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5 Questions To Ask To Get Unstuck

5 Questions To Ask To Get Unstuck

 

Has your career come to a grounding holt, where you are no longer being recognised, rewarded and promoted? Perhaps you are feeling bored, lacking challenge and missing the opportunity for growth. Are you wondering why it is that your career progression has plateaued over the last few years, leaving you less than excited about going to work every day?

Becoming stuck at the same place in our career usually dosen’t happen over night. It creeps up on us until one day we wake up and say how did this happen??

So how does it happen?

The simple answer is that you have been playing way too safe!

Too often we do what feels comfortable. We take the familiar route; doing what we know without question we can do well. We say yes to the projects that are similar to the ones we have had success in previously. We take the path of least resistance, avoiding “risky” innovative solutions and do what we can to fly under the radar to avoid the possibility of even more work coming our way.

The comfort of what we know is all too alluring…. but often not at all satisfying. When we think about the things we are most proud of, they are very often those things that stretched and challenged us.

If you want to achieve new results, hit new targets, be seen, heard and recognised for all you are capable of, then you must be willing to do what you have never done before. And yes! That means stepping outside your comfort zone.

Our growth, joy and fulfilment comes doing the things we have never done before. The magic happens beyond our comfort zone!

One of my gorgeous clients, Katherine, discovered this recently. She had an opportunity to speak and share her story at an event but felt that it was beyond her. She had an amazingly inspiring story of courage and achievement to tell but felt too scared to step out onto the stage. After a little work to raise her confidence, sense of self worth and belief in her abilities, she accepted the challenge and quite simply must have been brilliant.

By accepting the challenge, she has now been asked to speak at 3 more high profile events. And as you can imagine, opportunities have opened up for her because of that one brave move.

Everything that you want is available to you too. All that is required is for you to do the things that you have not yet done. This is true for my life and for so many of the women I work with. We must be willing to shift the status quo in our own lives, shake things up a little and to step into the unknown, where, yes, there is risk, but also so much more opportunity.

Here are 5 simple questions to ask to help you get unstuck.

1.  Where in your work are you playing safe? Are you shying away from speaking up in meetings? Are you keeping your innovative ideas to yourself out of fear of ridicule or rejection? Have you passed up opportunities or failed to apply for a promotion?

2.  Where have you have been doing the same thing over and over? Are you doing what you have always done and hoping to get a different outcome? Better results come from trying new ways, innovative strategies, extending the boundaries of what has been done before.

3.  What would happen if you began doing the things that felt scary or outside your comfort zone? Imagine if you did muster up the courage to take on a bigger role, greater responsibilities, a challenging project, the opportunity to speak at an event or simply to broaden you network.

4.  If you could not fail, what would you attempt to do? We all have dreams! What are yours? In the busyness of the day to day to do lists, both at work and at home, we get lost in the minutia of the same old same old. But it is for this very reason you have lost the spark for your work. Dig into your past swag of dreams and bring them to life again.

5.  What is it costing you right now to stay stuck? Ok this one might hurt a little, but lets get real for just one moment. What is it costing you to stay stuck? Is it your health, your mood, your connection with those you love, your sense of fulfilment, career progression or is it quite simply that you want more from life and your work than you what you have right now??

The good news is that change can happen quite quickly once you realise you are stuck and begin doing some things differently. Even the smallest changes can create momentum towards a more rewarding career. The only question for you now to answer is “What are you prepared to do to create that change?”

NEXT STEPS?

LET'S CONNECT

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Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

Similar Blog Posts

What the Queen taught me about…

As I sat on the couch this week watching the Queens funeral, I was transfixed by the pomp and ceremony of it all. There’s no doubt the Pom’s know how to create a sense of occasion.

Here we were, witnessing history.

Jane Benston

Businessman having stress in the office

Leading through and beyond burnout

Imagine this….

You’re sitting in the car park at work with a splitting headache and with that sinking feeling of here we go again. The 3 coffees you’ve downed already to give you a bit of an energetic lift haven’t helped; in fact, you feel more than a little shaky. Your phone has lit up like a Christmas tree with fires you’re expected to put out, yet all you want to do is book a room at the nearest hotel, close the blinds and sleep for days.

Jane Benston

Time’s Change But Not Fast Enough

Yesterday we farewelled my partner’s Mum… at the ripe old age of 101!

Sadly, I never got to know her before dementia stole her memory and much of her spark, but Betty clearly was a special woman. As I sat in the chapel listening to her life story, I reflected on how different her life would have been if she had lived in a different era.

Jane Benston

3 things to let go of in pursuit of career success

3 things to let go of in pursuit of career success

So often when we think about getting ahead in our career we think about what we need to do more of or be better at or what new action we must take, but very often the place to start has more to do with what we must let go of. The path to a career that is meaningful and fulfilling is often not a path of adding to or gaining something, but of removal or letting go.

I hear it all the time from the women I work with who are at a crossroads and are searching for direction and clarity about the next phase in their career. Yes there are absolutely actions that are instrumental to creating the momentum to move towards that next promotion, change of career direction or even taking the leap out of the corporate world and into a new business venture.

But… there are always things we need to give up and let go of first.

Deciding to let go of the thinking, beliefs, emotions, things and other “baggage” that are holding us back – is often a hidden key to moving towards that next big thing in our career.  It is all about clearing out the junk and clutter and making room for the new.

3 Things To LET GO Of In Pursuit Of Career Success  

1.  Let go of the status quo. The one thing that I can guarantee is that change is inevitable and the more we hold on tight to the status quo the harder life will seem. Holding onto the status quo is like swimming against the tide… it is hard work and you ultimately end up somewhere you don’t actually want to be.

Many of us have an unconscious obsession with holding onto what seems certain and predictable even when what we have is not bringing joy and fulfilment.

The status quo, miserable or unsatisfying as it may be, is known and so can seem easier to navigate through, knowing at least what to expect, even if it is not great.  However if we disrupt the status quo, the future is completely unknown and for many people this can be unnerving and feels incredibly scary.

I am speaking from experience on this one! I held onto a job for almost 2 years even though I hated it (and yes … I really did hate it!) The fear of the unknown seemed far worse than the unpleasantness of what I had…. when really all I needed to do was let go of the status quo and have faith in myself.

2.  Let go the fear of risk. A recruitment consultant told me yesterday that the greatest challenge she sees amongst female job candidates securing ideal roles was their tendency to be risk adverse. We hold onto the perceived safety and security that comes with tenure within an organisation such as long service and annual leave entitlements, possible bonus and the like.

These are valid considerations but just that … a consideration. I love Richard Branson’s question around taking risk. Ask yourself “What is the worse thing that could happen and if that was to happen could you handle it?” In most cases the answer is yes. We are far stronger and more resilient than we think.

Moving onto something new always involves some risk. I hear you asking … What if I fail? What if I don’t like it? What if it isn’t what I think it is?

Yes but what if by taking a little risk you move onto the perfect role for you that gives you all the flexibility, meaning, fulfillment and joy that you could ever imagine? 

3.  Let go of Negative Nelly’s.  Think about the people who you spend time with. Are they supporting you and cheering you on? Or are you hanging out with the Nay Sayers and the Negative Nelly’s.

The attitude, thinking and aspirations of others are highly contagious, so choose who you spend time with wisely. This might mean spending less time with people who you love or people who have been in your world for a long time. It doesn’t necessarily mean ditching them all together … but it might.

Letting go of the Negative Nelly’s allows space in your life for those that expect even more of you than you do? Imagine spending time with people who believe in you when your confidence takes a hit and who champion you, advocate for you and show you the way towards the next big thing in your career.

Just last week my partner challenged me to stop playing safe and to take the next step in the development of my business. It was done with love and with sincere belief in me. It shook me out of my own complacency and comfort zone and was exactly the type of support I needed.

Who do you have in your corner?

Take a moment to reflect on what you will need to let go of in order to have what you really want.

LET'S CONNECT

Click below to…

Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

Similar Blog Posts

What the Queen taught me about…

As I sat on the couch this week watching the Queens funeral, I was transfixed by the pomp and ceremony of it all. There’s no doubt the Pom’s know how to create a sense of occasion.

Here we were, witnessing history.

Jane Benston

Businessman having stress in the office

Leading through and beyond burnout

Imagine this….

You’re sitting in the car park at work with a splitting headache and with that sinking feeling of here we go again. The 3 coffees you’ve downed already to give you a bit of an energetic lift haven’t helped; in fact, you feel more than a little shaky. Your phone has lit up like a Christmas tree with fires you’re expected to put out, yet all you want to do is book a room at the nearest hotel, close the blinds and sleep for days.

Jane Benston

Time’s Change But Not Fast Enough

Yesterday we farewelled my partner’s Mum… at the ripe old age of 101!

Sadly, I never got to know her before dementia stole her memory and much of her spark, but Betty clearly was a special woman. As I sat in the chapel listening to her life story, I reflected on how different her life would have been if she had lived in a different era.

Jane Benston

Networking isn’t just about events!

Networking isn’t just about events!

When you hear the word networking do you immediately start planning the stunning outfit you’ll wear so you look your best to meet and mingle with really gorgeous super cool people?

Or do you groan and imagine yourself entering a crowded room (feeling awkward and uncomfortable) where you don’t know anyone and you know you’re going to be expected to speak about yourself?

If you shudder at the idea of networking at events, you are definitely not alone.

I recently raised a discussion about networking at the Career by Design (a 1 day workshop for women at a career crossroads) and there was an audible groan around the room.

Most often when we think of networking we evoke an image of a crowded networking event where there is a LOT of talking, plenty of exchanging business cards and the odd promise of staying in touch.

So if you’re not the big event type woman… what are you doing instead?

You know you should be building and nurturing your professional network!

Your next promotion or new position is unlikely to come from Seek or the Saturday papers. Rather it will come from an introduction, recommendation or a friendly heads up from someone within your network. A recruitment consultant I was “networking” with recently suggested that up to 70% of roles are never advertised.

So to tap effectively into this market you need to be well connected with people who know who you are, recognise your unique skills and capabilities and know the types of roles you would be interested in.

Networking is about creating mutually beneficial relationships.

Yes … relationships. Not just connections. Relationships.

Building and nurturing your network can be as simple as catching up with people who you already know or who you have been introduced to.

Here are my top tips for networking without ever attending a networking event.

1. Get strategic. As women we are all busy, so preparation is key. Get clear on the outcomes you want from networking. This will vary depending on your career priorities. You may be positioning for a new job or promotion or you may be seeking guidance and support to grow your skills and capabilities.

2. Expand your inner circle. Your professional network is no doubt already filled with riches. It’s time to tap into it and reconnect with some long lost professional acquaintances. Start with people who you have met or worked with in the past. Pick up the phone and say hello or connect with them on LinkedIn.

3. It all happens over coffee. It’s time to step away from you desk and create a face to face connection. Be mindful that time is our most precious resource so be respectful of both yours and theirs. A quick catch up over coffee works or a lunch time walk are my personal favourites.

4. Relationships first. That’s right, relationships first, business second. This is not about bombarding your coffee date with a verbal version of your CV then blurting out a desperate plea for a job or mentoring. Far from it.

 Instead, ask for advice or for a recommendation of who they might be able to introduce you to, to further your career or job hunt. People are usually way more willing to help than we ever expect.

And remember that all great relationships take time and genuine care. They are two way and build on mutual trust and respect. And don’t forget your manners. Show your appreciation by sending a hand written note.

5. Make the time. I know what you’re saying. “Jane I don’t have time.” Yes I know you’re busy but this is important. It’s best to cultivate relationships way before you need them.

I’ve worked with many women who’ve been made redundant and those with the healthiest networks re-entered the workforce much more quickly than those who were starting from scratch.

And at the end of the day ….your network will ultimately enrich your life.

More than anything… life is so much more interesting and enjoyable when we are surrounded by people who we care about.

I am eternally grateful for the amazing women (and a few special men) in my inner circle of professional relationships. They lift me up, challenge me, look out for me, advocate for me. Together we have let off steam and shed a few tears. We’ve celebrated milestones and shared the odd glass of bubbles.

Who’s in your inner circle?

NEXT STEPS?

LET'S CONNECT

Click below to…

Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

Similar Blog Posts

What the Queen taught me about…

As I sat on the couch this week watching the Queens funeral, I was transfixed by the pomp and ceremony of it all. There’s no doubt the Pom’s know how to create a sense of occasion.

Here we were, witnessing history.

Jane Benston

Businessman having stress in the office

Leading through and beyond burnout

Imagine this….

You’re sitting in the car park at work with a splitting headache and with that sinking feeling of here we go again. The 3 coffees you’ve downed already to give you a bit of an energetic lift haven’t helped; in fact, you feel more than a little shaky. Your phone has lit up like a Christmas tree with fires you’re expected to put out, yet all you want to do is book a room at the nearest hotel, close the blinds and sleep for days.

Jane Benston

Time’s Change But Not Fast Enough

Yesterday we farewelled my partner’s Mum… at the ripe old age of 101!

Sadly, I never got to know her before dementia stole her memory and much of her spark, but Betty clearly was a special woman. As I sat in the chapel listening to her life story, I reflected on how different her life would have been if she had lived in a different era.

Jane Benston

5 keys to creating momentum for career change

5 keys to creating momentum for career change

Have you ever wanted to create change in your career but felt overwhelmed by the enormity of the task ahead? The idea of stepping up to the next big thing, changing career direction or creating some new results, can at times seem totally daunting and a task too large to begin.

The comfort of what we know is all too alluring…. but often not at all satisfying. We delude ourselves into thinking that avoiding risk and sticking with the status quo – however miserable – is the smartest and best course of action… when of course it isn’t.

I know this to be true because I stayed in a job for more than 18 months even though I was totally miserable, unproductive and doing a lousy job. I stayed, wishing, waiting and hoping that things would improve but of course they never did.

It took a “crisis” to finally push me to find the courage, to take action and move on.

So often I see leaders who want to create change in their career, but are too busy, overwhelmed and exhausted to find the space in their schedule to even pause to think about what they truly want, let alone reflect, create a plan and commit to action.

Here are 5 keys to creating momentum for change in your career.

1.  Press the pause button. Get off the treadmill and be still. That’s right, just stop! Until you take time out to think, create and plan nothing is likely to change. The busyness of our lives does not allow for creativity, problem solving and we are unlikely to see the opportunities that are right there waiting to be seized.

Start by blocking out a chuck of time to reflect on your current career status.  Grab a pen and paper and jot down your thoughts. What is working for you?  What frustrates you?  What do you wish was different? What do you love most about your current role? Does your role provide a positive challenge for you and are you being given opportunities for growth?

2.  Assess the cost of maintaining the status quo. I wonder what it is costing you right now by maintaining the status quo? Is your health taking a hit? Are you neglecting some of the people who are most important to you? Has your career flat lined? Are you bored, uninspired and feeling lost?

 Getting clear on the true cost of staying stuck is often enough to create the motivation and the drive to create change. Life is too short to settle for mediocre!!!

3.  Listen to your intuition. If you have experienced a quiet and persistent gut reaction for some time telling you that something has to change… well it is now time to listen. The busier we get the less we listen to our own intuition but this is exactly when we need to stop and ask ourselves what is our intuition telling us here.

Our intuition can be a brilliant guide, particularly when we pair it with our rational, analytical brain to assess the risk, weigh up the options and assess the facts. Bring the two together and you have a powerful foundation for effective decision making.

4.  Find support. Yes you are a strong independent woman…. but you don’t need to go alone. Reach out to your network and ask for their support and assistance. You will be surprised at how willing people will be to provide you with their help if only they know how.

Women are great at building relationships, connecting and sharing ideas. We are born to nurture the growth and development of others. You have no doubt extended a helping hand to others at some time, now it is your turn. Let people know what opportunities you are looking for and share your career dreams and aspirations.

Opportunities for promotion, career change or a position that will allow you more flexibility and lifestyle choices may be as close as one conversation with the right person.

5.  Know you are capable. Yes You! You’re capable of so much more than you might at first think. Even if the worst was to happen, I am guessing you could handle it.

Every day I work with women who underestimate their potential. There seems to be an epidemic out there of women who down play their achievements, question their value and are blind to the unique skills and talents they bring to their work.

It is time to shift your focus from what you can’t do to what in fact you can!

And then take action. Nothing changes without action and without doing some things differently.

Now is your time. You have been waiting long enough. If you want to create change in your career it is up to you. The hardest step of any change is the first so…. be bold, be brave and believe that you can.

Know that something needs to change but unsure where to start? 

Book in for a Leadership Support Session here, and together we’ll create a tangible plan to move you forward courageously, strategically and in a way that honours and utilises your strengths. 

LET'S CONNECT

Click below to…

Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

Similar Blog Posts

What the Queen taught me about…

As I sat on the couch this week watching the Queens funeral, I was transfixed by the pomp and ceremony of it all. There’s no doubt the Pom’s know how to create a sense of occasion.

Here we were, witnessing history.

Jane Benston

Businessman having stress in the office

Leading through and beyond burnout

Imagine this….

You’re sitting in the car park at work with a splitting headache and with that sinking feeling of here we go again. The 3 coffees you’ve downed already to give you a bit of an energetic lift haven’t helped; in fact, you feel more than a little shaky. Your phone has lit up like a Christmas tree with fires you’re expected to put out, yet all you want to do is book a room at the nearest hotel, close the blinds and sleep for days.

Jane Benston

Time’s Change But Not Fast Enough

Yesterday we farewelled my partner’s Mum… at the ripe old age of 101!

Sadly, I never got to know her before dementia stole her memory and much of her spark, but Betty clearly was a special woman. As I sat in the chapel listening to her life story, I reflected on how different her life would have been if she had lived in a different era.

Jane Benston

Are You Battling The Back To Work Blues?

Are You Battling The Back To Work Blues?

I am wondering, are you battling the back to work blues? Have you, like so many of us, returned to work this week after some precious time out, reconnecting with your friends and family and immersing yourself in all those activities that truly bring you joy?

As you step back into the office it would be normal to experience a little sadness for the loss of the sense of freedom that comes with long days at the beach, the joy of settling into a good book or enjoying a long lunch with friends.

But if you are dreading the end of holiday time and wondering how you will survive the year as it stretches out ahead of you… then perhaps it is time to reconsider whether you and your job are meant for one another.

However, before you take this as permission to go out and quit your job, lets first look at a few ideas that might help you reignite your career mojo.

How to overcome the back to work blues.

1.  Clarify Your Goals. I know you have heard this one before and you may have wondered if it really is important. Well it is! One year is much more likely to flow into the next without you actually making any progress in the absence of the focus and direction that comes from setting goals.

If goals are not your thing, then one idea I like to play with each year is to set a theme for the year. For example, I had a year of focusing on taking action outside my comfort zone and another year it was about building relationships and connections. What will be your theme this year?

2.  Set Boundaries. This one is for you if you have found yourself consistently working longer and longer hours. All of us know that we will need to put in some extra hours from time to time but when it becomes the norm we have let it go to far.

I recently worked with a client whose average working day had stretched out to be more than 12 hours EVERY day. Her health was suffering and she was beginning to resent the fact that she was spending so little time with her family. By simply setting some personal boundaries, identifying some opportunities to maximise her efforts and saying NO to the extra tasks that were not her responsibility, she reclaimed more than two hours a day of personal time.

3.  Commit to working smarter not harder. No matter how you juggle your schedule, the number of hours in the day will always remain the same. But it is possible to adjust your habits to create more time for the things that matter most.

Working smarter not harder starts with planning regularly, carving out specific time in your diary for the bigger, more strategic tasks to be completed at your most productive time of the day and to delegate those tasks that don’t need to be done specifically by you.

4.  Focus on your strengths. Ask yourself, are you working to your strengths or has your role morphed into a bunch of tasks that do not capitalise on what you do best? When you work to your strengths you are much more likely to enjoy the work you do and produce much better results to boot!

5.  Strengthen your working relationships. For many people the quality of their working relationships determine the degree of job satisfaction. And like any type of relationship … this takes some work. It is about staying connected, adding value, collaborating and supporting others to meet common goals.

6.  Focus on your personal wellbeing. There is a growing mountain of research that points to the value of focusing on healthy eating, making time for exercise and taking time out to still the mind through meditation or mindfulness. It is hard to be at your best at work while also having energy for an active and fulfilling life outside of work, if you are not taking care of your heath.

7.  Set an end point.  If, after all of this, you are still struggling to find enjoyment and fulfilment at work, then perhaps it is time to take the plunge and go after something new. Life is too short to spend most of your waking hours stuck in a job that does not “float your boat.” 

Commit now to an end point, a date by which time you will either have found a way to reignite your career mojo or to move on!

Now it is over to you. If you have been hit by the back to work blues and are struggling to get fired up and motivated for another year, then it is time to do things differently. Without change you are destined for more of the same. So go out and do what it takes to reignite the spark for more enjoyment and fulfilment in your work.

LET'S CONNECT

Click below to…

Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

Similar Blog Posts

What the Queen taught me about…

As I sat on the couch this week watching the Queens funeral, I was transfixed by the pomp and ceremony of it all. There’s no doubt the Pom’s know how to create a sense of occasion.

Here we were, witnessing history.

Jane Benston

Businessman having stress in the office

Leading through and beyond burnout

Imagine this….

You’re sitting in the car park at work with a splitting headache and with that sinking feeling of here we go again. The 3 coffees you’ve downed already to give you a bit of an energetic lift haven’t helped; in fact, you feel more than a little shaky. Your phone has lit up like a Christmas tree with fires you’re expected to put out, yet all you want to do is book a room at the nearest hotel, close the blinds and sleep for days.

Jane Benston

Time’s Change But Not Fast Enough

Yesterday we farewelled my partner’s Mum… at the ripe old age of 101!

Sadly, I never got to know her before dementia stole her memory and much of her spark, but Betty clearly was a special woman. As I sat in the chapel listening to her life story, I reflected on how different her life would have been if she had lived in a different era.

Jane Benston

4 Steps To Overcoming Fear

4 Steps To Overcoming Fear

Lack of education, opportunity or desire; these are not what holds you back from achieving success, reaching your potential or creating significant impact in your work. The number one thing that holds you back is your silent struggle with confidence, self worth and faith in yourself.

I recently had the pleasure of working with a group of extraordinary women to help them plan for the next phase of their career. All these women were high achieving and had ticked off many of their personal career goals but when we looked at the barriers to stepping into their next big thing, primarily it was their confidence and belief in themselves that stood in the way.

Even though they had all achieved what we would generally class as success, they all talked about their struggle with their inner critic. Their career progress was being limited more by their “inner glass ceiling” than anything external holding them back.

Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, authors of The Confidence Gap, support this idea. In their extensive research, they found that the more they searched for evidence of flourishing confidence in successful women, the more they found a distinct shortage even amongst highly acclaimed, accomplished women.

What this is really about … Is FEAR.

Fear that we are not good enough, of being too scared to step into the unknown and lacking faith that we already have it within us to achieve a new level of excellence and to follow our dreams.

I understand!

From my own experience, I have battled fear on a regular basis. For example, it showed up when I published my first blog post, when I stepped onto the stage for the first time as a speaker at a conference and when I invested in my own learning and joined a mastermind program.

But what you have to recognise here, is that every time you allow the fear to hold you back, you give away your power to the things you are too afraid to do. The simple truth is, the only way to take that power back is to start to do the things that you are afraid of.

So you need to start speaking up in meetings despite the fear, take on opportunities even though they feel way outside your comfort zone and have the courage to have the difficult conversations. Little by little, you will overcome the fear that stands in your way and take your power back.

Here are 4 simple (but by no means easy) steps towards fearlessness.

  1. The antidote to fear is action. Every time you take even a small action that feels uncomfortable it is a step towards fearlessness. Overcoming fear is like anything in life … it takes practice. With each action, you are building your fearless muscle and rewiring your brain towards fearlessness.
  1. Take the opportunities as they arise. How often have you missed out on a magnificent opportunity because you hesitated out of fear?   If an opportunity presents itself, step into the fear and take action to move forward. Have the “guts” to do what you know intuitively you should do.
  1. Practice Fearlessness. Becoming less fearful is just like anything else you want to become better at. If you want to become a better runner or better at speaking Spanish… you have to practice. As Robin Sharma (Author and leadership expert) has said “The quality of your performance reflects the caliber of your practice.” The more you practice stepping into and taking action in spite of the fear, the more fearless you will become.
  1. Keep a fearlessness journal. Every day record all the little wins and actions you have taken in spite of fear. By focusing on the little wins each day you will begin to condition your brain and your focus towards how strong, powerful and fearless you actually are.

Your fears will keep you small, limit your success and hold you back from the experiences and joy you really desire. But the truth is that very few of your fears are real! Somewhere along the way, we have fallen into the trap of believing that the safest way to live is to stay within our comfort zone… but, ultimately, all this will bring us is boredom and a life of mediocrity.

You have a choice … to allow your fear to steal your power and limit your experience of life or to stare fear in the face and have unwavering faith in your abilities, strength and resilience.

I know which I choose

LET'S CONNECT

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Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

Similar Blog Posts

What the Queen taught me about…

As I sat on the couch this week watching the Queens funeral, I was transfixed by the pomp and ceremony of it all. There’s no doubt the Pom’s know how to create a sense of occasion.

Here we were, witnessing history.

Jane Benston

Businessman having stress in the office

Leading through and beyond burnout

Imagine this….

You’re sitting in the car park at work with a splitting headache and with that sinking feeling of here we go again. The 3 coffees you’ve downed already to give you a bit of an energetic lift haven’t helped; in fact, you feel more than a little shaky. Your phone has lit up like a Christmas tree with fires you’re expected to put out, yet all you want to do is book a room at the nearest hotel, close the blinds and sleep for days.

Jane Benston

Time’s Change But Not Fast Enough

Yesterday we farewelled my partner’s Mum… at the ripe old age of 101!

Sadly, I never got to know her before dementia stole her memory and much of her spark, but Betty clearly was a special woman. As I sat in the chapel listening to her life story, I reflected on how different her life would have been if she had lived in a different era.

Jane Benston

The Mid Career Crisis

The Mid Career Crisis

Many of the women I work with are in their early 40’s and are questioning their career. They have achieved a great deal of success but are now agonising over how come they don’t feel more delighted and excited given that they have achieved all they planned as they danced into the workforce all those years, filled with energy and ambition. Somehow their success feels hollow and they are left questioning. “Is this it?”

Jobs that brought pride, challenge and intense satisfaction, are no longer fulfilling or even mildly attractive!

For many it is a time for career transition born out of a natural movement towards considering the meaning of life, a review of values and questioning whether the career they have built is actually the career that they want.

Something seems to happen for us women in our 40’s. What we so desperately wanted in out twenties and thirties doesn’t seem to be what we want now. What once was in perfect alignment with who we were, is no longer. Our priorities have shifted, our values changed and we as people have grown.

This idea resonates with me … a lot. Where once I wanted job security, opportunity for career growth and a clear pathway towards more responsibility … now, what matters most to me are flexibility, job satisfaction and doing something truly meaningful.

Over time our personal values gradually shift, influenced by life’s experiences such marriages, children, bereavement, divorce, illness, redundancy and personal achievements and growth. The shift is slow and gradual. It goes unnoticed and over time the gap between our goals and what we now value most in our lives keeps widening until suddenly somewhere around midlife we are confronted with a mismatch between the two.

It is confusing, unsettling and leaves many craving for more meaning and fulfillment from their career. 

Too often I see women settling for the status quo, wishing and hoping that things will change, but they never do. Perhaps it is the fear of change, but more often than not I believe most stay put because they haven’t yet figured out their plan “B”.

Coming up with a plan “B” can be seen as confronting and overwhelming…. Or it can be seen as an exciting fresh start. You get to choose! Given that you have about 20 more years of employment ahead of you… lets choose to see this as an exciting time of transition, a second chance, a joyous new beginning.

You may be surprised to learn that when researchers asked people over 65 to pick an age they would most like to return to, most chose their 40’s. While stress reaches a high point in middle age, so does our confidence in our abilities. So let’s make the most of this time and make these years some of our happiest and most rewarding.

Here are some things to think about if you are heading towards a mid career crisis.

  1. If you could wave a magic wand and create the next phase of your career just the way you want, what would you include? Think about what motivates and energises you.
  1. What do you value most (eg: time with your family, personal growth, health and wellbeing, being seen as a leader in your field etc) Consider how your career and life choices reflect your values and if there is a mismatch how you can address that.
  1. What are the parts of your current role that you enjoy? Are there ways that you can incorporate more of this into your everyday?
  1. What have you dreamed of doing … but never had the courage to give a go to? Ask yourself; if not now, when?
  1. Imagine exploring and creating a lifestyle that meets your needs then thinking about how work fits around this.
  1. What stories are you telling yourself that are standing between you and the next phase of your career?
  1. How would you feel if nothing was to have changed… one year from now?

So if you recognise that perhaps you are heading towards a “mid career crisis” then the first place to start, is to look upon this time in a positive light. See this time as a golden opportunity to reassess where you have come from, where you are now and where you could go next.

Is time to invest some time into you and take some time out to create the next phase of your career?

NEXT STEPS?

LET'S CONNECT

Click below to…

Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

Similar Blog Posts

What the Queen taught me about…

As I sat on the couch this week watching the Queens funeral, I was transfixed by the pomp and ceremony of it all. There’s no doubt the Pom’s know how to create a sense of occasion.

Here we were, witnessing history.

Jane Benston

Businessman having stress in the office

Leading through and beyond burnout

Imagine this….

You’re sitting in the car park at work with a splitting headache and with that sinking feeling of here we go again. The 3 coffees you’ve downed already to give you a bit of an energetic lift haven’t helped; in fact, you feel more than a little shaky. Your phone has lit up like a Christmas tree with fires you’re expected to put out, yet all you want to do is book a room at the nearest hotel, close the blinds and sleep for days.

Jane Benston

Time’s Change But Not Fast Enough

Yesterday we farewelled my partner’s Mum… at the ripe old age of 101!

Sadly, I never got to know her before dementia stole her memory and much of her spark, but Betty clearly was a special woman. As I sat in the chapel listening to her life story, I reflected on how different her life would have been if she had lived in a different era.

Jane Benston

Is Your Career by Default Or Design?

Is Your Career by Default Or Design?

Do you love your work? Does it fulfil your needs for professional growth and personal connection? Do you wake up each morning and leap out of bed with a feeling of excited expectation when you think about your schedule for the day? Does it bring meaning to your life and a sense of pride for the contribution that you make?

Or perhaps you dread the sound of your alarm clock as it signals another day at the salt mines and leaving you wondering how it is they have ended up in a role that leaves them depleted, unfulfilled and uninspired.

If this sounds more like you … you are not alone.

As women, what we really want from our career is to be engaged in work that has real meaning, where we make difference and provides a platform to inspire.  We want our work to allow us space for personal and professional growth and we want to be seen, heard and valued.

For many women I speak to, their current role barely ticks any of these boxes and experiencing simple enjoyment from their career has eluded them in recent years.

They tell me that they started out with a clear plan mapped out ahead of them. It was exciting and the positions they held brought them daily challenges, recognition and career progression. Their career pretty much followed the plan for the first 10 years or so, with promotions, payrises and great opportunities coming their way.

But then their luck dried up.

Yes…some put their career “success” down to “luck”, being in the right place at the right time. I don’t believe in pure luck. We create the opportunities that come our way by doing great work, letting people see what we are capable of and taking the odd risk or leap of faith to say yes to challenging projects.

Sarah is a classic example. She had worked at one of the big professional services firms since she was a new graduate. She worked her way up the corporate ladder, being well paid and recognised for her capabilities and achievements. Every couple of years she was “tapped on the shoulder” and offered a new position or greater responsibility.

Then one day she took a look around and noticed that she no longer loved what she was doing and wondered how she had ended up on a treadmill of late nights, interstate travel and purely going through the motions.

She had fallen into the trap of career by default rather than design.

I am wondering, can you relate? Is your career by default or design?

Careers by default can work… for a time. But the vast majority will eventually lead nowhere special.

Given that our work takes up much of our waking time, it would make sense that we would make it a priority to shape our career to be the one we want. But so many of us don’t. We put more energy into planning our holidays than we do designing a career that is meaningful or fulfilling … let alone enjoyable.

It is time to make a choice; the choice to settle on another year of leaving your career up to chance or to decide that it is time for you to truly do what it takes to create a career that inspires and excites you.

Perhaps it is time to press pause on your busy schedule and take some time out to reflect.  

Here are some key questions to ask yourself as you begin creating a career by design.

  • What is it that you really want to be doing?
  • What aspects of your job do you love to do and can you be doing more of that?
  • Does your current position tap into your greatest strengths and passions or are you working against your “natural flow”?
  • Ideally, what would you like your working day to look like? (ie: start time and finish time, does it include travel or not, does it include more flexible arrangements)
  • What are the roadblocks that are standing in your way?
  • How have your actions, behaviours and decisions contributed to your current level of career satisfaction or lack there of?
  • How long have you allowed the status quo to prevail?

These questions are designed to be mulled over and to stimulate your thinking. Nothing will change unless you make it happen!

The final question to ask yourself, is; How will it be if nothing has changed one year from now?

Next Steps?

If you’ve realised that your career is more by default than design then I invite you to map out the next phase of your career at this intimate one day event designed specifically for high achieving professional women. Click here for all the details and to book.  

Make this the year you create a career by design not default!

LET'S CONNECT

Click below to…

Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

Similar Blog Posts

What the Queen taught me about…

As I sat on the couch this week watching the Queens funeral, I was transfixed by the pomp and ceremony of it all. There’s no doubt the Pom’s know how to create a sense of occasion.

Here we were, witnessing history.

Jane Benston

Businessman having stress in the office

Leading through and beyond burnout

Imagine this….

You’re sitting in the car park at work with a splitting headache and with that sinking feeling of here we go again. The 3 coffees you’ve downed already to give you a bit of an energetic lift haven’t helped; in fact, you feel more than a little shaky. Your phone has lit up like a Christmas tree with fires you’re expected to put out, yet all you want to do is book a room at the nearest hotel, close the blinds and sleep for days.

Jane Benston

Time’s Change But Not Fast Enough

Yesterday we farewelled my partner’s Mum… at the ripe old age of 101!

Sadly, I never got to know her before dementia stole her memory and much of her spark, but Betty clearly was a special woman. As I sat in the chapel listening to her life story, I reflected on how different her life would have been if she had lived in a different era.

Jane Benston

What got you HERE, will not get you THERE

What got you HERE, will not get you THERE

You have worked out what you want for your career. You are ambitious, driven and courageous. You have your future mapped out and high expectations around what you and your team can achieve.

You have tasted success and you have “lucked” into some really great opportunities by being in the right place at the right time. Up ‘until now, your career has unfolded pretty much as planned.

So why have all the great opportunities dried up?

It can be scary, hugely frustrating and very unfamiliar territory for many high achieving professionals. You’re doing what you have always done but it is no longer getting you recognised, rewarded or promoted.

Many leaders make the mistake of believing that, provided they continue to do what they have always done, they will keep making progress in their career. Let’s face it – it has worked well so far.

But sadly, the habits, actions and thinking that got you here will not necessarily take you to the next level.

In the early years of your career, purely working hard, getting the job done and continuing to grow your technical skills was all it took for the accolades to roll in.

But, as a mentor once said to me, as we move to a new level, we need to overcome new devils. This might be to overcome our fear of speaking up, letting go of our habit of over-delivering, learning to delegate more effectively or stepping up to a new level of strategic thinking.

It is the same for growing your team results. A new level of results will take a new level of thinking, new decision making strategies and even more courageous action.

Recently I worked with a leadership team at a two day retreat to create the foundations for their five year strategy. Over the past 18 months, they have operated in survival mode to take the business out of the red and back into the black. They are now achieving good results and are poised to create great results. We acknowledged that what it took for the business to merely survive was not what was needed to build an exciting, thriving organisation that would be seen as the leader in their field.

Yes, strategy is a critically important element but great results start with the best people playing their part to the best of their ability.

Our first step towards exceptional team results was to look at what each member of the leadership team needed to do differently to create a new level of results. For some, that meant tweaking the way they operated within the leadership team, for others it meant identifying areas of personal growth such as improving their communication skills, collaborating more or remaining focused on the key business priorities.

Great results for the team start with each team member performing to their potential. The outcome of the team will only be as good as the weakest link. Just like in an orchestra, all the musicians need to put in the work to grow their skill in their particular area of expertise, but also to work together in harmony to create beautiful music.

If what got you here, wont get you there, what do you need to do to create some new outcomes?

1.  Get clear on where THERE is. Start by getting clear on what you want for your career, your leadership and your team. What do you want to achieve? What do you want your team to achieve? It is only once we know what we want to achieve, that we recognise what we need to do differently to get there.

2.  Seek feedback. Honest feedback is the foundation for change. We are usually blind to our own limitations, challenges and behaviours holding us back. As one of the leaders at the retreat said, feedback can feel a little like a slap in the face. It can be painful, but not knowing can be even worse.

3.  Commit to change. Given that what got you here will not get you there; commitment to change is the next step. Commit to delegating more, taking more courageous action, creating a more engaging team environment, providing more feedback to the team, taking time out for creative thinking. Commit to whatever it is that will take to get you and your team “There.”

LET'S CONNECT

Click below to…

Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

Similar Blog Posts

What the Queen taught me about…

As I sat on the couch this week watching the Queens funeral, I was transfixed by the pomp and ceremony of it all. There’s no doubt the Pom’s know how to create a sense of occasion.

Here we were, witnessing history.

Jane Benston

Businessman having stress in the office

Leading through and beyond burnout

Imagine this….

You’re sitting in the car park at work with a splitting headache and with that sinking feeling of here we go again. The 3 coffees you’ve downed already to give you a bit of an energetic lift haven’t helped; in fact, you feel more than a little shaky. Your phone has lit up like a Christmas tree with fires you’re expected to put out, yet all you want to do is book a room at the nearest hotel, close the blinds and sleep for days.

Jane Benston

Time’s Change But Not Fast Enough

Yesterday we farewelled my partner’s Mum… at the ripe old age of 101!

Sadly, I never got to know her before dementia stole her memory and much of her spark, but Betty clearly was a special woman. As I sat in the chapel listening to her life story, I reflected on how different her life would have been if she had lived in a different era.

Jane Benston

Find Your Career Fulfilment Sweet Spot

Find Your Career Fulfilment Sweet Spot

Your professional career sometimes seems like the holy grail that ebbs and flows with the cycle of your life and the whims of corporate decision makers. 

At times we have it all together where our career is skipping along filled with accolades, satisfying challenges and exciting opportunities. Then there are those times when we feel all out of whack and work is nothing more than a tedious hard slog.

You may not be able to put your finger on it but you do know when things are just not right – when work isn’t much fun, it is hard and your focus in on nothing more than surviving each week.

Unfortunately many of us, at some time in our lives, will find ourselves in a job that is not a good fit. Perhaps as a result of a restructure, a period of limited opportunities or maybe the role seemed like the next obvious choice at the time.   So we end up in a job that is at odds with who we are, what we value and what we are truly good at.

For me… I fell out of career alignment during a corporate restructure. I became a square peg in round hole doing work I wasn’t so good at, I had no passion for and that left me questioning my personal values.   

But the problem ran so much deeper than being bored and disengaged. Like so many women who I meet who are out of alignment, my health was a mess.

To be in career alignment means finding that “sweet spot” – it’s the intersection where what we are good at, what brings us joy and what fits with what we value most in life meet. And when we find it, work and life seems easier, more fulfilling and meaningful and having an impact comes naturally to us.

The 5 “P”s to Career Alignment.  

1.  Purpose. According to Daniel Pink, author and expert on the nature of work, meaning and purpose are core motivators to push us to do our best. We are driven and inspired when we believe that what we are doing serves something important beyond ourselves. We long to find this meaning in our work.

2.  Passion. Finding work you are passionate about starts with finding work that taps into your unique skills and talents. Our passions are usually linked to what we are naturally good at and what we have been drawn to for most of our lives. It’s those activities that light us up and that we could do all day just for fun.

3.  Principles. Doing work that is in alignment with our principles and values is fundamental to job satisfaction. When we are doing work that betrays our core personal values, we feel awkward, uneasy, and even sick. Conversely, when our actions, decisions and work match our core beliefs, we feel a sense of calm, ease and peace.

4.  Possibilities. No one likes a dead end job. We thrive when we can see the possibilities for our own personal and professional growth. It has been well documented that employee engagement and productivity is linked to meaningful professional development through strong mentoring, involvement in interesting and challenging projects, career progression or formal learning opportunities.

5.  Profits. We need to believe that we are being fairly remunerated for our skills and contribution to feel truly fulfilled by our work. No one likes to be taken advantage of and over time being poorly paid will take its toll.

Now it is over to you….

Are you out of alignment? Have you found yourself in a position where you are no longer hitting the “sweet spot” where passion, purpose, principles, possibilities and profit intersect?

If you have, now may be a good time to hit the pause button, reassess where you are at and identify the steps to take to get you back into alignment. 

If remaining where you are is no longer an option for you and you would like some help to get back on track, let’s jump on the phone for a quick call to find out how I might be able to help. Click here to answer a few questions and book in a time to chat.

LET'S CONNECT

Click below to…

Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

Similar Blog Posts

What the Queen taught me about…

As I sat on the couch this week watching the Queens funeral, I was transfixed by the pomp and ceremony of it all. There’s no doubt the Pom’s know how to create a sense of occasion.

Here we were, witnessing history.

Jane Benston

Businessman having stress in the office

Leading through and beyond burnout

Imagine this….

You’re sitting in the car park at work with a splitting headache and with that sinking feeling of here we go again. The 3 coffees you’ve downed already to give you a bit of an energetic lift haven’t helped; in fact, you feel more than a little shaky. Your phone has lit up like a Christmas tree with fires you’re expected to put out, yet all you want to do is book a room at the nearest hotel, close the blinds and sleep for days.

Jane Benston

Time’s Change But Not Fast Enough

Yesterday we farewelled my partner’s Mum… at the ripe old age of 101!

Sadly, I never got to know her before dementia stole her memory and much of her spark, but Betty clearly was a special woman. As I sat in the chapel listening to her life story, I reflected on how different her life would have been if she had lived in a different era.

Jane Benston