I get asked at least once a week – ‘how do you do it all?’
And every time I get asked this question, I always stumble on the answer. I start to mutter something along the lines of how I don’t have kids yet, then start making excuses for my success and mention that doing things virtually has made things easier…
Then it hit me, why am I apologising?
I do, do a lot. And I do it darn well. Yes zoom has been a huge enabler, but that isn’t why or even how I do it all.
In this blog post I am going to let you in on how I do it all and how you can too.
⚡️ Since reading Robin Sharma’s book – The 5am Club, I have embraced the key learnings. The creative in me designed my own version on elevating my leadership and coaching:
No, I don’t get up at 5am.
And No, I don’t always stick to the rules.
But I do follow the leadership empires. I am huge believer in being self-aware and taking care of myself. For me to be the best for my clients so they can achieve their results, I need to make sure I am healthy, emotionally stable, educated and my inner spirit in nurtured.
⚡️ Who you have in your tribe matters. And gosh, don’t I know it. My partner is incredibly supportive when it comes to my career, ambition and needs. In our household there is no such thing as pink jobs and blue jobs. Just a balance of support, ambition and love.
Someone said to me last week – ‘if you can’t solve a problem with your 5 closest friends, you need to get new ones.’ This is true, over the last 3 to 5 years I have surrounded myself with the right people who I know can help and support me. And, I have parted ways with those who no longer support my growth.
⚡️ I manage my time well: I have a full time job, I coach between 2 to 3 clients a week, I am involved in speaking engagements, I prep/record/edit a podcast, attend or lead networking events, I read lots of books and I write a blog… etc.
I don’t waste time scrolling through Instagram (anymore). I don’t binge watch Netflix. I pre-plan most evening activities e.g. 7pm networking hubs. And, I pick and choose what I do. I no longer feel obligated to attend every single damn networking call. I only attend ones where I can provide value and/or go there with a specific purpose.
Side note: I recommend reviewing this sense of obligation. We are always striving to do more, be more and say more because society is telling us to. But, is that what you want to be doing?
Are you a bad mum because you didn’t bake cookies for the school bake sale? – NO, who doesn’t love M&S buckets?
Are you a bad friend because you rescheduled dinner plans? – Nope.
Are you a bad leader because you didn’t work a 12 hour day? – Hell no, and if you do normally – we need to talk.
➡️ When I start to feel overwhelmed or burnout creeping in (because I have worked on my triggers and I know what to look out for) … I take a break, go for a massage or a walk or journal.
Why I do it all
Someone asked this week – ‘What is your why?’ And wow, what a questions.
The reason I work so hard is because I want to empower, encourage and grow other people. I want to enable others to be the best of versions of themselves. Because I know we all have the potential to be in that top 5% of leadership and the human race.
Oh and whilst I am on the subject of leadership, I am still on a mission to change the face of it.
So my why: Empower and enable others to progress whilst changing the face of leadership.
When I asked the question back, I was blown away with her response: ‘Everyone is welcomed at my table.’ Backed up with a strong story of female empowerment.
Now over to you
We have all seen that saying: ‘You have the same amount of hours as Beyoncé’
I have the same amount of hours in the day as Oprah. And, hell yes I make them count.
What will you start to do with your hours in the day?
Last year, became a year of change. From new routines, altered shopping habits and different ways of socialising. We were all forced to embrace change and still continue to ride a change wave in 2021…
In this article, I explore how change can impact organisations, people and provide knowledge to those who are interested in this subject or are going through an organisational change or even a career change.
What is change?
In simple terms, change is to make or become different. Or replace/exchange something. Change is the situation such as to move house, to wear something different or to do a different job. It is about doing things differently, seeing things in a new way, as well as adjusting and adapting to ideas.
There key factors to take into consideration when it comes to change are:
Change affects everyone differently; there is no “normal.”
Change is an essential element of the world and it must be accepted. (Even a Pandemic World type-of-change)
Adapting to change is about the attitudes we have.
We have to grieve for what we are letting go of.
Change is an opportunity for self-motivation and innovation.
We can identify strategies for accepting and implementing our changes
How does change impact organisations and its people?
When applying change to an organisation, a quote from William Bridges springs to mind: ‘It isn’t the change that do you in. It’s the transition’
Let’s look at a really simple example to explain change to an organisation: Change is a new mobile phone (say from basic phone to a smartphone). Transition is learning how to use it.
With the new smartphone, you will be excited by the newness, the style, things you can do, the apps and pictures as well as the productivity.
However you are also a little anxious and uncertain – what if you don’t know how to use it properly? What if all your contacts are not there? What if I download the wrong app?
It is about addressing how that change will affect you. When applying change at an organisation, like the new mobile phone example, it is about covering all bases and knowing whatever the change you put in place, you will need a transition period to ensure maximum results.
Three phases of the change
There are three phases, which was established by William Bridges who believes, that changes isn’t necessarily the problem; the change is the situation. People have difficulty with the transition.
The transition isn’t optional and we must all go through the three stages to accommodate ourselves to any change:
All change begins with an ending. This first phase of change transition begins when people identify what they are losing something and then to learn how to manage these losses. They determine what is over and being left behind, and what they will keep. These may include relationships, processes, team members or locations.
What do you need let go of? What will you be keeping?
This is a time to complete endings and begin new patterns. The second step comes after letting go: the neutral zone. People go through an in-between time when the old is gone but the new isn’t fully operational. It is a time to support others. It is the very core of the change transition process. This is the time between the old reality and sense of identity and the new one. People are creating new processes and learning what the new roles will be, but it’s in a state of change and doesn’t feel comfortable yet. To perhaps plant the seed for the new beginning.
What new habits or processes are you putting into place?
It has been said that organisations think about beginnings long before people do. There is often conflict between the companies motivation and the critical mass/ people to make it happen, so it is essential to get people involved, especially those who are leaders and can of course influence. At this stage, Beginnings involve new understandings, new values and attitudes. Beginnings are marked by a release of energy in a new direction – they are an expression of a fresh identity. Well-managed transition allows people to establish in new roles with an understanding of their purpose, the part they play, and how to contribute and participate most effectively. They are reoriented and renewed.
How is your new beginning better than before?
Let’s look at the Change curve model
The Kubler-Ross Change Curve, something you have probably seen before. It is used across businesses globally showing the 5 stages of emotional response to change, which are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. This model was introduced by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in a book called ‘Death and Dying’ – After publication the model was widely accepted and it was found that it was valid in a majority of cases and situations relating to change.
What it means
In the times we live in right now this change curve seems more than applicable. The entire world are on it and at different points on any given day.
Here is an example of how we are all currently going through the change curve:
Shock – “OMG, Are we really living through a global pandemic??”
Denial – “We will back in the office in no-time”
Frustration – “I am so over lockdowns. I want to go back into work. I want to go out and socialise.”
Depression – “I’m so upset, I just want to be back at work, I am so stressed there is so much to do and my company have invoked a recruitment freeze, so I can’t get support for my team.”
Experiment – “Working from home is still happening for the foreseeable future, let’s think about what’s not working and try out new approaches. Instead of working on the sofa, I will buy a desk and set up a mini office in my spare room.”
Decision – “With my new desk and attitude, I got a lot more done today!”
Integration – “After lockdown I may now even ask to work from home more often!”
Does any of this resonate with you? Where are you in the change curve?
Did you know that you could be on one change curve or several. Here are the most common changes we are experiencing:
Feelings of shock, denial, and frustration are all natural responses as we seek to resist change. This is normal since change means loss. But as we begin to acknowledge what we have lost and begin to feel sadness or depression about it we are then moving closer to acceptance.
Well that is up to you. If you are going through change now or the next time you go through change both personally and professionally, here is an exercise that you can use to help understand where you are and support yourself on the journey:
Write out your change “problem” statement.
Draw your curve(s) and ask yourself , where am I on the curve right now?
Ask yourself, the 5 whys around your feelings (there is no wrong answer).
Next, think about support: who can I talk to about where I am on it?
When you are ready, start to put steps in place to help you move along your change curve.
For time and the world do not stand still. Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future. – JFK
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It was reported that 73% of British workers took time out of work because of stress in the work place… and 19% quit on the spot!
From Lack of support and excessive workload. To poor company culture and incompetent colleagues. There are many factors that lead to stress. I explore how work related stress impacts your and how we can implement some remedies to alleviate the excessive pressures.
HSE’s formal definition of work-related stress is: “The adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them at work.”
Stress V Stretch
Although stress is a state more than an illness, however, it is worth noting that if stress becomes too excessive and prolonged – mental and physical illness may develop.
Work related stress develops because a person is unable to cope with the demands being placed on them. Stress can be a significant cause of illness and is known to be linked with high levels of sickness absence, staff turnover and other issues such as mistakes and errors.
Stress can hit anyone at any level of the business. From looking into this topic further as well as discussing this at my networking group, it was found that work related stress is widespread and is not confined to particular sectors, jobs or industries.
Pressures at work compared to stress caused because of work has a clear difference: Pressure can be positive, motivating factor in someone’s career, and is often essential. It can help us achieve our goals as well as perform better.
Stress occurs when this pressure becomes excessive.
Stress affects people in different ways and what one person finds stressful can be normal to another. With each new situation a person will decide what the challenge is and whether they have the resources to cope. If they decide they don’t have the resources, they will begin to feel stressed. How they appraise the situation will depend on various factors, including:
Background and culture
Skills and experience
Ethnicity, gender, age or disability
Just like how people are affected by stress, the ways of managing can be different for each individual. It is all well and good to talk about a work life balance, however what people really need are tools and techniques to help them.
How to alleviate work related stress can be managed by:
Talking to your manager, colleague or HR. There is no shame in saying that the current pressures that are on you are causes you to feel stressed. It is always best to take some examples with you that include situation when you have felt stressed or document you current work load to show your manager. By talking, you are highlighting the problem. You never know, you might be able to recruit a junior to support you.
Get a priority list together. Have you ever used a Kanban board? Such a great way to visually see what you need to do and what you have achieved. (also GREAT for reporting) You can use Trello which is a free online tool.
Be part of a culture change. Do you have an idea to help improve team performance? an Idea on how to feel calmer at work? Maybe introduce a well-being Wednesday? Be the change you want to see.
Change your job or career direction. This one will take more time and planning. However, if you really are struggling this might be the option.
Have a break. Stop, put down your work phone and be present with your family and friends.
Exercise! Make time to go for a walk/run. Go to that gym class. Getting out helps clear the mind, looking after yourself will help with all aspects of your life and your mental health.
Do you have a story of stressed caused by work? Or do you have any suggestions of remedies? Comment below to share.
People evolve thus people can change. We have a personality foundation which starts to develop the day we are born. Our environments, education, childhood, peer groups as well as our hobbies, shape the human being that we are today.
The Psychology Today wrote: “Can we change people? It depends what we mean by change. First, can people change? Well, obviously. For example, we get older. Can we change in every respect? Obviously not. We change in some respects and not in others. “
I recognise in myself that I still have the core personality foundations that I had when I was in my teens. For example, I talk with my hands, I am fiercely independent and super ambitious… I also care a lot about people and wrongly, what they think about me.
However the way I now conduct myself has evolved. And the way I think, feel and listen is different. The way I approach an activity or situation is tailored from lessons learnt throughout my life where I have been successful and of course when I have also failed.
To understand more about changes in people, I did some research for this post and of course, that research means googling. I found that the results were more for answers for someone who is seeking some kind of clarity or explanation for behaviour that has caused them pain. Such as and mainly: cheating. It was surprising that with no clear answers. Using my platform, I wanted to start this post by addressing the leopard in the room.
Certain common phrases such as – “A leopard never changes its spots” and “Once a cheat, always a cheat” – might stick for a while, but if we decide that someone is set on their own path whether positive or negative, are we not doing so because, on some level, creating a barrier between their bad behaviour or success and the pain or jealousy they caused to protect ourselves?
Whilst it can be comforting to sometimes decide someone is bad, it can also be rewarding to perhaps ask why do they behaviour in such ways? Perhaps you are the one who is inflicting pain on others, have you ever stopped and wondered why you are doing this? Perhaps it is jealously? A childhood trauma that is unresolved? Or perhaps you are just so unhappy in yourself, you are making others around you unhappy?
Everyone has the ability to behave selfishly and be disruptive. We mess up and cause unbelievable pain to one another. Often repeat certain behaviours if the root cause isn’t addressed or time is spent on healing our previous wounds.
I am not saying if your partner has cheated on you to forgive them or even give an excuse, what I am merely suggesting is perhaps start by asking why. Ask why 5 times and see what could be rebuilt from opening up. Sadly, on the flip side of the coin, you will come across those who are content with inflicting pain on others. These people are not worthy of your time, efforts and loyalty. If you have recognised that change is needed, sometime that means leaving a person, environment and/or life to create a new path.
If we are seeking some kind of change in how we exist in relation to other people in this world the real question, is how much time, work and effort we will spend on ourselves?
This brings me onto my purpose of this post. I believe in change and that people can evolve, grow and transform.
The reason I believe this, is because I have changed. (Alex, I know you are laughing if you are reading this line!). The people I have met have shaped me, CBT and Counselling healed me, Coaching is evolving me and networking as well as blogging is expanding my connections.
Changing is a choice. Choice is the art of possibilities. And possibilities are endless.
Personal development is something most people associate with their jobs. Completing objectives and smashing targets to enable them to achieve their bonuses. But what if I told that personal development isn’t just something you do in your job, that actually this can aid an individual to change as well as enrich their potential?
There are so amazing tools, forums and people out there, right at your finger tips to get you started! Here are 5 areas to start your journey:
1: Of course, there is this blog
A Platform that is focused on female empowerment with the goal to enable women to be successful, strong and sassy. I write articles across a number of pillars: Personal Branding. Wellbeing. Female Empowerment. Life Style. Career Building. And… sometimes I might go off topic, like I did in this post, but roll with me.
The blog was created to connect others, provide empowerment, share knowledge, inspire the soul and give a sense of belonging.
Coaching is a process that aims to improve personal performance and focuses on the ‘here and now’ rather than on the distant past or future.
As a Professional Development Coach, I specialise in: Helping you to cultivate and implement your personal brand. Building personal & career confidence. Overcoming limited beliefs and amplifying your voice. Moreover, I also work with you to shift your fixed mindset into a growth mindset. You will finish your career coaching programme with a clear, concise career plan that will enable you to level up. Whether that is asking for more responsibility or finally applying for a leadership role.
3: Asking for professional help – CBT, Counselling and Therapy.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a type of talking treatment which focuses on how your thoughts, beliefs and attitudes affect your feelings and behaviour, and teaches you coping skills for dealing with different problems.
It combines cognitive therapy (examining the things you think) and behaviour therapy (examining the things you do).
Counselling is the process by which a counsellor helps an individual understand and solve problems to help him or her cope with mental or emotional triggers. Where as Therapy usually involves talking about your situation in order to gain more understanding about issues such as mood, feelings, behaviour, and ways of thinking.
Ask your GP for advice on which treatment they would recommend.
4: Networking, attending industry related conferences/expos and connecting with others. I am part of the All Bright Academy that offer events throughout the year to attend. Women in Business Expo, Best You Expo and browsing through Meetup and Eventbrite to find local groups to attend.
5: Mentoring – Is there someone who you admire? Perhaps even aspire to follow in their footsteps! Never be afraid to reach out and offer to buy them a coffee. Mentoring is different to coaching. Mentoring is a relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps to guide a less experienced or less knowledgeable person. The mentor may be older or younger than the person being mentored, but he or she must have a certain area of expertise.
Working on yourself can start today…. Let it be DAY ONE, not one day.
So the question is, what are you prepared to do to grow, evolve and change?
When you hear the term ‘personal brand’ – do you freeze like a rabbit in headlights? Who? What? Me? Branding?
Yep. I get it, I used to, too.
Personal branding just freaked me out. It seemed like a lot of work. I mean A LOT OF WORK. And, jee it was going to get deep.
Questions like ‘who even am I?’ started to creep into my mind.
Yes, it is work. Yes, it can go deep. But heck, it is so worth it.
In this article, discover what it means to have a personal brand, how to use it and where to take it. How will use your personal brand to elevate your career?
Personal brand – Let’s break it down.
⚡A personal brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.
⚡It is also the gravitas you have when you enter that same room.
⚡It is more than the conscious and intentional effort to create and influence public perception.
⚡Personal branding is positioning yourself as an authority in your industry.
⚡It is elevating your credibility.
⚡It is how you are differentiating yourself from the colleague next to you.
All this to ultimately advances your career, network, making a larger impact to your industry and creating your own opportunities.
Your personal brand should be about being authentic, showing up consistently and empowering yourself and others. (More on that later.)
Believe it or not, but you already have a personal brand (of sorts) which you have been building overtime. Take a look at your feedback from PDPs over the years, what do you notice? Both good and bad.
‘Good communicator?’ ‘Often doubts themself?’ – It has been there right in front of you all this time. Is it what you expected? Is it good, great, excellent or needs improvements? Does it give you opportunities or is it hindering you?
Working on YOU, well, it is an ongoing process of developing and maintaining a reputation.
But first you need a foundation.
Whereas some self-help practices focus on self-improvement, personal branding work defines success within your career (as well as life in general).
Listen, your personal brand is how you promote yourself. And don’t cringe at the term ‘promote yourself’ – I see you.
It is the unique cocktail mix of
That you want (and need) the world to see.
It is the telling of your story.
Sharing your narrative.
And, the impression people gain from your presence.
🔑This is also the key to your professional success as it revolves around how you present yourself.
It gives you the chance to emphasise your strengths and passions to help set you apart from everyone else and make sure that people see you in the way you want them to see you. It also helps people to feel as if they know you better which helps to increase your trustworthiness (even if they have not even met you in person).
I like to call it an AACE personal brand
Being authentic matters.
I’ll repeat that. Being. Authentic. Matters.
Although a great place to start is by doing research, reviewing how others show up to the world. It is important that you uncover your own overarching personal brand and image! Aim to get the big-picture clarity on who you truly are and where you would like to be.
Be the authority in your field. To achieve this, make sure you are well informed. Talk about what you know. Write articles, network and be brave.
Underlying consistency is the secret behind creating a successful personal brand. Consistently showing up at work, online and with friends will start to build that ‘what people say when you are not in the room.’
Empowering yourself will create the opportunities. Once you know who are, where you are going and what people say – be ready for the opportunities that will be coming your way.
So, what else?
Each interaction you have with others has the opportunity to create a memorable experience, teaching them what they can expect from you.
When you’re consistent in delivering those experiences, you build a strong reputation. Delivering your brand clearly and consistently across a wide audience helps open doors to opportunities.
Your personal brand becomes your personal calling card—a unique promise of value; a distinct and authentic representation of you. In building your personal brand, you will define your individuality, maximise your strengths and manage your choices now to create future opportunities.
10 questions to get you started on your personal
What are your values?
Create a list of strengths?
What are the things you are interested in?
Why should someone hire you?
Where do you need to do improve on?
What object could you use to give a visual to your meaning? (Start a vision board)
What other brands do I like? Why?
What brands do I hate? Why?
If someone looked at your LinkedIn page, what would they know about you?