When I’m coaching lawyers I often hear them say ‘I just wish I had more confidence’. They describe not feeling able to speak up in meetings and then feeling frustrated that their voice does not get heard. They describe working hard to ‘fit in’ which means towing the party line when they don’t really agree with it. They describe worrying about whether they are doing a great job for their clients – even when all the evidence says that they are. They talk about working all hours to try to compensate for their perceived lack of being up to the job. They worry about being found out as a fraud. The more perceptive recognise that their fear makes them over defensive whenever they are challenged.
The problem with this lack of confidence is that they then never stand out, they are not seen as innovators, they are not considered as leadership material. This means that they get overlooked for partnership – the opposite to what they wanted.
I believe that we all have a life purpose – the reason we exist – the reason we were born. Now of course I have no way of knowing if that is true or not – but believing it makes me feel important and helps to give me the courage to do the things that matter to me.
What I am sure about is that when I am doing things that are in alignment with my life purpose I feel fulfilled – I feel that I am making a difference – that the world is a better place because I am here and that is a good feeling.
I have been observing my brain in the week leading up to my book being published tomorrow. Why does it treat me so harshly – making me anxious and stopping me from sleeping?
I am crystal clear on why I wrote this book – I have something to say. Over the last 30 years or so I have learnt a lot of lessons and I want to share these. I am proud of the book. I invested hundreds of hours of early morning time writing it and I really hope people will read it.
So why am I so scared?
I’m feeling rather pleased with myself! I have been working hard on the final push to get my book finished. I have just finished the last chapter ‘Do your best work – live your best life’.
I have spent quite a lot of time over the last few years exploring the difference between doing ‘most work’ and doing ‘best work’. Historically I was a most work sort of girl – I have a huge capacity for work, first to arrive, last to leave and choosing to work many weekends. I thought this was the way to make most progress and progress was important – I was passionate about the work I was doing. It was fun to a point but frequently I was exhausted and overwhelmed.
I believe it was Kevin Nations who came up with the metaphor of the Magician and the Mule.
I love it when I’m asked to speak – I will turn my hand to almost any management or leadership topic.
Recently I’ve been asked to give two talks, the first on ‘Resilience and how to build it’ and the second on ‘Personal Brand’. Two very different subjects – or so I first thought!
I started with the question “what is Resilience?”
As most readers will know by now I believe we all create our own universe. Think about it – that is how you got to be reading this blog – you created it for yourself. You made hundreds of little decisions over the course of your life which ended up with you sitting wherever you are sitting right now reading this!
I have believed we create our own universe for a long time – but it is only recently I have come to believe that I do my best work when I am kind to myself and build in a little relaxation and re-creation! I was reflecting on this on Saturday night and I decided to put the two beliefs together and have a go at creating a perfect day!
When was the last time you had to consciously learn that 6×9=54 or consciously remember that you already know the answer? Probably when you were about 6 or 7. But when you need that little piece of information it just pops up – it is nicely stored in your unconscious mind ready just in case you need it.
Summer must be over – The X Factor is on TV again and already I am an addict! I play a little game – trying to guess how many artists Simon Cowell will describe as ‘authentic’.
There is a lot of talk of ‘authentic leadership’ at the moment – but what does it mean?
I spent yesterday thinking about why a change in organisational culture is so hard. But actually the answer to that question is easy – it is because you are asking everyone (or very nearly everyone) in the organisation to change their habits.
Last week I wrote about how we all want to make a difference in the world.
But how do you know what difference you want to make?
I believe that we will only perform at our best if we are working at something we are passionate about.
To discover your passions it often helps to ask yourself ‘What am I angry about?’