Here are some of the questions I hear all the time: Do you think I should apply for this job? Should I go back to study or get some experience first? Should I call them? What should I say if they call me? Please tell me what to do!
No judgement because I’ve been there too. You don’t need me to tell you that you’re the expert on your life. But fear and insecurity can play tricks on you, making you believe that just because you’ve made mistakes in the past, you can’t be trusted to be in charge.
You’ll be glad to know there is a way to bypass all of that drama. Start paying attention to how you feel. Daily. Hourly. As often as humanly possible. Your feelings hold the key to the decision you’re struggling with.
Yet how often have you neglected to take them seriously? Pushed them aside or blamed yourself for having them in the first place? You were just being too sensitive/angry/impatient/weird right?
A little while ago I had an epiphany. After years of trying to follow my inner guidance I realised that my feelings are the guidance. How else is divine spirit supposed to talk to you?
It’s strange how when it comes to situations that could put us or a family member in harm’s way we trust our gut without question, yet when it comes to other areas of our lives like our careers or our love lives we often dismiss or ignore our feelings entirely and then wonder why things went so pear-shaped.
Is it any wonder we doubt our own judgement when we’ve spent so long ignoring the very thing we can count on? It’s not easy to break the habit of a lifetime but you can start small and make this a habit.
How do you feel when you get home after a long day at work? When you pick up the phone to make the call? When you think about how you’re spending the holiday season?
How do you want to feel as you close out the year?
Start making small changes based on that feeling and see what happens.
Imagine what could happen if you started trusting yourself.
PS: If you know anyone who could do with reading this today, please forward this post:-)
PPS: If you are looking to work with a coach next year, this is a friendly reminder that it’s your last chance to save $400 on my 90 Day Starting Over Coaching Package. From this Friday 15th December the price goes back up to $2500. You can book here, or sign up for a Discovery Call to chat first.
PPPS: Finally I want to wish you the merriest of Christmases and a very joyful new year!! Much love to you xxx
I’ve been going through another transition lately, not a particularly dramatic one but significant enough to trigger lots of growing pains and resistance.
Even when you know you need to make a change, the ego will do everything to block you, throwing your most deeply held fears in your way.
You might be afraid of losing all that you’ve worked for or that you’ll suffer a drop in income (this is very common).
You may also be worried about how you will be perceived if you make this change.
These fears are designed to keep you stuck in old patterns and ways of being and they can be hard to shake.
If you have a pattern of hiding, for example, or doing everything yourself without help from others, it’s much tougher to make great leaps forward in your career (ask me how I know about that one!).
The only way to move around these obstacles is to change your perception and remember that your fears are not based in reality.
It’s not about turning a critical eye inward either. You must be kind to yourself throughout this process.
Would it help to know that it’s not just you?
Every creature on earth finds change hard. For example not all caterpillars spin their cocoons at the same time. I didn’t know that until I heard this story on Heather Dominick’s podcast. Apparently some of them resist the process of metamorphosis for up to a year, preferring to cling to their familiar larval life than change into the beautiful butterfly they were destined to be.
This state of clinging even has a name. It’s called the Diapause, a period of suspended development between resistance and letting go.
While I understand intellectually that letting go doesn’t result so much in loss as renewal, my reptilian brain takes a little more convincing.
As I try and let go (one fingernail at a time) I remember how:
Letting go of the job I had loved but outgrown felt expansive
Letting go of the idea that my career should follow a ‘conventional’ path felt freeing
Letting go of more money so that it could flow with more ease felt abundant.
The process of letting go has turned out to be my salvation, allowing in more of what my soul craved.
Just as the caterpillar eventually moves out of its diapause and yields to the cocoon, we have to keep taking that next leap of faith so that we too can transition, remembering that a more beautiful, truer future is waiting in the wings if we can just bring ourselves to simply let go.
What do you need to let go of?
PS: If your current career path is no longer serving you, I have a special offer for you. If you book before December 15th you can take $400 off the cost off my 90 Day Starting Over Program. I’m now taking bookings for January. You can book a Discovery Call to start the process or read more about the program here. Wishing you every blessing:-)
Do you ever wonder about the impact you’re having on the world?
In 10 years I will reach the age my mother was when she passed away and, as anyone who has lost a parent prematurely will know, it’s a milestone we can’t take lightly.
Realising this lately reminded me I may never get around to all those lofty goals I have planned for my life, particularly if I don’t begin work on them sometime soon.
If I knew I only had 10 years, what would I change?
This question can put a lot of things into perspective.
The truth is we overestimate what we can do in a year while wildly underestimating what we can achieve in a decade, or even a lifetime.
It’s been many years but I clearly remember this about my mother’s funeral: The number of people that swelled the aisles of our local church to pay their respects. In my mind’s eye I can still see all those people standing at the back of the church. Hundreds queued to shake our hands in sympathy that day, many of whom I’d never laid eyes on before.
I was still young enough to be shocked that my mother had this other life I knew so little about. As a nurse at the local hospital she had cared for the elderly relatives of many people in our town. One after another they spoke of her kindness and warmth. It was deeply comforting and I was struck by the massive impact she’d had through her work in our community.
As I edge ever closer to the age she was when she died, I find myself thinking of her legacy more and more.
A decade is a long enough timespan to do something worthwhile. The tendency is to be hard on yourself and wonder what the hell you’ve been doing up to now. I mean I’m 46 already and while I’ve made a start, I have yet to make the kind of contribution that I aspire to.
In calmer moments, I get over it by reminding myself that while I still, God willing, have time to do many good things in this world, I should take my cue from my mam, who even in death was still teaching me about the important things in life.
If you want to make a difference, by all means dream big, but don’t forget it’s who you are that will be remembered in the end.
What do you want your legacy to be?
Have you ever felt as though you were living the same day over and over again? It’s frustrating when the job you once loved starts to feel like Groundhog Day. It’s easy to blame yourself. Why can’t I stick with anything longer than 12 months? Why do I get bored so easily? Before you do anything rash it’s worth taking a closer look at the reason why you’re feeling this way.
In my experience, the number one reason people get bored is because the job is no longer a challenge. How often have you played it safe when it comes to taking on a job? If you’re bored it could be because you’re playing small and not doing all that you’re capable of.
This happened to one of my favourite characters in a recent episode of Million Dollar Listing New York. If you don’t watch the show, here’s the overview. Ryan had a career crisis because he was feeling bored with his business. He consulted a psychologist, took some time off and tried to reconnect with the work he was doing in the early days when everything was new and exciting. After a lot of soul searching he realised that he was bored because he’d stopped taking risks in his business (spoiler alert: he went out and bought a Brooklyn real estate agency!).
You know what I’m going to say next.
1) Figure out how you can take more risks
What can you do that would be a stretch for you now? What bold moves can you take to achieve your version of a Brooklyn real estate brokerage?
If leaving your current job is not an option, can you develop a side hustle? This could be giving talks at conferences and events, hosting your own event or taking on some consulting work. I have done this myself in the past. When I wanted to improve my public speaking skills (and get over my nerves), I spoke at events and took on additional projects like teaching workshops. All of these tasks pushed me outside of my comfort zone where I could grow and develop my skills.
If you want to take on more responsibility at work start with how you can make life easier for your manager. What could you offer to take off of her plate that would be make your role more challenging? This brings me to my next point.
2) Ask for what you want
You would be surprised by how many people I see unhappy at work but unwilling to ask for a change in their role. It’s funny how we resist taking the simplest action to change our careers. Go and ask for what you want. Most managers want to have happy staff so if you want to have more responsibility or reduce your hours to take a course or start a business, your manager may be more open to it than you think.
The key to doing this successfully is to make it clear what you want and then be willing to negotiate to make it happen. Don’t give up if he says no to your first request. It’s important to work together to come up with a solution that works for everyone.
But what if you’re not sure what you want?
3) Become an observer
Start by becoming an observer of what you do right now. You will find valuable clues about what could be next for you. When you don’t know who you’re becoming, you can begin by articulating the 5 per cent that you can see (a fabulous post by Tara Mohr on this here).
Here’s how to do this. Set an intention to observe your day to gain insight about your situation. Then switch into observer mode at work. Watch yourself as you perform your daily tasks, interact with people and go about your business. What do you notice about how you conduct yourself? The impact you have? How you feel? Notice where you feel the most joy, the most resentment and keep an eye out for situations that bring out the best in you and make you feel good at the same time. It’s as though you are sitting on your shoulder watching everything play out. You will naturally switch back and forth between observer and doer which is fine. I always discover something new when I do this.
4) Share your feelings with your colleagues
In Million Dollar Listing, Ryan consulted with a psychologist and his wife. But if you can, I believe talking things through with a colleague can be helpful. If you have a good relationship with your co-workers they can give you valuable insights into why you might be feeling less than enthused about your job. Maybe burnout is an issue in your industry and your colleagues have been through similar challenges. They can also give you helpful feedback about what they see as your strengths. Remember that the people you work with, including your manager, might have advice on how you could vary your role or switch to another job altogether. It’s ok to admit that you’re not fully enjoying your work and ask for help.
5) Clear the clutter
I’m talking about the mental clutter that often weighs us down when it comes to work. Whether it’s the thousand emails sitting in your inbox, the number of meetings you attend, or the colleague who consistently asks you for time-consuming favours. Whatever it is, ask yourself: What do I need to let go of here? What’s getting in the way of me doing my best work? Some of the issues that have come up for me in the past include: people pleasing, the desire to do everything perfectly and the need to do everything myself. Trust me, the world won’t fall apart if you don’t respond to every email or explain to a colleague that you can’t respond to every request. How can you help them in a way that’s less time consuming for you? Can you delegate this aspect of your job?
When you decide to let go of the things that are getting in the way you’ll open up more space for the work you need to focus on. Be warned, letting go can make you feel a bit wobbly at first because you’re breaking new ground. If this is bringing up a few objections for you, start with something small. Once you see results, it will give you the courage to tackle bigger issues.
6) Review your goals
What do you want to achieve in the next 12 months? Write down your top three goals and think about how your job will help you to achieve them, whether it’s continuously developing your skills, gaining experience or buying a new home. Reframe your current role as a positive addition to your life. Instead of constantly thinking: I don’t want to go to work today, a new affirmation might be: My job supports my personal and professional growth.
If it turns out that this job is not going to help you achieve that goal, then of course it’s time to look for a new opportunity. The advantage of doing these exercises is that you will gain so much clarity on whether your current role is still right for you, or whether you’ve outgrown it and it’s time to move on.
I would love to hear how these tips work out for you in the comments. In the meantime I wish you an amazing and inspiring day 🙂
“I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.” – Maya Angelou
How do you go when it comes to making decisions?
If you’re anything like me, not being able to make a decision on something important can drive you crazy.
As I’ve discovered, what holds us back the most are our own fears and negative thoughts about the choices we have in front of us. I’ve come up with a couple of hacks to help you make decisions with confidence and reclaim your power.
First I review my options and ask:
1) Which one (or two) options feel right instinctively?
Hint: Your first thought is usually your best thought when it comes to accessing your intuition. What I’ve found after making some tough decisions in the past couple of years is that out of the many choices on offer, there is always at least one that provokes an inner YES. That doesn’t mean it’s always the one you should choose but it’s an important consideration.
If you can’t access your intuitive feelings about this choice, you need to slow down and stop ruminating on the problem. The more relaxed and accepting you can be about the process the more you can access your intuition.
After I do this I ask:
2) What would love do?
What’s the most loving choice you could make here? When I talk about love I don’t just mean what’s best for other people in the situation, although that’s important too. I mean what’s the most loving thing you could do for yourself right now? As women this is often the last place we go (if we go there at all!) when it should be one of our first considerations. I find this question cuts through all of the ‘shoulds’ rolling around in my brain and stops me from giving too much weight to what other people think.
Hopefully this has narrowed down the field. Now review your options and ask:
3) If I choose this, will it make me truly happy?
This question can be a real game-changer. If you’re forcing yourself to settle in some way it’s going to become obvious when you ask this. Which option available to you now is going to make you the happiest? When you get up in the morning, when you pick your kids up from school, when you look at your bank account. This can help you to cut through all the clutter and make more empowered decisions.
Another tip. When I’m making a decision I’m also guided by my Core Desired Feelings as well as meditation and Tarot. But it’s worth bearing in mind that sometimes patience is required when it comes to making the right decision. It may be true that you need to do more research, sit with your choices for a little longer or wait for better timing.
Let me know in the comments if these questions resonated with you.
Do you have any other tips for making empowered decisions?