If you are like most women leaders, there is a general unhappiness with your day-to-day life, but you don’t know how to change it.
If this sounds familiar, know that you are not alone! Many women find they are stuck in survival mode. Just getting through their days, tolerating the crap and looking forward to their next vacation to get a break from it all.
It doesn't have to be that way! Keep reading to discover how you can change days and your inner mantra!
The short story
The problem is, that you are stuck in a rut and don't quite know how to get out. It may not be bad enough to run, but if you are honest with yourself, it's time for a change of some sort. You just don't know how to do it.
The consequence of staying trapped can be stagnation, frustration, and bitterness. It can become quite unhealthy for you, your team and your family as the effects spill out around you. Perhaps you’ve already noticed this. Especially, if you, like many, have been bogged down for weeks, months or even years.
THE SIMPLE SOLUTION:
The solution is to change it. Getting from where you are now to where you want to be is quite simple, right? You just figure out where you want to go and start moving in that direction. It sounds simple perhaps in theory, but we all know, it is not always so easy in real life. At times, getting there can seem downright impossible.
The longer story
I know that place of stuck all too well. Time-and-time again I have found that I am once again feeling stalled. I realized I’d been working hard, but getting nowhere, except worn out. You know that feeling too right?
I learned that instead of staying stuck forever, it was when I paused long enough to realize what was going on that I had some great insights. Through conscious pondering, I was able to figure out what I needed to do to get from where I was, to where I wanted to be. This reflection gave me time to think and allowed me to do a little bit of a pivot in a new direction.
That slight shift of direction helped me to create a new strategy to accomplish what I was looking for. With that plan in hand, I was able to proceed forward, despite challenges, opposition and with the fear and doubt that are ever present.
THE COMPLETE SOLUTION:
The key to success has always been a plan. It is the deliberate understanding of what I need to do next, and perhaps even after that has gotten me, and can get you too, through the challenges that are inevitably in front of us when we want a different experience of life going forward.
A plan is a roadmap that helps you to move from where you are now, to where you want to be. Think of it as your guide that shows you the next step when you get lost or disoriented. Without it, you might just end up going around in circles. Many of us go around-and-around the hamster wheel of life, never really getting anywhere.
A plan isn’t just merely saying I don’t want this, but I do want that. A well thought out, and a comprehensive plan includes the steps you need to take and addresses potential challenges and roadblocks that you will face. The truth is, it is going to take time and effort to get to your destination. You will need to work at it step-by-step. To be successful, you need to build a thorough plan.
When I decided to return to school for my degree, it took 8 years and countless hours of study time. I had to stay focused and set my parental guilt aside while my husband handled the kid’s bedtimes and homework. The commitment required a ton of work to overcome inner saboteurs voices that threatened to stop me dead in my tracks.
My plan helped me to focus on what was in front of me. My strategy was to attain my degree slowly and steadily: One course at a time. I strategically planned which courses I was taking and in what order, matching it up with what else was going on in life. I took a couple of semesters off to recharge. I kept the end goal in mind when doubt, fear, and hesitation crept in. I also knew, what chapter I was reading, what paper needed completing and what I needed to do, that evening, and perhaps the next. Both the long-term vision and the daily steps of the plan were crucial to my success.
DEVELOPING YOUR PLAN:
Moving from the trapped place of feeling overwhelm, doubt or spinning your wheels to feeling happy, confident and advancing forward each day with purpose, takes effort, time and persistence. It is not easy. The truth is, it can be quite tricky. What makes getting back into motion easier, is one secret ingredient that is often missed. Wishing, hoping and begging will only take you so far. To get the rest of the way, you need that plan.
If it’s time for you to jump off of that crazy hamster wheel and move forward, then it’s time for you to develop your plan.
DON’T GET CAUGHT IN THE HAZARDS:
If you are like many women, you develop a plan to change your life, only to have it all fall apart just a short time later. That’s because you likely made one of the critical mistakes most women make when trying to develop a plan to change their life.
I want to make sure you are successful moving forward. To help you out with this, I’ve developed a list of the 5 missteps women make when trying to change their life. I’ve also included the “fix” to those mistakes, so you don’t get caught. To get those 5 mistakes, click here, and I’ll send you the report.
Remember, the plan is critical. However, it must be a comprehensive plan to work. Take the time, don’t make these mistakes, and build your plan today! When you do, you’ll find yourself getting unstuck. Instead, you will be moving forward with clarity and purpose.
Have you ever been so engaged in a conversation you've lost track of time? Has that ever happened at work?
Are you engaged
No. Not the kind like you are going to get married. But yes, committed. Hooked.
Engaged might mean deeply engrossed in a project or conversation. You lose track of time. This level of engagement usually means you want to be there. That perhaps, yes you even enjoy being there.
Most people are disengaged
Did you know that less than 2/3 of the people in most organizations are NOT engaged?
As a leader, most days for me it honestly felt like
I think we can both agree there is something wrong with that statistic and with leaders feeling so frustrated. It needs to be changed! Let's take a look at what it takes to turn that around.
Do you listen to the sermon?
My minister often jokes that we can take a nap during his sermon. Sometimes, I'll be honest, my mind wanders, and I think about all of the other things I could be doing. But more often than not, I tune in and am engaged in what he's saying.
What if workplaces were Magnetic?
When I listen to my minister, he draws me into his message, vision and ideas. Imagine if leaders and organizations were magnetic and pulled people in like that? What if you could be more engaging with your team?
My magnetic experience
I remember one particularly difficult time when my team and I were working on a proposal.
I've been working with colleague Bill Scott over the last few years to create organizations that are Magnetic! We've just launched our website: THE MAGNETIC WORKPLACE. If you pop over there, you can grab our tips for engaging your team. Make sure to check out the page Understanding the Workplace Continuum where we explain the range of cultures in organizations from toxic to tolerable and then to yes, you guessed it... Magnetic!
Do you secretly love getting gifts as much as I do? Just little things, like a note from my granddaughter, a book from a friend or flowers from my daughter. These are little surprises that warm my heart.
I received a special gift!
You can then see how, when my boss showed up one day at my office with a gift for me, I was a little excited. I always felt like he didn't really appreciate me or notice me. To get a gift perhaps meant I'd done something worthy of standing out
You can imagine my surprise when I reached into the gift bag and felt....Ooooh, perhaps a mug! Oh, I do love mugs The excitement was building, although I tried to temper it. One shouldn't seem too eager right?
I pulled off the tissue paper and discovered it was indeed a mug. However, the smile of anticipation quickly slid off my face. I tried to smile, but I'm sure it was clear that the gift hurt my feelings.
Would this gift annoy you?
The inscription on the mug read: Pessimists Mug on one side. The opposite side had a line indicating "The glass is half empty now."
That mug sat on my bookshelf for a long time. It annoyed the crap out of me each time I looked at it I DID NOT want to be seen as a pessimist: A person who habitually sees or anticipates the worst or is disposed to be gloomy. The last thing I wanted was to be considered the team party pooper!
I set out to change that.
In my journal a short time later I wrote:
It must have worked because fast forward a couple of years, and that same boss didn't say I was optimistic, but he did write this about me:
Which way do you see me?
Fast forward a few more years...this week to be precise and our annual awards banquet at Toastmasters. I received an award for “Enduring Optimism” Yeah! THAT is the impact I want to have on others.
None of this happened by accident. I created a plan. I began reading books that helped with my attitude, outlook and view of myself and the world. I took training that helped me see problems from new perspectives. I journaled and started a gratitude practice.
I became Response-ABLE!
What is holding you back?
What have you been waiting for? Someone to give you permission, or pay for your training? Have you been waiting for the right time? You need to stop waiting and become response-able! You can respond and change what you don't like about yourself, your work or your world. You must decide though and begin taking steps.
I set out to change myself in many ways. I completed my degree, lost weight and developed leadership skills. But the thing I am most proud of is becoming the TYPE of person I want to be. I want to be a positive influence in the world, in your life and in mine. That started when I decided to work on my character traits. It's a journey I continue to this day.
Do want to work on your character traits as well?
To understand more about character development and how you can shape yours read this blog and watch this interview series from other women leader's who are working at it as well!
You must do the inner work! That is truly what will make a difference in your life and your leadership!
Has this ever happened to you? You know something is wrong, but you don't do anything about it?
But you don't do anything about it.
Why don't you, or so many women, address these issues?
Before I answer that question, let's look at an example of a woman who is no longer staying quiet about injustices faced by her and other women in the fundraising sector.
Last week Elizabeth LeClair courageously wrote an article for CBC News addressing an issue that had been festering in her heart and mind for years. Read the article here:
Why did Elizabeth come forward now?
What changed? What gave her the courage and confidence to do that?
I don't know. But let me take a guess:
Having the courage to address moral issues can be scary and challenging. We see people have moral courage when something shifts for them.
Is there something you have been holding back on addressing?
What needs to shift for you? Do you need to develop more confidence, connect with other supportive people, get clear on what your values, morals and ethics are, spend time on personal development or is there something else?
When will you take action to grow yourself,
so that you can address the issues that's been aggravating far too long?
Think of it this way:
If you keep waiting for things to change, they won't. Nothing changes until you change. That may be learning something new, changing your perspective, changing how you interact with others or even changing jobs. But if you keep waiting, you will continue staying, stuck, right where you are!
What would happen if you decided to try something different?
Use Elizabeth's example as inspiration for you:
I suspect that Elizabeth decided she didn't want to stay stuck in that place of inner turmoil any longer. She decided to try something different. I'm certain that took time. But somewhere along the way she started the process of growing herself and making an internal shift that allowed her to take external action. She explains in this article:
Start now, my dear. Take the first step, whatever that step is for you, to being to grow yourself from the inside out. Equip yourself with the confidence and knowledge to address whatever issue is facing you. It won't be easy. But there are a ton of other women cheering you on, me included!
What goals have you set for this year?
I'm doing a mini survey to see what kinds of goals women leaders set for themselves both at work and in their personal lives. I'm curious about yours. Message me and share your goals with me.
What plan do you have for achieving those goals?
Now onto your plan for achieving your goals. Wait...let me back up. You do have goals right? I am not talking about random, vague New Years Resolutions such as I'm going to be healthier this year or I'm going to be a nicer person. I am talking about specific goals.
Are you the type that doesn't set goals? Think again!
We all need goals. It is when we have goals and targets that we perform at our best. You know this simply by thinking about how good you are at getting something done at the "11th hour."
And...Do you have a plan to go with your goal?
Targets and goals are critical, but your goals are dead in the water if you don't have a strategic plan for how you will achieve them.
If you don't know that you will head to the gym at 5:30 on Mon - Wed - Fri.,
how do you know you will fit into that dress?
You need an implementation plan...
When the clock strikes 5 pm, I will pack up my stuff, leave the office and head to the gym.
You need a strategy to help you implement your plan
An implementation plan is how you will establish the habit of working out...which performed consistently over time, regardless of your workload or how motivated you feel...is what will allow you to achieve your goal. It's the small daily habits that help you to achieve your goals.
It is the plan and your strategy that will allow you to establish those habits!
Do your goals include becoming a stronger leader?
If your goal is to become a stronger, more confident and capable leader, how will you achieve that goal?
The book that will help you and me kick butt on our goals this year!
If you have been following my logic here, you realize that one of the things you need to focus on is building good habits. Habits are the bricks that when compounded over time allow you to achieve your goal.
I'd love to hear about your goals for 2019 and when you start to read Atomic Habits, let me know how you are applying the ideas!
Here's to an amazing 2019! 🙌🏻
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Women leaders often hit a point where they find themselves in over their heads and wondering if they have what it takes to lead.