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Lindsay’s In Business: PART 48: More epiphanies and hot developments 

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What happens when you realise your path is entrepreneurship rather than employment? Lindsay takes up the challenge and shares an account of her journey as it unfolds…

 I’m just going to list all of the amazing developments that have happened in the past week – it seems like so much!!

A guy I used to work with – very senior, very credible, very well-connected and an EXCELLENT leader – has taken an interest in a role with Mirror Mirror. He loves the idea and wants to get involved in a start-up – I’m so flattered! We had a one-day workshop and talked through a load of stuff: he’ll get involved in providing advice, sales prep & activity, commercial housekeeping, and business development.  That’s so massive. He will change the game here. Our workshop was so inspiring and much of the list items below came out of the discussion I had with him.  Let’s call him my Director.

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JUST BE YOURSELF

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 “Nothing important, or meaningful, or beautiful, or interesting, or great, ever came out of imitations. What is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself. More difficult because there is no zeitgeist to read, no template to follow, no mask to wear. Terrifying, actually, because it requires you to set aside what your friends expect, what your family and your co-workers demand, what your acquaintances require, to set aside the messages this culture sends, through its advertising, its entertainment, its disdain, and its disapproval, about how you should behave.” – Anna Quindlen

Our true self is who we really are when we let go of all of the stories, labels, and judgments that we have placed upon ourselves. It is who we naturally are without the masks and pretentiousness.

For me, being my self means being honest and genuine. It means stop pretending to be somebody I am not, putting on a show and trying to fit in. It also means deciding what I really want from life, standing up for what I believe in, and following my own value system and common sense.

To be true to yourself takes courage. It requires you to be introspective, sincere, open-minded and fair. It also requires you to take the risk of learning something about yourself as well as to take responsibility for yourself.

When you are being yourself, it is easier to see what you want out of life and what is truly important to you.

Only by being true to yourself you can own your life.

Your story, our platform: If you’ve got a story and would like to share it with other Femflectors, please let us know. Femflection is all about transferring learnings to help others, be they big or subtle. We want to connect with your feelings, your learnings, your reflections or your hopes for the future – in blog or interview format. Express yourself here. Get in touch with us via anja.uitdehaag@femflection.com

For more content visit our website http://www.femflection.com

Lindsay’s In Business: PART 47: Epiphany

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What happens when you realise your path is entrepreneurship rather than employment? Lindsay takes up the challenge and shares an account of her journey as it unfolds…

In the last post I gave you a link to my first Mirror Mirror webinar.  Whether you watched it or not, I can tell you that it went well, I got a reasonably-sized audience, some compliments afterwards – and in it, I must have mentioned ‘alignment’ around 200 times.

In a blog a few weeks earlier, I talked about the mountain range. How just when you think you’ve reached the top to land something concrete, (like pricing, positioning, strategy) you see another range in sight – a better way forwards: things keep morphing and changing.  And that’s more than ok because at least you can see where you need to go next to suceed.

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Why Your Inner Critic Is Your Worst Enemy – And What To Do About It

IMG_0035by: Bevan Rees, Koach.net

Why Your Inner Critic Is Your Worst Enemy – And What To Do About It
A long time ago, when most of our species were living in caves, survival was generally more difficult than it is today. So, responding to the almost constant threat of death at the teeth of wild animals, the human brain made some intelligent adjustments. It began to prioritise negative judgements, because they kept us alive longer. Let’s imagine, for example, that your troglodyte ancestor stepped out of the cave one morning to stretch his legs, and saw a brown shape behind a nearby bush. If he thought that the shape was a rock, but it turned out to be a sabre-toothed tiger, it would likely be the last mistake he ever made. But, if he thought the shape was a tiger and it turned out to be a rock, he might be a bit embarrassed, but he could make the same mistake a hundred times and not suffer any major consequences. Which is why humans developed the negativity bias: the brain’s tendency to react more strongly to negative stimuli, or even the expectation of negative stimuli. It’s why the amygdala – the part of the brain responsible for managing the fight-or-flight response – dedicates two thirds of its neurons to negative experiences. And it accounts for why we are so adept at fearing the worst, despite the lack of concrete evidence for doing so. In Mark Twain’s words, ‘I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.’
For millennia, this programming did an amazing job of preserving human life, but as civilized life has become safer and more predictable, it is no longer as necessary. Yet, the negativity bias prevails, as does the voice of the negativity bias: the inner critic. The inner critic’s job is to talk you out of risk and threat, even if that threat is only failure or embarrassment rather than death. We all know it because we all have one. It’s the voice that tells you that you’re crazy to apply for that new job post, or start a new business, or move to a new country. It’s the voice that tells you that you’re not intelligent enough, qualified enough or brave enough. And it’s powerful. As Ilene Gregorian, mindfulness trainer for US Special Forces, says, ‘You can take yourself down with your thoughts faster than any enemy can.’
Overcoming the inner critic and its seeds of self-doubt is one of the biggest challenges on the path to self-development, and one of the earliest you’ll encounter. Though it can be subtle, it usually kicks in as soon as you try to shift from the status quo and is a big contributor to a resistance to change. Many strategies for dealing with it are combative and rely on willpower to defeat the repetitive self-assassination (ignore that voice in your head!). But this is often a superficial approach that fails to address the underlying causes, because even though we all have an inner critic, the degree to which it affects our lives varies from person to person, and time to time. It peaks when we are feeling unconfident and is quietest when we feel success, and is a function of the unique psycho-emotional matrix of every individual. So, what can be done about it? Here are 3 suggestions:

Meditate
Yes, you’ve heard this one before, because everyone seems to be punting the virtues of meditation. And that’s because it works. The more research is done on meditation – especially mindfulness-based meditation – the more evidence there is for its multitudinous benefits. Among them is a deeper familiarity with the habitual processes of the mind. Through even 10 minutes of consistent daily mindfulness practice, you will become acquainted with the seemingly endless internal chatter that fills your mind, as well as the quiet space that holds it. You will be able to identify the voice of the inner critic and view it as an object of your awareness, allowing you to see it for what it is: a limited survival guide trying to keep you safe, rather than a speaker of the truth. Creating this distance and perspective during meditation grants progressively stronger ability to do the same in the normal run of your day, allowing you to make more intelligent choices. To get started in meditation, join the worldwide community, download the free app and use the guided meditations at Insight Timer, or sign up for Headspace’s fantastically accessible meditation program.

Ask for help
One of the problems with the inner critic is that it is so difficult to catch in action. It could be the primary reason you are blocked in trying to transform a particular aspect of your life, but you might not be aware of it. A conversation across the kitchen table with a friend or partner could make you feel better and see the way you’ve been sabotaging yourself, but if you’re feeling genuinely stuck you might need to enlist some professional help. This is the service provided by most coaches and mentors, though for stalled growth due to longstanding psychological difficulties it is advisable to see a therapist too. Overcoming your own internal monologue requires insight and awareness, as well as action-oriented plans and practices – coaching can help with both.

Be compassionate
When things are challenging and stress is high, our inner critic is usually in full flow, making it very clear why the world is bad and everything is going to go wrong. At such times, compassion may seem like a strange attitude to prescribe, but it is the antidote to an over-activated negativity bias. The 2016 State of The Heart Report – a global EQ study of 100,000 people in 126 countries in different professional sectors, revealed that emotional intelligence, empathy and compassion are on the decline. A significant factor in these findings is the global rise in stress levels. It makes intuitive sense that the more stressed we are, the less compassionate we are. But this relationship also works in reverse: the more compassionate we are, the less stressed and anxious we feel. Compassion, particularly self-compassion, can be trained, and allows us to integrate anxiety or stress while remaining more open to new experience. In practical terms, this means acknowledging the inner critic and accepting it, while still being positively engaged in your life. As a start, use Dr Kristin Neff’s 5-minute self-compassion break to connect with this powerful approach.

 

Visit Koach.net to discover how our coaches can help you find clarity at work and at home, and can lead you to a more successful and fulfilled you.

Your story, our platform: If you’ve got a story and would like to share it with other Femflectors, please let us know. Femflection is all about transferring learnings to help others, be they big or subtle. We want to connect with your feelings, your learnings, your reflections or your hopes for the future – in blog or interview format. Express yourself here. Get in touch with us via anja.uitdehaag@femflection.com

For more content visit our website http://www.femflection.com

 

 

 

Do you know what you don’t like about yourself in a conflict situation?

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“In business, when two people always agree, one of them is irrelevant” – William Wrigley.

Conflict is a normal part of any healthy relationship. Nobody can be expected to agree on everything all the time.  Make conflict resolution the priority rather than winning or being right. Maintaining and strengthening the relationship should always be the first priority. Say what must be said in a way that is not damaging the relationship. Pride does not belong at work!

Suggestions for managing and resolving conflict:

  • If you have a problem explain your thinking and ask the other party to explain his/her thinking. Focus only on the issue, not on the person. Separate facts from opinions and assumptions;
  • Take the time to really define the problem: describe the problem and its impact, avoid direct blaming remarks, make the problem concrete and specific;
  • Listen for what is felt as well as said. Let the other person finish, don’t interrupt, ask clarifying questions, acknowledge the other person’s feelings and show respect;
  • Use contrasting technique if applicable: “I don’t want to appear that I haven’t heard what you said, because I have. I do want to express a different way to look at the situation”;
  • Let the person know when what you are about to say is difficult: “this is a bit difficult for me to say, but I do want to let you know how I see the situation”;
    If you get emotional, pause and pull yourself together;
  • Focus on the common goals, priorities and problems on both sides. Find wins on both sides, give in on little points, show respect;
  • Keep the open conflict points as concrete and specific as possible (the more abstract it gets, the more unmanageable it is);
  • If you cannot agree on a solution on all conflict points, agree on a procedure to move forward;
  • Know when to let go of something: agree to disagree, disengage and move on;
    If needed, take the situation to the upper level for further calibration or decision taking.
    Other learning suggestions:

We often don’t like in others what we don’t want to see in ourselves. Are you up for a challenge? Write down five traits that really bug you when you see them in others. Be aware that these traits are your “hot buttons”.

Your story, our platform: If you’ve got a story and would like to share it with other Femflectors, please let us know. Femflection is all about transferring learnings to help others, be they big or subtle. We want to connect with your feelings, your learnings, your reflections or your hopes for the future – in blog or interview format. Express yourself here. Get in touch with us via anja.uitdehaag@femflection.com

For more content visit our website http://www.femflection.com

 

There is a difference between hard work and smart work that gets you noticed.

IMG_0052“Women lose sight of their goals by taking on extra responsibilities. We are virtual responsibility magnets. We don’t make these decisions consciously or deliberately but out of fear that if we don’t act on a need it will never get resolved. But we fail to realize that once we become responsible for something we might be responsible for it forever.”

This quote is from Pat Heim – the author of the no-nonsense book I highly recommend you to read: “Hardball for Women”

I have another quote for you. According to Pablo Picasso “There are only two types of women – goddesses and doormats”.

Let’s have a closer look at the differences:

Doormats:

  • Do whatever is asked of them
  • Tolerate mental and physical abuse
  • Believe it is their responsibility to care for others
  • Are disrespected
  • Never ask for anything for themselves
  • Can’t say no
  • Give others permission to walk on them

Goddesses:

  • Get others to do what they ask
  • Banish abusers from their presence
  • Believe it is the responsibility of others to care for them
  • Are worshipped
  • Feel entitled to get what they want
  • Won’t take no for an answer
  • Walk away from people who walk on them

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Lindsay’s In Business: PART 46: Another mountain range

IMG_0040What happens when you realise your path is entrepreneurship rather than employment? Lindsay takes up the challenge and shares an account of her journey as it unfolds…

I can NOT believe that just the second you think you’ve scaled the mountain and can relax at the top, you look over the ridge only to see yet ANOTHER, higher mountain top to climb. And you know that the higher you go, the better it will be, so the feelings are a mixed sense of incredulity, exasperation, and energy to take on a fresher challenge.
I’ve just been to London again – it always pays to meet up with experts, people in related fields. I get something out of every meeting and this time I met with people with experience in learning, HR, philosophy, and leadership. Referrals, people I used to work with, people I met at conferences…

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