Avoid Burnout - Spot the 9 Signs
Did you know that burnout builds up very gradually over years? So unless you know what signs to look out for, you could already be half way there without even realising it! Read my blog, inspired by the true story of Sarah, to learn how to spot the 9 signs.
3 Ways to Promote Yourself with Poise for Career Success
In this blog, read my rather embarrassing true story, the one that made me realise why I must get over my reluctance to promote myself, and learn 3 easy ways you can promote yourself easily & naturally to get the career success you deserve.
The Secret to Discovering What You Really Want to Do for Work - Revealed
Have you ever asked yourself what you really want to do for your work? Read this true story about how Klara (not her real name) discovered the secret to finding fulfilling work.
4 Proven Steps to Reduce Stress & Live Happier
Learn the 4 proven steps to manage your stress that really work. Honestly! I use them daily and they have enabled me to live a happier and more fulfilled life.
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How to Discover Your Strengths
So you'd like to leverage your strengths more...but you don't know how? Learn how in this blog. It's easier than you think.
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Grab yourself time to think - 3 tips
Stuck in a job you hate or have the feeling something is missing from your career or life? It can be really hard to carve out some thinking time when you’re balancing a demanding role, busy family life and your never-ending ‘to do’ list. I had exactly this problem and felt overwhelmed & confused. I began to feel better when I practiced putting myself first in these 3 ways.
1. Reduce your expectations of yourself. Experiment with doing an 80% okay job. You don’t have to be perfect. You are probably unconsciously telling yourself you have to give your best and you have to be perfect, or else people will find out you’re not up to the job and you’ll get fired! As crazy as it sounds, this is what was going on in my mind.
2. Put in place a time-based boundary with yourself around working hours. For example, you will leave the office at 5.30pm UNLESS something super critical comes up, by which the test is someone will die, or your organisation or client will go out of business if you don’t stay working. You are probably in the habit of working late so you feel more in control, more prepared, more perfect. The fact is you’re not in control. No one is. Stuff happens. Life happens. The more I have let go of thinking I can control things, the more spaciousness has opened up in my life.
3. Set yourself a realistic, daily goal for thinking time and schedule it in your diary. It can be as little as 10 minutes. The point is to put yourself and your thoughts first for the amount of time you agree with yourself. The second point is to honour your commitment to yourself because you are important. It is not the case that everything else and everyone else should have your attention first.
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I wasn’t expecting this to happen, but it did….
It took me a long time to realise this, the biggest obstacle to you living the life of your dreams is believing you don’t deserve it. I felt this way too. The truth is your high-flying career has served you well - it’s given you success, a lifestyle and it’s got you questioning your life – which is a good thing. Come with me and I’ll explain…
It’s 6pm on a warm evening in June 2013. I’ve just finished work for the day at a Big 4 accounting firm, and I’m walking towards Southwark to meet a friend. As I walk, I start to feel a bit queer, a bit wobbly. I stop to the side of the pavement and drink some water from my bottle. I continue. I’m walking close to the side of the buildings so I’m in the shade. The world looks a bit blurry. I stop again. I breathe deeply, in and out. My breath seems normal. I look around for somewhere to sit. There’s only the pavement. I think ‘I’ll get my new skirt dirty. Never mind, there’s not far to go now.’ I walk on and again I feel wobbly. Things look more blurred. I stop again. I blink. The feeling passes. I continue. I see a newspaper stand on the other side of the road. ‘I can lean on that’, I think. As I cross over, I concentrate hard to see through the blurriness. I think ‘I hope I don’t get run over’.
“Can you hear me? Can you hear me?” A man is speaking.
“Yes”. I look up at him. I don’t recognise him.
“You’ve collapsed. A man tried to catch you but he missed. He said you fitted”.
“Oh!” I pause. “I can’t have done.”
“Why do you think you’re laying on the pavement?”
I look down. He’s right.
“Try to move.”
“Yes, you’ve hit your head. You’ll need to go to hospital.”
“Really?” I think how I am late to meet my friend.
“Yes. It’s routine for a head injury.”
In the ambulance, he puts me on a drip. At A&E, they wheel me atop my trolley into a small side room. They fix me with a second drip, this time with painkillers. My head is aching and throbbing. I notice my husband’s face above me, blocking out the fluorescent light.
The neuro consultant says “You have a serious brain injury. We may have to operate.” His words seem far away.
In the ward, I am perched up underneath the edge of the ceiling, like a strange bird looking down on the dark-haired woman lying in the hospital bed beneath me.
‘This must be what they call an ‘out of body experience’’, I think.
Below, I see myself hesitate before I push the button to call the nurse. At that moment I have perhaps the largest realisation of my life. Wham!
‘I get it. I’m telling myself I’m not important. Even in hospital with a serious brain injury!’ I think. ‘This cannot go on. I am important.’
My mind wanders back over moments in my career as a Tax Director when I was believing I wasn’t important.
To be continued…
To read the other 3 episodes of my 4 part story, read my posts on LinkedIn.