As I listened to this women tell me (and herself) how “I’ve got to get this right‘ and “this has just got to work out” and “if it’s not now then I’ll have missed my chance” I asked her this question.
“Has it ever occurred to you how tough you are to yourself?“
“People say that to me all the time. I put too much pressure on myself..”
And there it is, that moment that can change everything. IF she’s prepared to let it.
Look at those phrases she said at the start of our Career Strategy Session last week which were boxing herself into a corner of her own making.
- “I’ve got to get this right‘ and << how do you know until you start? Who says you’ve got to get this right? What exactly is ‘right’? Have you always got everything right? What’s the worst that can happen if it’s not right? All these questions helped her unlock the opportunities she might be shying away from with the pressure of having to ‘get this right’.>>
- “this has just got to work out” and << Does everything always work out? Is everything you start or have stared always worked out? How resourceful are you when you start something and realise it’s not as expected? Again, making her question her tough assumptions and proclamations made her laugh and sigh. She recognised just how much pressure she put on an opportunity.>>
- “if it’s not now then I’ll have missed my chance” <<Err, again. You mean you’ll never get another chance? Who’s going to tell you that and do you have to listen? What about all the things that haven’t worked out, how did you move through those and keep going? It’s only over when you say it’s over and even then…it’s not over.
So, at the end of our conversation she opened herself up to being less ‘fixed’ on what an opportunity had to look like before going for it.
This isn’t her in a vacuum of course – this kind of pressure, self-inflicted and unfounded, is all around us. Especially for women where we think we have to ‘get it right’.
One of my clients moved 3 times in 18 months. Roles that she thought were right for her, turned out not to be. Either she wasn’t a fit or the organisation/management weren’t.
She didn’t hang around and believe in the myth that you have to ‘stick it out for your CV/Resume’.
Most of the time that’s unfounded BS.
As long as you can be clear in your own mind about what you’re looking for and what you know brings out the best in your skills and contribution, you can keep going until you land there.
The client who moved 3 times in 18 months? She found a role which is a fit. She’s thrived and she’s looking at early retirement now. And then what…? She’ll find out when she’s ready…
In other news…
As someone who says “I grew up in the insurance industry” I truly did. I started as a wide eyed Secretary/EA at 18 years old. Left as a Director at 38. Now I work within the industry as a consultant. For the 3rd year running, this week I was awarded the honour of being named as an Elite Woman In Insurance.
Again, staying open, taking your experience and repurposing and packaging it is exactly what I’ve done. And I did give a little “Whoop” when I heard 🤭.