During a coaching session, a client once mentioned how she would need to have her ‘game face’ on for an upcoming interview.
Why do you need a game face? I asked. That sounds like hard work.
What? You mean I can just be myself, she asked.
We both laughed.
It’s important to be authentic of course, but no one ever said it was easy.
Imagine what the world would be like if we all just told the truth?
If you’re looking to make positive changes in your career, it’s so important to let go of the need to control how you’re received.
There’s an innate drive within us to please others to protect ourselves from being thrown out of the tribe, but we need to resist the urge to mould ourselves into what we believe others want to see. Otherwise we’ll never be free.
To accept the promotion. Give up the successful law career to become a teacher. Start the business of your dreams. Or ask for the long-overdue pay rise.
Our success depends on our willingness to detach from how others might view us so that we can be who we are.
Truthfully this is more of a constant shedding than an instant change but you can make shifts surprisingly quickly.
Here is the advice that’s helped me the most:
1) Take nothing personally.
This is a nugget from Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements and there are few things I’ve learned that have been more valuable.
When you release yourself from reacting personally to events. ‘The interviewer hated me.’ ‘My boss didn’t ask for my opinion in that meeting.’ ‘My friend didn’t call when I was sick.’ You let go of the stories you make up in your head, most of which are not true but which cause enormous suffering.
By the way, I still catch myself out with this so remember, humans are meaning-making machines and we are hard-wired to make up stories, so don’t be hard on yourself. The main thing is to recognise when you do it and then let it go.
2) Focus on how you show up instead.
How can you show up authentically and let yourself be seen? Which action will make you feel as though you’re doing the right thing by yourself.
When I say this I don’t mean that you should go and blow off your commitments without a care. It’s more about behaving in a way that’s in alignment with your values and true self.
For example, if you know that being honest about the challenges in your previous role is going to make you feel like less of a fraud in the job interview then tell your truth. Let go of the need to control the outcome. Newsflash: you can’t do that anyway!
There are so many situations where letting go of the need to control what others think can lead you into a greater connection to your true self.
Like networking situations that cause worry and stress over whether you are good enough.
Or social events. Or apologising when you feel you need to. Or telling someone how you really feel about them.
When you practice this way of being, it will change how you approach everything.
You will feel braver and truer.
Admittedly it’s not the easiest option out there.
Far easier to put on your game face, though in the long run a lot more costly.
I love to knit.
I picked up a pair of needles a couple of months ago and was instantly smitten.
Of course I’m not particularly skilled at it yet. I haven’t knitted since I was a child and it doesn’t come naturally.
The ladies in the yarn store raise their eyebrows when they seem me coming.
But my new pastime has taught me something important.
The act of creating something with my own hands is so satisfying that the dropped stitches and mis-purled rows don’t mean a thing. I persevere regardless.
I’m not going to tell you that doing what you love will lead to amazing career success.
The truth is that’s pretty unlikely, at least until you become skilled at what you love.
For years I tried in vain to find my passion.
In those days I believed that if I did enough soul searching I’d figure it out.
But my passion wasn’t something that could be figured out by thinking, only through doing. By pursuing new interests, going to new places, meeting new people or even trying out different jobs.
Without pressure or judgement.
Of course there’s an element of risk involved in this approach. You might fail. It may not turn out to be everything you’d hoped.
But when you lean into what you love, even if it’s a hobby, it starts reshaping your attitudes and changing the choices you make in other areas of your life too.
Doing what you love opens you up to more of what you love.
Start with one thing you’re curious to try.
Be prepared to suck at it in the beginning. Be open to enjoying it anyway.
Your passion is not something you accidentally trip over one day like a forgotten pair of shoes in the hallway. It might not cause a light bulb to click on in your head.
It’s something you actively create through the choices you make, day by day and year by year.
If you want to do something you love then my advice is: be curious and let yourself follow that curiosity without judgement.
It may all start with a pair of knitting needles, but you never know where it will lead.
Want more advice like this? You can download my 4 Step Guide to Creating the Right Job here.
Be a lamp, a lifeboat or a ladder. Help someone’s soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd. ~ Rumi
This is one of my all time favourite quotes.
Because when we focus on being a light to others, it also helps to heal our own pain and I have found this to be very true when it comes to money.
When you experience the joy that comes from contributing to something as part of a collective, whether it’s ending poverty or starting a community project to enhance people’s lives, it can be hugely motivating. You will want to do more, be more and contribute more. It changes your mindset from one of lack and want to one of sufficiency and potential. That’s incredibly powerful.
This is the real freedom of having a healthy and mindful relationship with your money. Of course it benefits you and your family, but the ripple effect reaches further than we can imagine.
By the way, today is Day 13 of the Money Mindfulness Challenge. If you want to check out the tips I’ve been sharing to help you become more empowered around your finances, you can find them here or here.
So how can you be a lamp today?
Start looking for opportunities, you’ll find them everywhere once you turn on your antennae.
Maybe it will be sharing your story with someone who is struggling financially, or sponsoring a child. It could be thinking about what kind of role model you want to be for your kids (this has been on my mind a lot lately).
Please share your ideas in the comments. I’d love to hear them.
This week I’ll be talking about dealing with your biggest financial fears and reclaiming your power around money.
Today is the first day of our Money Mindfulness Challenge and I’m really excited about the lessons I’ll be sharing with you over these next 30 days. It’s been over four years since I started studying my relationship with money and building a healthier attitude towards it. What started as a bid to attract more wealth through money manifesting trainings, gradually evolved into a more mindful way of life that freed me to live in a way that was grounded in sufficiency instead of lack.
Having grown up believing there was never enough money and that money was in fact the work of the devil, it was life changing to realise I had the power to direct what money I had, regardless of how much or how little that was, to make a positive impact on the world. For me this was the missing piece in all of the money trainings that focused on bringing more wealth into your life, they never addressed the effect of our rampant consumerism on the environment. How we spend the money is just as important as what we attract, and when we spend it well, with thought and conscious intent, we infuse that money with positive energy. We give it a soul.
I learned that it’s not just about accumulating wealth so that you can feel secure, it’s about what you do with that money to create a life of meaning for yourself. It’s also about feeling safe that there is enough to go around and that you have the resources and know-how to always take care of yourself.
Over the next 30 days I want to share the lessons that have helped me to cultivate a more positive relationship with money, change my behaviour around it and address my underlying addictions (yes this can be shopping but avoidance is another).
I’m hoping this will help you to build a life of sustainable prosperity and wellbeing. You don’t have to do every single one of these challenges, but I highly recommend the money cleanse which we’ll be starting in week 1. I know frugal living can sound harsh but what I want you to discover as I did, is how incredibly freeing it can be. Having said that, I believe in having fun too so it’s not about spending zero money all month long. But being mindful of your spending is one of the core principles of our work for this challenge. I’ll be doing it right along with you.
Please note too that this course is not about financial advice. I’m a coach not a financial advisor. What I have witnessed through my work is how our views about money can lead us to kill off our dreams. I’ve coached enough women on their careers to see this in action over and over again. We decide that we can’t have what we want because we would never be able to earn enough or we’d have to give up a stable income. It takes courage to deal with these limiting beliefs and take a leap of faith.
If you feel stressed out and anxious around money or if you’re just plain frustrated with never having enough to cover the bills, I want you to join me for the next 30 days. What’s the worst that can happen? Maybe you will save a few dollars or maybe you will create more ease and happiness in your life like I did.
We start with a Full Moon Intention Setting Ritual.
Why? Well I’m a big fan of rituals and as I’ve found, working with the phases of the moon can supercharge your intentions and illuminate your true path. We’re going to be talking about each phase of the moon during the challenge. Tip: If rituals are not your thing, don’t force yourself to do this one. This challenge is all about going with your intuition and what feels right for you.
Here’s what you can use for your ritual (this is totally up to you but here’s what I use):
Your favourite herbal tea
Now ask yourself this question:
What is the change you want to see this month?
In yourself? And in the world?
This is big so take your time to journal and meditate. If you’re coming up empty, just write the question in your journal and leave it be. The answer will come in due course.
It can help to ask:
What has become intolerable in your life? What are you no longer prepared to put up with? What do you think is blocking you from living the life you want right now?
Your intention could be a circumstance or a certain behaviour or pattern that you recognise in your life. Maybe you can’t keep savings in your bank account or you have a habit of always spending more than you earn and tipping over into debt.
The change you want to see in the world could be as simple as deciding that you will contribute as little as possible to landfill this month. Maybe you start donating to a charity or a cause you care about. Remember that it’s ok to start small. That’s the whole point.
Now that you’ve set your intention, follow along with the lessons on Facebook and Instagram. I’ll be posting daily with the hashtag #moneymindfulnesschallenge. Please follow along and share your own successes, challenges and ideas.
I’ll leave you with a quote from Lynne Twist’s book The Soul of Money that I try to live by:
When you let go of trying to get more of what you don’t really need, it frees up oceans of energy to make a difference with what you have. When you make a difference with what you have, it expands.
There is a reason why this update hasn’t been posted until now, and that’s because April went a little nuts.
There have been new clients, job interviews, PR opportunities. There were also many happy events, including reunions with old friends, social events with new ones and family celebrations including my son’s birthday.
As it turns out this abundance challenge has taught me a whole heap more than I bargained for about what’s truly important in my life.
You may remember at the start of the month, my goal was to create extra income to manifest my dream of buying a home. This has been something I’ve been working hard towards for a long time now, and it seemed like I was in the final stages, where just one last push would get me through to the finish line.
Instead, by the end of week 3 I was forced to take a good hard look at my goal and what it was really costing me. I’m a goal-driven person. I do not like to give up at all. But this didn’t feel like giving up. It felt like a release and a sweet relief. I had been pushing way too hard, and let’s face it, it’s not supposed to be that hard. For those of you who love Tarot, I was the embodiment of the Four of Swords last week. I’d had enough of being in the driving and pushing, followed by exhaustion and recovery cycle. I decided that I can still buy a home but I don’t have to do it right now.
As someone who has a pattern of overwork and trying really hard to achieve my goals, it was jarring to have the realisation that success doesn’t always have to be hard won. I can make a different choice.
So at the end of this challenge, rather than pursuing my goal at all costs I’m choosing freedom.
This decision has opened up a lot of space in my life. If I don’t have to get the mortgage, I don’t have to work full-time hours, which means more time for family and to work on my business and that feels expansive.
I’ve also started a practice of following the phases of the moon which has really helped me make sense of things and release what’s no longer serving me. I’m getting a sense of what being in flow feels like, instead of pushing myself to the absolute limit.
As I write this post, the moon is full and in one of its Yang phases, which means it’s a time for taking action and the perfect time for doing release work.
If you want to do a releasing ceremony to mark the full or disseminating (waning) moon, here are some ideas.
1)Write a journal prompt: What do I need to release at this time? See what comes up for you.
2) Do a check-in on your goal. How are you feeling about it now? What has changed? Are you happy with the progress you’re making? What do you need to let go of to make this happen?
3) Is this goal still serving you? This is one I never thought of before but it came up for me this month. Is it time to reevaluate your goal?
4) Write a forgiveness list. Think of everyone who has upset you, caused you grief or made you angry this month (including yourself). What was the positive intention behind the person’s actions? Write that down too. Now find a fireproof bowl or go outside and burn your list. Breathe. How do you feel? Lighter?
I hope you’ve learned as much as I have about what abundance really means for you through taking part in this challenge. As I discovered, it’s ok to do things your way. Your way is the right way even if it goes against the grain sometimes. All I know is I’m very grateful for all of it and I’m finishing the month on a high and excited about what is coming next.
On that note, I have something new lined up for May and I think you’re going to love it. We’re going to be talking about how to be more mindful with your money, not so much in terms of budgeting, although we’ll cover that too, but how you can direct the flow of money in your life. This is about taking back your power around money. I can’t wait!
We start next week. Don’t forget to follow along on social too.