). We lived life in the moment and never talked about how to pursue a future. It was just expected that we would and that it would be a successful one.
So you can imagine how stressed I became when I learned that being successful doesn’t just happen – it takes a vision and very deliberate actions towards that vision.
“Authenticity” certainly gets thrown around a lot these days. Authentic leadership, authentic happiness and the list goes on.
But, what does it mean?
I like this definition:
Authenticity is to be, true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character.
But how do you do that?
Do you wake up one day and say, “I’m going to be more authentic”?
Well, maybe that’s a start but actually getting there is a little more complex.
Authenticity comes from self-awareness, honesty and intention.
Here is the truth. When we are lacking confidence, it is because some things aren’t right in our life. There I have said it.
If this makes you feel squeamish, keep reading.
In my coaching practice, the one thing many women bring is a lack of confidence. It manifests in many different ways. They may not feel they deserve to put themselves first or it could be fear of failure. They may even believe they aren’t good enough. And so these women continue through life living according to how others think they should.
In all these women’s lives there is something they are not doing – owning up to their confidence. What do I mean? They aren’t paying attention to what isn’t working in their life. It could be one thing eating away at them. Most often, they don’t even realize what that one thing is. They have chosen to ignore it. And guess what, it is holding them back.