After almost a decade hiatus from yoga I decided to try again six months ago – but quit after one class because I got hurt.
I allowed my competitive, “try your best”, self to take over…and yoga won.
Since then I have turned 40 and my body is screaming at me to do something differently, so I decided to check my ego at the door and try again.
The class was SO HARD.
I was speaking with a client the other day who had lead her entire life with a deep desire and drive to prove herself, which she did time after time. She strove for perfection and her track record was amazing. She was a ‘go-to’ person. Everyone knew she’d get it done and well.
Despite her successes, accomplishments and promotions, she lacked a true belief in herself, which drove her need to please and prove.
She’s not alone.
I did it.
I faced my fear.
Yes, it’s my job to help professional women to Get Out of Their Own Way….and I too have to practice what I preach.
I was sitting on the ledge. Wanting to go into unchartered territories…but avoiding. I have a goal of launching P.O.W.E.R Advisory Boards within corporations. An opportunity for professional women, across business units, to connect and learn from each other’s experiences.
To stop trying to figure it out alone.
I know that shared experiences decrease learning curves and increase results. But most importantly, they create the opportunity for women to expand their networks, authentically, with other like-minded, ambitious women, who want to thrive as a whole, at work and in life.
Despite the fact that I know how impactful, effective and helpful this is, I wasn’t taking action. I was scared.
The school year has just ended, or is about to, for many of us. The kids are excited….but I can’t necessarily say the same for their parents.
As a working mother, in the past I have felt very challenged by the summer months. Trying to juggle my career ambitions and goals, with the desire to be a present and engaged mom.
No matter if you are a parent, or not, you can use this post to set your intentions for the next few months, to help make your summer months count.
I was recently ‘stood up’, by a no-show, despite the fact that I had carved time out my schedule to give to someone for free.
I was annoyed.
I was giving my time away because I felt I SHOULD and it wasn’t received or valued.
I have realized that for me there’s a clear distinction between giving something away that I WANT to, and giving something away I feel I HAVE to or SHOULD.
The no-show was MY reminder that it’s up to me to start creating my own boundaries for what I WANT to be giving away.
I know I’m not alone.
Over the past few weeks I have been facilitating many workshops for TD Bank’s female entrepreneurial clients. Guiding these women through a strategic goal setting approach to help them get really clear about what is important to them at work and in life, and then creating a plan to make them happen… while expanding their networks with like-minded women. I love this work!
The workshop is designed to give the participants a lot of opportunities to share experiences, think strategically, plan and connect.
The energy in the room is vibrant, there’s lots of talking and as participants leave, I hear wonderful feedback.
Then there are the feedback forms.
As I was about to go through forms from the first workshop I literally found myself holding my breath before looking at the sheets.
For some reason I was nervous.
Nervous about uncovering someone didn’t derive tremendous value for the time they invested or didn’t have the same experience that I had intended for them or that they didn’t like my facilitation style, etc…
Nervous I was going to hear something negative.
Luckily I now know ways to get over myself and wanted to share 3 Tips so you can too:
An unsolicited email from a few days ago fueled this post.
Imagine how different life would feel if we stopped taxing ourselves with a need to be perfect? To be superhuman.
Living this way is exhausting and debilitating, and doesn’t lead to much joy.
Intellectually we ‘know’ that nobody is perfect, so why are we afraid to admit it and are often embarrassed by it?
The email I received highlighted the negative perception too many of us carry around about not having “it all together”.
The email was from a professional woman who wanted to get promoted and knew that she needed to work on a few things.
What was disheartening was that her ‘ask’ came with a veil of silence.
Her choice perspective about asking for help was seen as a weakness.
I believe the opposite is true.
I just read The Confidence Gap, an interesting article describing why women’s and men’s are so far apart.
What I find intriguing about Katty Kay and Claire Shipman research is that it helps me to see WHY I am the way I am.
The reasons WHY this gap exists really resonated with me. The authors share findings from Carol Dweck’s “Mindset” (one of my favourite books) for example, early on in school, girls get a lot of praise for being perfect and that we choose to avoid taking risks and making mistakes.
I was the girl being describe throughout the article.
I still remember the only time I was in trouble was in grade 2 when I stood up for a boy who was being falsely accused by the librarian!
But, knowing WHY we don’t Lean In, isn’t good enough.
What if I’m not good enough?
What if they say no?
What if they don’t like me?
Do you ever STOP yourself before you’ve EVEN STARTED?
I sure did, but here’s what changed for me! I finally realized that I was MAKING UP ALL OF THE OUTCOMES to be negative. If I’m making the shit up anyways, why not choose something that actually adds value to me!
It became really clear WHY I avoided taking specific action. Why would I choose to do something I had already told myself I was going to fail at. True for you too?