Striving for excellence motivates you;
striving for perfection is demoralizing.
Studies have found that finding that even high-level, high-achieving professional women are battling insecurity and discomfort in using their voices to lead powerfully and being able say “no” or “yes” when it is needed. Many professionals, especially women do not serve as their own best advocate, nor do they experience feelings of being supported or properly mentored by other colleagues in the workplace. This in turn, often makes them reluctant to embrace new opportunities that may lead to advancement and leadership roles, especially if that change will make them move out of their comfort zone.
So, how do women work to gain empowerment, and avoid professional crises? Here are some suggestions:
1. Life is complicated. You are complicated. Keep in mind that your life is complex, and that you are a many-faceted individual. Your life is a living, organic mosaic. Your current job does not totally or completely define who you are in this world. So, you need to learn to let go of what isn’t working well for you.
Don’t limit your own potential by identifying your personality or your life with what you do. You are much more than your current job title or professional identity. If you don’t like who you are at work, or what you are being asked to focus on, you must either find ways to change your style of working, change your feelings about what you are doing, or find work in a different line that will allow you to be and to express who you truly are.
2. Say “yes” to more often to the things you want to do. Stretch out of that comfort zone, and push yourself to grow at all times. Be open to new opportunities that excite your mind.
You are a whole lot more than you think you are, and than you give yourself credit for. You possess a broader array of skills, strengths and capabilities than you are using at this very moment. If you are offered an opportunity that allows you to stretch into a new area, and this area feels exciting to you, go for it! What’s holding you back? The expansion that you will experience will allow new perspectives, priorities, preferences and strengths to emerge. Be wholly committed to continually expanding your knowledge and skill-set. Leave the need to be an expert behind sometimes. Have the courage to be a beginner again, and don’t shy away from trying out some new stuff.
3. Let go when things aren’t working
Trying to pretend that you can remain in the dark about the things that make you unhappy only prolongs your suffering, and postpones the actions that you must eventually take. Pay attention. Start looking more deeply into what really isn’t working in your life and work. And begin to create a meaningful step-by-step action plan for addressing what needs to be changed, added, redirected, or released.
4. Don’t let your ego drive your decision-making
As much as you can, be sure your that ego isn’t leading you around by the nose. Ego-based decisions are those that decisions that will drive you to actions that simply bolster or boost your ego and your sense of outward domination, power, control, and recognition. Often these ego-based decisions point you in directions that are not in alignment with what you truly feel passionate about. Integrate your ego perspective with your intuition, your higher thinking skills, and your understanding of what you value and appreciate. Make decisions that reflect who you are and wish to be in life. You know the old saying, “Follow your heart, but take your brain with you.”
5. Let go of perfectionism
Many professionals suffer from perfectionism and the need to hyper-function and over-control at work and at home, alike. You must move away from the need to be perfect and the need to do everything yourself. Start by empowering everyone else in your life. This means your significant other, your children, friends, parents, colleagues, employees, and many more. You need to empower them so that they can also gain a greater sense of their own independence, self-reliance, self-confidence, achievement and productivity, and so that they can learn to oversee and execute what is theirs to handle. Let go of what isn’t really yours to manage.
6. Follow the energy flow
Start paying attention to your energy level. What time of day are you most productive? What gets your juices flowing, even when you are tired? What do you do to recharge? Expand your focus on all those projects, people, and endeavors in both your work and personal life that give you a lift in positive energy. On the other hand, activities, people, and roles that deplete your energy just thinking about them are to be avoided. Follow your energy.
As a dear friend of mine might say, spend the coin of time that you have on those who “get you”
Part 2, next week…
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