One of the biggest commitments I made to myself several years ago was to give myself permission to put myself first in order to become the better, more productive and able to thrive in work version of me I wanted to be.
It used to be so different before I put into practice the tools and strategies I learnt during my personal development journey and gaining my accreditation as a Coach. I was working as a Senior Leader in a third sector organisation managing several teams and contracts, whilst bringing up two young girls and volunteering for several organisations.
I would do the hour long commute having dropped my girls in child care and then rush home, continuing unfinished conversations with colleagues on the hands free all the way home. I’d collect the girls, with one of them particularly strung out with the whole after school situation and we’d have a fractious hour/two hours of tea, bath, homework, then bed. My husband would arrive at some point in this cycle and pitch in, or retreat depending on everyone's mood. After which, I’d work some more to fit in the things I’d been unable to finish in the day, or I’d be involved in some event I’d not had the courage to say no to.
Life was like living in a hamster wheel and the frustrating thing was I’d been here before and I ought to have known better. I felt lonely and trapped with a million plates spinning and ready to drop. Read on to find out how this all changed and how it can change for you too.
I don’t know about you, but the words self-care and self-love are repeated so often they are becoming more buzzwords that makes them a bit annoying to the ear!
However, they are important. It is so important in my mind, that I put “Self-care” as the first pillar to success in my 3 pillar model (with Mind set and Strategy coming next). That cliché, ‘You can’t pour from an empty cup.’ is so true. In the working world, particularly when you are passionate about what you do, you can end up burning the candle at both ends too often. Throw in carer, parental responsibilities or health issues and you can be completely lost and so low on the agenda you never get to you.
During my ‘BE YOUR OWN BEST FRIEND’ workshop I do an exercise, which demonstrated this beautifully and 9 times out of 10 participants don’t even feature. Isn’t that sad that we get so lost in all the things we feel we ‘should’ be doing that we fail to see our own care as a priority?
Well, I’m here to show you how it can benefit not YOU, but everyone around you. (Which helps get past that People Pleaser Mean Little Cow voice that is telling you it is selfish to put you first.) It isn’t selfish and here is why. READ MORE
I've been talking a lot about real Self Care on Social Media lately. In my posts and in my Facebook groups
For far too long we high achieving women have put ourselves too far down our priority list, and that to me is the ultimate in not looking after you and your needs.
You find yourself looking out for everyone else but yourself.
Is your team ok? Has your partner got everything he/she needs?
Are your children fully catered for, loved enough, given enough, hugged enough, nurtured enough, the list goes on? Have you looked after those family members that are in need? On top of that you worry about all the injustice and big issues going on in the world and your community. And yes, they are all important in your life, but where are you in that?
You've stopped looking after you and the cracks are being to show. Well, that stops here.
You might be in a corporate role, an on line entrepreneur or in a public sector leadership role, what you do doesn't matter to me. If you are a high achieving woman who's not looking after her needs, I'm asking you to sign up to this Next Level Woman's Manifesto. It's for you to simply take stock and look out for you.
You can chose which of these promises work for you, and sod the rest, but I want you to really consider each point and decide if you want to promise yourself these things and take action on it. If you do, read on.
I was guest speaking at a Women in business event recently and was asked to discuss the topic of Organisation. It’s a big issue for many women, the feeling that they aren’t organised, or that they can’t organise themselves, because of the volume of activities they are juggling and it makes them feel at their worst. As always there is a matter of perspective to take into account and the stories we tell ourselves.
This is playing out with my daughter at the moment and I am committed to using my words carefully with her when the issue arises. In school, she’s had many teachers tell her she is disorganised and she now says it herself. ‘I’m just not an organised person mum.’ ‘I forgot to put my homework in my bag and I got a behaviour point. I’m so disorganised.’ Recently, she received behaviour points and a detention for it, which reaffirms her negative self-talk. I’m not saying that she shouldn’t have a detention, but I know that to help her become more organised, and believe that she can be more organised, it will take more than the pain of the detention to create good habits and increase self- esteem around something that does not come naturally to her.
When I talk to her I explain how I am not ‘naturally’ a methodical person, or an organised person but I see the benefits in being more organised and how it can help me feel better when I am, so I work daily on being as organised as I can be. It helps bring BEST me out to play. Sometimes I am very organised, other times I drop a ball, but I consciously aim to be more organised and so I am, more often than not. Rather than adopting the label ‘I am disorganised’ I tell myself ‘I am someone who is committed to being more organised.’ There is a big difference and I want her to see herself this way too. A girl who is committed to being more organised, in order to help BEST me come out to play.
This was clear when I spoke to many of the women at the presentation, I heard them say to ladies around them, ‘I’m not organised.’ giving themselves a label and, ‘I’ve so much on it’s impossible to be organised.’ demonstrating their limiting belief. A big part of feeling overwhelmed is the feeling that everything is out of control, so when working with clients there are 3 key areas we look at to see where these feelings stem from and making often tiny changes that will impact on this feeling of disorganisation in a big way. Read on .......
Christmas is a wonderful time. It’s a magical time where children are offered the joy of fairies and elves visiting them, and a magical man, who spends one night, giving children all over the world gifts from his bottomless sack of toys. It’s a time for Christians to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. It’s a period for many religions to celebrate a variety of feasts and rituals.
It’s also a time of year that can be stress inducing as people do all the things they feel they should to be a good parent, daughter, husband, son, grandchild, employee, employer. There’s the pressure of the most creative Elf on a shelf shenanigans and being able to home bake your own Christmas cake or host the most fabulous party. The list goes on. It’s a time when it is easy to look around and see people doing everything in a bigger and better way than you and you start to feel lacking in some way as a consequence. You might hate that annoying little Elf and want to throw him out of the window. You might have the baking skills of a toddler and your decorating looks like you’ve had bandages on your fists during the whole process. You might not like socialising and yet feel you have to host like Nigella.
It’s a time which can make you feel not good enough, as you focus on what others are doing, spending and organising. Comparisonitis can be rife!
But fear not. I have 4 steps to keep you in your own lane, grateful for what you have got and how to gain clarity on how you are wanting to spend the festive period with who you want to spend it with. Read on .....