Confidence Builders, Positive Motivation

Do you feel trapped by commitments?

Staying in a role that you hate will have a long-term impact.

When I overstayed in my corporate role at ANZ, I would walk to work each day just hating on everything – from the office layout, the state of the toilets, my boss’s messy desk, my messy desk, and the actual work too. I was mentally living in negativity city and it really made me feel really sick – I got a weird contact lens related eye infection, I had a breast cancer scare, I never seemed to be able to catch the bus on time, I was in a perpetual argument with my then husband.  It was just a vicious cycle of ‘everything sux’ (and not in a good funny Kylie Mole* kinda way.)   But I realise now is the one thing that was missing was taking action.  I was so scared about meeting mortgage commitments and getting renovations done, I just couldn’t value my own happiness.  And it wasn’t worth it.  If  I had  just started researching, writing down my thoughts, practicing gratitude and expanding my horizon, my life could have been so much easier (and happier).  This is what I do now when I am in grumpy town and I can not recommend the power of taking action more.

Ask yourself, what will happen if you stay in this situation for the next 3 years?  What impact will that have on how you see yourself, your company and your career?

Start to analyse WHY you are staying. If there is something happening right now that means you have to stay, set a deadline for yourself to start looking for a new job so you know this period of your life will have an end point.  

If there’s nothing holding you back other than YOU MAKING THAT DECISION,  then its time to take action today! 

Yes as in, right now!

You will immediately feel better.  The momentum you build will take the pressure off what is happening at work day to day. Now, the actions you take today don’t have to be scary.  They can take the form of lots of tiny tiny steps, such as: 

  • researching your next job,
  • actively questioning what you want, 
  • writing down your feelings, 
  • writing down your decisions,
  • asking for the support you need to make the move.

If financial commitments are making you feel trapped, work out what your minimum salary level needs to be.  

I always advise that if you’re moving from one permanent role to the next you should be asking for at least a 20% pay rise to make it worthwhile.  

Why?  

Because all the goodwill you have stored up in your current job is worth something. Whether its extra flexibility, no one questioning you if you come in a little late or take a sick day, that build-up of trust and support is worth something.  Make sure you factor this in.  That said, if you have to move FAST because you need a life-raft job to get out of a really bad situation, then I recommend finding something that pays at least as much as your current salary.

Don’t let yourself go backwards financially. Going backwards can take longer to recover from than you think, and its just not worth it. There’s a reason you get paid good money in your current role so don’t back down on your salary because your current role has worn you down.  It took me 5 years to get back to where I was when I was at ANZ – 5 years!!!!  That impacted my savings, super and wardrobe!!  Choose joy and money and don’t accept that you can’t have both because you can! (I do now and its awesome, so it is possible.)

Now, I’d love to hear from you by commenting on this post here. 

What is one thing you can do today to get out of that crappy job? 

And, if you’re currently in a job you love (BIG YAY!!!) – what is one thing you are grateful for in your current role? 

* For those of you unfamiliar with the pure pleasure of Kylie Mole see this clip

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Confidence Builders, Finding your purpose, Get a promotion, Positive Motivation

Is work making you feel like Sigourney Weaver in Aliens? Try this 1 simple trick to re-set!

Is your mindset holding you back?  


If yes, then this learning note is for you!  It will provide you with an easy way to shift your mindset.  I use it all the time.


Getting crystal clear on what you are aiming to do next is tough if your work and headspace is full of noise and confusion.
 


Use these super simple techniques to help shift into the best possible mindset to get crystal clear on your next career move.

Key Learning Prompts 

  1. Use an open and curious mindset to support you to positively move towards your next job move
  2. Learn ways to create and maintain an open and curious  mindset
  3. Check-in with your inner ‘noise’
  4. Note down when you speak to yourself negatively and ask yourself ‘What is happening for me right now?’
  5. Know your triggers
  6. Create mindset re-sets that work for you when you need a quick shift

My Story

I have had a lot of de-programming to do over the years. Some of this was from family or TV (I’m Gen X, there was no instagram in the ‘90s) and some of it was from companies I worked for.  

Sometimes corporate speak – ‘cut the fat’, ‘lift and shift’, ‘evangelist’, ‘dead wood’, ‘resources’, ‘lackey’, ‘yes-man’, ‘blocker’, ‘master’, ‘servant-leadership’ – when taken out of our context is just kind of creepy (ok, I want to say gothic or colonial or oligarchy but creepy kinda just covers it for now).  

It seeps into our DNA. 

It can be a form of aggression that we are not even aware of.  

To write a book, to start a business was to overcome a lifetime of programming –  being taught a government job was safest, that the way to get ahead was to wear a power suit and have super BIG hair (hello 80’s ladies!!) while working for a CORPORATION and that speaking up is a CLM (Career Limiting Move). 

I have lots of techniques I use to ‘trick’ myself out of these robotic ways of operating and to help me be more open and curious.  

This is the key mindset that helps me to be creative and stay true to myself.   It helps me to apply for jobs, ask for a promotion, ask for a pay rise, build a business and write a book (and so much more!!)

Keep reading below for some simple prompts to help you with your own de-programming.  This will help you to stay open so that you can get crystal clear on what YOU MOST WANT to do next.  

Activity – Create your own beautiful Mindset Re-set list

What you say in your head matters. 

Create a list of five positives to read through when your old negative thoughts and stories are overwhelming you. 

Can’t think of five positives? 

Here are some ideas to prompt you:

  • List down 5 of your top strengths
  • Write down 3 reasons why you are great at your job
  • Reflect on all of your achievements and create a best of list
  • Note down any affirmations that always shift your mood instantly
  • Contemplate what you are most grateful for, write it down!

Choose five of the best AND WRITE THEM DOWN!  

Have it handy when you need it most.  (Tip: Add it into your notes app or write them on a post-it and stick the post-it on your mirror.)

If you add to this list weekly (especially with any positive feedback you get) you will create something that is truly beautiful and 100% just for you.

Good Luck!  

You deserve to be happy! 

You are worth so much more!

I believe in you!

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Confidence Builders, Finding your purpose, Positive Motivation

Get crystal clear on your life purpose by doing this one thing

>>> Make the decision to choose your life purpose<<<

Key Learning Points

  1. A central life purpose creates a bedrock of meaning around everything you do
  2. It can help you feel more connected to those around you
  3. A life purpose can change and shift
  4. It doesn’t have to be perfect
  5. More purpose, more meaning equals much more joy!

My story

I always wanted a ‘purpose’ but I never really knew what that would mean for me.  After divorce number two I decided I wanted to live a much more purposeful life. I felt like I had drifted into things and ended up doing things that didn’t really work for me. Sometimes it was saying No to a great job, or saying YES to stay in a relationship that just wasn’t working.

There was no bigger picture of what I wanted overall to achieve in my life.

I felt not having this really meant I wasn’t picking the right or best things for me in terms of who I had in my life and what I was doing with it.  I really wanted to feel like I had a frame for my decisions. So I started the work to create a life purpose. It took a while and I even took two weeks off work to just work on myself.  I would never have done that earlier in my life.

It sounds so fluffy and yet  it was probably the best two weeks investment I have ever spent on myself and all it cost me was my own time (and annual leave).

In this post I really want to provide some prompts to help you begin this process.   And WHY do I want to do this?  Because having this purpose has led to the happiest, most creative and fulfilling 3 years of my life and counting. And, I WANT THAT FOR YOU TOO!

Activity

Make the decision to choose your life purpose

And then,

  1. Right down all the reasons you want a life purpose (and stick this list up where you will see it first thing in the morning)
  2. Describe what having a life purpose would mean and feel like to you
  3. Find 2 people who embody having a life purpose in the way that you would like too.  What do you admire about these people? What makes them stand out to you?
  4. Now, book in a time each month to work on your life purpose.
  5. And, go for it!!

Want some inspirational resources to keep you going for it?

For Reading…

  • Grit – The Power of Passion and Perseverance  by Angela Duckworth, Page 62.  The way Angela lays out how goals can link together, is how I have structured my purpose and goals.  With my BIG LIFE purpose being : Help Women Progress and then all my other goals big and small linking back to this big goal in some way.
  • Rising Strong by Brene Brown – Chaper 2 – Civilisation Stops At The Water Line
  • Start with WHY by Simon Sinek – Chapter 13 – The Origins of Why. I recommend reading the whole book but this chapter gives some context for how WHY can influence us so strongly.
  • Think Grow Rich  – Chapter 2 – Desire.  This book is focussed on MONEY but really it can apply to EVERYTHING in life.  In fact, the super inspirational Marie Forleo video below is Chapter 2 lived (Read and watch to expand your mindset and also to see how this actually works.)
  • Eat Pray Love – because its awesome!

For inspiration watch this: Have an impossible dream?  This Women Proves You Can Achieve It 

Want a group program to be involved in?

Looking for a program to support re-programming your negative thoughts into positive ones, this program and book is amazing (Melissa’s podcast is a great listen as well):  Mastering Your Mean Girl Program

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Confidence Builders, Positive Motivation

Want more confidence? 

Yes! Then this learning note is for you!  It will provide you with some great tips for helping you understand yourself more and create more confidence in all areas of your life.

Key Learning Prompts

  • building confidence takes deliberate practice
  • getting feedback from friends, family and colleagues can provide you with some awesome surprises
  • ‘great at’ lists create a foundation for your confidence
  • writing and reflecting helps to embed new learnings about yourself and strengthen confidence further
  • low confidence can lead to poor life and career choices so its impact needs to be managed just like any other ‘project’ risk

 

Warning! Low confidence can lead to poor career choices!

 

The Story – my clients and my own

 

I can pinpoint with minute accuracy when low confidence led me to make poor career and life choices:

  • 2006 –  I was in a crap role with a bully boss and I was offered a Test Manager role on a single project. I didn’t take it because it didn’t fit with my view of being strong at working across multiple projects vs one. I should have taken the role and saved myself another 12 months of bullying.

 

  • 2008 – I lost confidence from the previously mentioned role and began making very reactive decisions about  my job and also who to date.  I felt like I ‘couldn’t progress’, or I needed a relationship to ‘make me feel better/complete’. These internal mantras meant I kept myself down and limited my choices.

 

  • 2013 – I left a great role because I was sick of the office politics because I didn’t think I could ‘take it’.  I really just needed a holiday but the mantra of ‘I cant take it any more’ led me making a not great career choice to start a contract role that was then suddenly cut short (Don’t worry, I was working in a new role 2 weeks later  but that’s another story).

 

 

Being deliberate about maintaining your confidence is essential to a successful and enjoyable career. Bad choices can snowball and are easily made when our confidence ebbing.

Maximising Your Confidence

I work with my clients to help re-set and re-build their confidence. Some clients have this as one of their 3 month goals and others have this as set of supporting actions to make a goal easier to achieve.

The Four Steps !

A great confidence building suite of actions is to complete the following over a fortnight:

(1) List 30 things you do well – (can be anything)

(2) List 6 things you are GREAT AT!

(3) Write as much as as possible about WHY you are great at these 6 things

(4) Ask at least 2 past colleagues and 3 friends or family to describe what you are great at and then create a list, noting which attributes come up more than once

Follow up activity

Read through these lists each morning for 30 days and I’ll guarantee you’ll feel so much more positive and energised. Your confidence and belief in yourself will improve and you might even start noticing more things to add to your lists.

One Final Tip – Decision Making and Confidence

If you know you’re low on confidence then consider how it may impact any important decisions you have coming up. Write these impacts down and then work out (and write down) ways to limit the impact.

This will help save you from making a decision in the following way :

The options available to me are based on what I think of myself,

if I think of myself as a poor candidate for a new role

then I will find 10 reasons why I should apply for a lower paid, lower status position but

if I think of myself as THE BEST CANDIDATE EVER!!

then I will apply for an even more senior position.

 

 

Same person, confidence is the only difference and the impact is HUGE!

 

You’re awesome and I 100% believe that what you want is the right thing for you!!

Go for it!!

Now, I’d love to hear from you….

What makes you confident at work?

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Confidence Builders, Positive Motivation

Heart-felt advice for overcoming your anxieties at work

Do you always feel anxious at work?  

If yes, then this learning note is for you!  It will provide you with some great tips for helping you understand yourself more, you will hear my own personal struggle with anxiety, perfectionism and competitiveness and it will also provide ideas on how to shift your own beliefs to take the temperature down so you can enjoy your job more!

Key Learning Prompts

  • Do you have to be on top of everything ALL the time to be ‘good’ at your job?
  • What core beliefs are driving your anxiety?
  • What would happen if you didn’t answer that email first?

Heart-felt advice for overcoming your anxieties at work

The Story – my clients and my own

One of the biggest career blockers for my coaching clients and it comes up time and time again, is anxiety and confidence. Stress levels can make work feel ‘too much’ and a lack of confidence can feed the feeling of overwhelm.  Clients say things like:

“Its important to ALWAYS be accepted”
“I want (need) to be across EVERYTHING
EVERYTHING I do must be of a high quality”

Words such as always, must, important, everything keep coming up.  These beliefs create pressure.  Pressure to be the perfect, most in integrity, honest, liked super boss ever!  Pressure leads to anxiety and all the implications that has (headaches, migraines, getting colds a lot, frantic thoughts, fight or flight mode engaged, making decisions in a panic). It can also contribute to that feeling of not being in the right job, not feeling good ever (physically or emotionally) or no longer enjoying the job.

I’ve experienced the crushing need to be the best, to be on top of everything all the time, to be ahead the game, to always have the solution before the problem is identified by others.  But it came at a cost – lots of headaches and not enjoying my job.  Over time and with more senior roles I’ve embraced new habits.  Some of the new habits came from understanding myself better (i.e.: writing a book helped me understand my creativity comes in short intense intervals and so I use that super power at work but know that I need to switch to other people focussed tasks once creativity hour is over otherwise I will burn out.)

Minimising anxiety

Anxieties that I have learnt to manage but used to really impact me and my health include:

  • needing to answer all emails in a certain time frame
  • being across everything, not having surprises
  • not offending anyone ever
  • worries about standing out because of negative impact on relationships with peers
  • being late for anything
  • dealing with all problems in the immediate
  • feeling solely responsible for a project ‘making it over the line’
Its not possible to be on top of everything ALL the time, nor is it essential to do a good job. 

Stressful jobs exacerbated these anxieties – fire fighting roles, high profile projects, or managing troubled teams. I really had to ask myself:

“Why do I have to be on top of everything ALL the time to think of myself as ‘good’ at my job”?

The answer came back via a jumbled series of random beliefs and memories:

  • My first management role where I was told ‘no surprises’ was a sign of a good manager
  • A senior manager role where was I told to ‘keep your team silent running’ so my boss could focus on other disaster areas in his department  (I was looking after testing for production support, infrastructure and integrations teams – keeping that silent running was NOT easy!!)
  • Me – not liking looking like I didn’t know something
  • Me – simple competitiveness and a love of ‘winning’

The great unravelling of these anxieties really began when I changed my beliefs and my expectations.

Because doing well at work does mean that:

  • some times people will be offended by your teams achievements, your successes, your ideas
  • being across everything leaves no room for creativity and can come across as controlling to your direct reports
  • if you’re great you’ll stand out (and that is something I’ve had to accept and get used too)
  • being late happens
  • dealing with problems in the immediate means not having time to get perspective, (such as organisation or  potliical context)… relationships aren’t just built in the immmediate, they are built over time… taking time out to consider can mean you make better decisions and get more support for that decision.  Some problems do need an immediate resolution (especially when in an operational role), its just understanding when this is this needed and when a sense of urgency isn’t really necessary and may even be destructive.

Techniques and lessons learnt

Techniques and lessons learnt that help me to shift out of anxiety mode and shift some of my beliefs:

  • Meditation
  • Cardio (lots of)
  • Testing different strategies for responsiveness and urgency to create more balance (ie: no longer having to be the first to respond to an email, not always having to be the one that offers to help,  letting email arguments run and then coming in at the end to recommend action vs contributing to the email chain blow-out).
  • Delegation
  • Letting go of detail (appropriately – some roles do need detail even in technical management roles so  this needs to be balanced with job requirements and the culture of the organisation)
  • Trusting your team
  • Perfect isn’t best
  • Valuing creativity
  • Trusting a great job isn’t dependent on always being ‘busy’, booked up with meetings or stressed out
  • Finding ways to deliver without having tight deadlines or other boundaries that are within my control
  • Leave at 5pm some days / take that lunch break / come in later one day a week

Now, I’d love to hear from you!

What makes you anxious at work?

What is one belief you have that needs to change?  

What bad habit have you broken successfully, and how has it changed how you feel about your job & career?

Let me know right here by commenting on this article (I read all the comments and love to hear your ideas 🙂 )

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Confidence Builders, Positive Motivation

30 Day Plateau Busting Challenge

What does reflection mean to you?  

Recently I felt stuck in a rut – a gratitude rut. Who knew the could happen?  I was dutifully filling out my gratitude journal every morning but something was just didn’t feel right.  I was doing things by rote and not really taking anything away from it.  I needed to shake things up and a good friend of mine suggested a 30 day challenge to bust through gratitude fatigue and really take my mindset to the next level.

So I’ve put together this awesome challenge together to help you do the same!!

What is it? 

  • a 30 day challenge to complete daily
  • a set of questions to ask yourself each day to check in with how you’re feeling about different aspects in your life
  • a quick and simple way to check in, restore and learn
  • a series of questions to prompt reflection and insight
  • a great way to set yourself up for action in 2019

30 Day Plateau Busting Challenge

30 Day Plateau Busting Challenge

What to do ?

For 30 days reflect on 2018 and write down any insights on your journey so far.

Each day divide a piece of  paper into:  

  • Insights
  • Reflections
  • Shift 
  • Change

Or use this awesome template, print it out to write down your thoughts each day.

 

How to take your thinking to the next level? 

Use these self-coaching questions, to prompt and enquire on how you feel really.

 

Insights – 

  • What have you learnt?
  • What did you discover about yourself?
  • What did you become skilled at?
  • What do you need to learn more about?
  • What were your ah-ha moments as you went about your day?

 

Reflections –

  • What did you love?
  • What did you loathe?
  • What did you enjoy?
  • What will you never do again?
  • What motivated you?
  • What didn’t?
  • Did something make you uncomfortable today – why?
  • What was your dominant feeling today?
  • How do you think about yourself today?

 

Shift –

  • What do you need to shift left, right, up or down?
  • What do you need to tweak?
  • What could be 10% different?

 

Change –

  • What needs to go?
  • What needs to come into your life?
  • What needs the opposite?
  • What needs so much more?
  • Where are you going to focus your energy next?
  • Where will you withdraw your energy?
  • What’s the one thing I’m going to do different tomorrow is…
  • What are my triggers?

 

Want to add in even MORE reflection ?

 

{Optional} At the end of each week review your notes:

  • What are your key themes?
  • Did any topic get written up every day?
  • What surprised you?
  • What didn’t?
  • What will you do next?
  • What would you most like to shift or change?
  • What insight are you proudest of?
  • What reflection lifts you up the most?

 

Want the template?

Download it here

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I'm Ready Now Book, Positive Motivation

How to stay positive when your boss is crazy AF

Ok, I know that ‘crazy’ is the most misused word against women but sometimes we do just have a CRAZY boss to deal with.  One of the biggest challenges in my career has been dealing with bosses that are unpredictable, irrational, angry and explosive.  This has crossed genders.  Almost all people who have come to me for coaching have been experiencing a ‘crazy’ boss. The impact is loss of confidence, feeling confused, dissatisfaction in job role and industry – leading to questioning everything career wise. Questions that came up for me at this point are:

–          Am I any good at my job anymore? I used to be but now I’m not so sure.
–          Do I want to stay in IT?
–          Is this company the right place for me?
–          How long can I put up with this stress for?

Other feelings are:  not wanting to go to work, closing down and becoming perpetually exhausted.  Negative thinking often took over as well further brining me down. I have seen this with friends, colleagues and coaching clients.   Having a boss that regularly puts you down is a confidence crusher.

So I thought I’d put together my top strategies that I use for managing my mindset during such a stressful period and keeping my energy levels up.  This has made it easier for me to move on, find a new role and get out of there.

  1. Tell someone about it
  2. Get Support
  3. Exercise
  4. Work out an exit plan
  5. Focus on what’s next

These tips could easily fall under an umbrella of stay positive but really having been through this, this is not always possible.  Taking positive action will create space to take a breath and maintain your perspective.  At least aim to buffer the negativity at work, so you can boost your energy enough to move on.

1. Tell Someone about it (who will believe you)

  • Reaching out and validating that you’re not the crazy one is important. Find a friend, partner, family member or mentor to talk through what you are experiencing.  Just being heard will make you feel better

2. Get Support

  • One of my big lessons is that no woman is an island and sometimes I am not my best guru (sadly).  Find a counsellor or some level of professional support to help you through it.  From my experience doing this, is that the recovery period afterwards is always quicker if I’ve had this support during the traumatic event.  Don’t downplay your experience.  Dreading getting out of bed every day is not normal.  There’s a reason you don’t want to go to work, don’t let it impact you years down the track.  Dealing with it as much as possible in the now will mean less of a stress hangover  once you’re in your new role.

3. Exercise

  • Now is the time to maintain or create rituals that keep you balanced. Cardio and resistance exercise is the best.   Commit to doing 30 minutes everyday (yoga, weights, gym, cycling, running, ballet.)
  • Add in or up your meditation practice if you can or something that helps your mental discipline (one of my friends loves running to clear her head). Work out an exit plan

4. Create an exit plan

  • Write down a plan of how you are going to get yourself out of this situation.  Create 2 or 3 options and start pursuing them.  Get out quickly.  Look for internal and external roles, network more, keep engaged in industry events.
  • In the exit plan, write down what you want to be happening in your career  and life in 12 months time. Frame your next step by this vision.
  • Accept that you may need to move laterally and find  a life raft out.  This can be hard if like me, you’re super ambition. Focus on safety first and then get back to climbing that career ladder.

5. Focus on what’s next

  • Focus on that 12 month goal.  If you’re looking at study, start investigating options.  If you want to travel, start subscribing to ticket price alerts and turn your desktop screen saver into a shrine for your dream destination.  Start listening to podcasts, music, tedtalks that will keep you focussed on NEXT.
  • Make NEXT your NOW.

Most of all remember, you don’t deserve crazy. It is not normal to be yelled at every day, to have your boss call you 15 times in 2 minutes at 11pm, to have your boss turn up at your front door on the weekend, to rate you down because they’re jealous of your looks, to publicly humiliate you in front of your team or threaten you in any way.  It is NOT NORMAL.  You deserve normal, to be liked, to look forward to work, to enjoy friendship at work, to be praised, to be rewarded and to feel appreciated.

You are WORTH it.
 
You are enough. 
 
Good luck!

 

Extra resources and  links
Previous Blog Posts
Getting support
Information on Employee Entitlements
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