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.
This has been floating around in my head for a few weeks now as I have spotted my first snowdrops, followed by the crocuses and now the many hosts of golden daffodils in full bloom. The bulbs have been nurtured by the light and warmth of the sun and the nutrients in the soil. Any that lacked the things they needed to bloom have just withered away unseen.
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!
I am just back from a lovely family weekend in Sète in the South West of France. Sète is a delightful town built around canals that link the sea and the saltwater lake where there is traditional farming of oysters and mussels. There are huge tuna fishing boats and smaller trawlers moored along the canal along with a good selection of pleasure boats. The town sport is jousting from rowing boats!
For the first time in as long as I can remember I didn’t take my laptop with me!
Skiing down a very icy piste last week I was looking for soft snow at the side to turn on. Turning on ice is a hazardous business – it’s hard to get a grip and the result is often not very dignified. I thought this is a good metaphor for life when the going gets tricky.
It was all going so well. I built my lovely new coaching website, my coaching practice was doing well and I had delivered some great training. I was really feeling fulfilled and right on life purpose. I was thriving. Then life got in the way.
OMG I had no idea! Delhi – the heat and noise and dirt and smell are completely overwhelming. I can’t believe what I am seeing – a small child less than two years old, naked and alone in the middle of the dual carriageway – but he seems happy. I guess the rest of the family are the ones in the middle of the road banging on the taxi windows and hoping for some baksheesh. I hope so.
All week this week I have been feeling ‘out of sorts’. You know that butterflies in the tummy, overactive mind that stops you sleeping, feeling anxious…. just ‘out of sorts’.
Today I sat down to have a little coaching session with myself!
It didn’t take long to realise what my problem is – I am just not clear about what my intention is for the week.
I have just returned from a long weekend in Santorini. I have been telling anyone who will listen how much I enjoyed the weekend. I have been reflecting on what made it so special.
Here is a guaranteed way to make you smile every day.