My Lessons from the Arctic

I just recently returned from a trip to Iqaluit the capital of Nunavut in Canada’s north with an amazing group of friends from YPO.

Reflecting on my short time in the Arctic what really stands out is the contrast between the extreme conditions and environment, and the humility and gentleness of the Inuit people and their culture.

It was truly a trip I will never forget from Throat Singing and eating Narwhal whale and seal stew, to hiking to The Hudson’s Bay outpost built in 1670, driving ATVs over the rugged land and watching the Northern Lights.


Now that I am back home, sitting in my office, here are 3 lessons from the Arctic that will serve me, and I trust that they can serve you too.

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Imposter Syndrome? 3 Questions to Shut Down Your Fear of Being Exposed

“Victoria, I sure hope I’m an “angel’ but I think you meant ‘angle’.”

To most of you, this sentence is benign. You could substitute your name and it wouldn’t trigger any emotions.  It’s not a malicious or unkind statement. In fact, it was said with humour.

To me, it was scaring, momentous and humiliating.

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Using Gratitude as a Tool For Success

Canadian Thanksgiving weekend has just come to a close.

What I love about this past weekend is that it creates a time when we intentionally focus on what we are grateful for.

I believe that no matter what our circumstances are, everybody has something to be grateful for.

Even in my toughest moments, gratitude is what has helped me navigate through.

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3 Steps to Shut Down the Stories that Are Limiting Your Career

Amongst the network of women I work and play with, I am constantly reminded of how often we miss out on opportunities because of the negative stories we are telling ourselves.Fear.StoriesTellOurselves

Do any of these sound familiar?

I don’t want to ask my question because I don’t want to sound dumb.

I can’t follow up with her or ask for the business because I don’t want to seem desperate.

I can’t say anything to my colleague because I don’t want him to take it the wrong way.

I don’t want to lead that team because I may not have all of the answers.

If these don’t resonate, here’s a chance to acknowledge your own sentence:

I don’t want to…………….. because……………………..

In all of these scenarios we are assuming that our outcomes are going to be negative.

The irony is that the outcomes are UNKNOWN. We don’t actually know what’s going to happen, but are willing to limit ourselves before we’ve even tried.

When I find myself in this situation, I remind myself that for every negative hypothetical outcome I am making up, there’s always another way to slice it.

What are you not doing because of a negative story you are telling yourself? What action are you not taking because of  hypothetical outcome you are avoiding?

Here are 3 Questions to ask yourself so you can start leveraging your opportunities to thrive.

#1: What’s the limiting story you are telling yourself. (If I do “X”, then “Y” will happen.)

#2: What’s a positive hypothetical outcome?

#3: What’s the impact if you don’t take this action?

I believe that we are the biggest obstacles standing in our own way of success.

The stories we tell ourselves play a huge part in this. When you find yourself committed to a negative hypothetical outcome, remember that you are choosing to limit yourself and your career.