If you’re beating yourself up – Stop it!

If you’re beating yourself up - Stop it!

So you’ve found yourself in that awful place where you realised you’ve not lived up to your high standards.  Perhaps you’ve made a critical error, missed an opportunity to present well in a senior executive meeting or failed to deliver a piece of work by the deadline.  

And if that’s happened, there’s a fair chance you’ve taken the slippery road down, spiralling into a pattern of speaking unkindly to yourself or putting yourself down.  Or is that just me????

I found myself in this exact place a few weeks ago. 

I had received some unexpected disappointing feedback.  Now let me just pause for a minute and let you know that I’d received LOTS of positive feedback in relation to this event – but of course my focus immediately zeroed in on the one piece of negative feedback. 

Have you ever done that?  Ignored the positives and focused on the negatives?

As a mid career professional woman who has big visions, expansive goals and is actively putting herself outside her comfort zone – you will not always execute perfectly.  

Things don’t always go to plan, when you’re in the ring, stepping up and constantly trying new things.  It’s a very normal part of growing as a leader and progressing your career. 

So I want to ask you…

Is putting yourself down and beating yourself up, positively serving you? Is it helping you to advance your career? 

The likely answer is, ‘no’.

Let me tell you – Nothing good comes from the habit of beating yourself up. It doesn’t make you a ‘better’ Leader, or stop you from making mistakes in the future (because we all make mistakes), it only makes you feel terrible, leads you down the dark path of self doubt and critical overanalysis, and robs you of your confidence. 

Yes, we need to acknowledge what we can do better because that is the way we build mastery.  But focusing on the negatives is nothing but self destructive.  

You may have noticed too that when you beat yourself up, it spills over into other areas of your life? Many women tell me that they lose sleep, stop caring for themselves, feel tension in their relationships, and second guess their skills and abilities.

So, what can you do if you notice that you’re beating yourself up?

1. Be aware.  

The first step is to notice when you start beating yourself up.  Only when we recognise and become aware of something, can we change it. Pay extra attention to how you’re feeling and talking to yourself.  Then commit to stop the pattern. 

2. Make amends.  

Consider if there is ONE action you could take to make amends. Perhaps you could offer an apology to someone, fix your error or invest some time and energy into upskilling.

3. Do things differently.  

When things don’t go to plan there is a temptation to become overwhelmed by EVERYTHING you need to do differently … and so end up doing nothing.  Pick just ONE thing to focus on to get a better outcome next time.  Would you prepare more? Be less of a perfectionist? Ask for support?

4. Recognise the positive learnings.  

Now – shift your focus from what didn’t go well to ALL the things that went well (I can guarantee you that there will be plenty!) When we’re stuck in a cycle of beating ourselves up, this shift of focus can feel challenging, but it’s oh-so-important. And it’s the quickest way to shift you out of the downward spiral you may find yourself in. 

5. Let it go.  

Now is your time to release what happened. Dwelling on it and continuing to put yourself down will not serve you going forward. Make the commitment to take your learnings with you and let. it. go.


I know it can feel hard to choose to respond to difficult situations in new ways, but believe me when I say that doing so will support you to step more fully into your role as a Leader, progress your career and be a role model to those around you.

If you’re someone who tends to beat herself up when things go wrong, I invite you to book in for a 1:1 Leadership Support Session here.

Together we will help you better understand your triggers, and identify tangible ways that you can change your self destructive cycle of puts downs and self-deprecation, and instead, step more fully into your most powerful and confident self.

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

Bored young businesswoman holding paper and looking away while sitting on chair against grey background

7 common mistakes women make that…

Being overlooked for a promotion, pay rise or being excluded on a high profile project can be devastating. I’ve seen it rock women to their core, and put a dent in their self-belief and confidence. Here are 7 common mistakes mid-career professional women make that leave them overlooked for promotion.

Jane Benston

Missed out on a promotion?

Have you ever been overlooked, or missed out on a promotion or a role that you think is perfect for you? Missing out on a role can feel like rejection. As a result, we can feel confused, frustrated and self-doubt starts to creep in. Here’s how to respond…

Jane Benston

Group of people sitting in a circle on group therapy. Looking at their therapist and listening ti her story.

How to create a safe place…

While 2020 may be behind us, the impacts of COVID-19 on our work lives still linger.

And although this continues to throw challenges our way, it’s also presenting us with many opportunities for personal and organisational growth and change…

Jane Benston

Do You Need To Share The Load?

DO YOU NEED TO SHARE THE LOAD?

As fiercely independent women, we’ve prided ourselves on how much we can do and what we can achieve on our own

We look after the kids.

We build our careers.

We run teams.

We support our loved ones.

We cook.

We clean.

We plan.

We organise.

We do so much.

And while being independent and getting-things-done is a definite strength of ours, it’s also one of our greatest weaknesses.

Why?

Because doing ‘all the things’ on our own is e-x-h-a-u-s-t-i-n-g and, very often, it takes us away from investing time and energy into doing the things that matter most to us.

Many of the leaders I work with desperately want to take their careers to the next level, but don’t feel like they have the capacity (energetically, mentally and practically) to get themselves to where they want to be.

While they look productive on the outside, many of them are treading water on the inside. They’re spreading themselves too thin, and their minds and lives are busy and full to the brim.

I’m here to let you know that there is another way, and that you don’t have to do it all on your own.

What if you were to give yourself permission to share the load?

Here’s how you can begin to share the load and reclaim your time and energy, so you can do more of what’s important to you.

1. Delegate

Whether it’s at work, or in your personal life, delegating will support you to create lots more space in your day!

Let’s start by mastering the art of delegation.  Let go of the sense of guilt that often comes with asking others to take greater responsibility.  Allow your team to build their skills and capabilities by taking on some of what you’ve been holding onto.  

Delegation is one of the key traits of working like a Queen Bee, and it’s this kind of work that gets women recognised and promoted in their workplaces. 

Consider who you have on your team, what their strengths and interests are, and what tasks/meetings/opportunities you can hand over to them.

But don’t just stop there.  Think about how you can delegate a little more in your personal life.  Sometimes as women we OVER FUNCTION allowing our kids, partner other family members to UNDER FUNCTION.  

Let go of the need to control it all. It may mean the washing/cleaning/shopping isn’t done to your usual high standards – and that’s OK!  You don’t have to do everything on your own (nor should you!) 

2. Be okay with saying no 

Just because someone asks you to do something, doesn’t mean you should, or that you have to.

It’s okay to say no to work tasks that don’t fit your brief, or would be better executed by someone else.

And it’s okay to say no to social engagements when you’d rather stay in and relax.

The best thing you can do for yourself, and everyone else in your life, is honour your time and energy, and work in your zone of genius. Saying no to the things that don’t support you to do this will bring you closer to your goals and dreams.

3. Ask for help

You have other people in your personal life, and in your workplace, for a reason … to support you! 

There’s no shame in asking for help. In fact, all of the great women and leaders I know, constantly ask for help.

It takes courage and vulnerability to call on others for support when you’re so used to doing everything on your own, but it’s worth it.

Not only will you have more time and space in your day, by leaning on other people (whether that be your colleagues or loved ones) it will allow them feel valued and important too.

It’s a win-win situation.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic ladies!

If you feel like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders and are exhausted from doing and achieving (even though you may be great at it!), know that you are not alone.

Please pop on over to our free Facebook Group for mid career professional women, share your experience and join in the conversation! 

Together, we can support one another and find ways of sharing the load. 

See you in the group!

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

Bored young businesswoman holding paper and looking away while sitting on chair against grey background

7 common mistakes women make that…

Being overlooked for a promotion, pay rise or being excluded on a high profile project can be devastating. I’ve seen it rock women to their core, and put a dent in their self-belief and confidence. Here are 7 common mistakes mid-career professional women make that leave them overlooked for promotion.

Jane Benston

Missed out on a promotion?

Have you ever been overlooked, or missed out on a promotion or a role that you think is perfect for you? Missing out on a role can feel like rejection. As a result, we can feel confused, frustrated and self-doubt starts to creep in. Here’s how to respond…

Jane Benston

Professional female boxer practicing while looking in mirror. Black and white

If you’re beating yourself up –…

So you’ve found yourself in that awful place where you realised you’ve not lived up to your high standards. Perhaps you’ve made a critical error, missed an opportunity to present well in a senior executive meeting or failed to deliver a piece of work by the deadline…

Jane Benston

5 Ways You Can Start Leading Your Way, Now.

5 WAYS YOU CAN START LEADING YOUR WAY, NOW.

As I shared in this article, the number one thing you need to do to be a great leader and advance your career in 2021, is to show your true self. 

Now, as great as this is for us ladies, my guess is that some of you are sitting at home thinking, ‘Yes Jane, but that’s easier said than done. How do I show more of my true self?’

Today I want to share 5 practical ways you can step more fully into your true self, so you can lead in a way that works for you (and therefore feels easy, elegant and enjoyable!)

Before I jump in though, I want to acknowledge the fact that stepping into your own leadership style, and leading your way, can sometimes feel uncomfortable and (let’s be honest) scary.

It takes courage to step outside the traditional leadership mold – even if it is outdated – and be ourselves.

It takes bravery to show up, instead of flying under the radar, and allow our colleagues and staff to get to know the real us. 

It takes guts to lead OUR way, and let go of the pressure we feel to be someone we’re not (like being assertive when that’s just not in our DNA!)

The simple fact that you’re here with me right now, reading these words, shows me just how great a leader you truly are. That you’re willing to embrace these challenges, so you can lead in a way that compliments who you truly are, rather than ticks the boxes of who you think you need to be, is cause for celebration.

Now, let’s get practical, shall we…

Here are 5 ways you can start leading your way – today!

1. Be you

I want you to repeat after me, ‘I am enough’. 

‘I AM ENOUGH’.

You are valuable, and you are who you are truly meant to be, just as you are. The more you can bring your true character into your workplace, the more people will be able to get to know you, like you and trust you. 

Do you have a quirky side? Let your team see it! Do your loved ones describe you as ‘real’ and ‘down to earth’? Let it shine through! The more YOU you can be, the better!

Consider: What makes you, you? How can you be more of your true self in your workplace?  

2. Model wisely

Having role models is very important as a leader BUT you need to choose the right ones for you.

Don’t just model the leader you report to, or your CEO – model the leader you look up to and whose leadership style resonates with how you want to lead. 

Consider: What leadership traits do you admire and respect?

3. Mix and match

Because everyone is different and no one role model will ever have all the traits we ourselves aspire to have, it helps to mix and match and have a number of people we can look up to.

Perhaps you admire how your Manager speaks up in meetings, or how your past employer would create space to think and reflect before she responded to a complex situation. 

Consider: Which 6 leaders do you look up to? What traits of theirs do you admire?

5. Have the courage to lead

It’s your time to really believe in yourself, step forward and take up more space in your workplace. No more hiding and no more dulling your light. So many opportunities will reveal themselves to you when you have the courage to be seen and lead.

Consider: How can you allow yourself to be seen more in your workplace?

6. Own it

Own your greatness, claim your space (in your workplace and in this world) and give yourself full permission to lead YOUR way. You deserve to lead, just as much as the next person. Now is your time! 

Consider: What are 5 of your greatest qualities as a human, and as a leader?


Ladies, no more being who you think you need to be in order to lead! It’s time to lead in a way that compliments who you truly are. 

P.S. Know that I’m over here cheering you on – and that constant cheering and encouragement is always available to you in our free Facebook Group. This group is specifically for mid career professional women. If that’s you – we’d love to have you join the conversation.

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

Bored young businesswoman holding paper and looking away while sitting on chair against grey background

7 common mistakes women make that…

Being overlooked for a promotion, pay rise or being excluded on a high profile project can be devastating. I’ve seen it rock women to their core, and put a dent in their self-belief and confidence. Here are 7 common mistakes mid-career professional women make that leave them overlooked for promotion.

Jane Benston

Missed out on a promotion?

Have you ever been overlooked, or missed out on a promotion or a role that you think is perfect for you? Missing out on a role can feel like rejection. As a result, we can feel confused, frustrated and self-doubt starts to creep in. Here’s how to respond…

Jane Benston

Professional female boxer practicing while looking in mirror. Black and white

If you’re beating yourself up –…

So you’ve found yourself in that awful place where you realised you’ve not lived up to your high standards. Perhaps you’ve made a critical error, missed an opportunity to present well in a senior executive meeting or failed to deliver a piece of work by the deadline…

Jane Benston

Back to work Blues? Here’s what to do.

Back to work Blues? Here’s what to do.

After quite a significant year in 2020, of doing our best to adapt to the changes brought about by COVID-19, have you found yourself re-evaluating your priorities and what’s important to you?  Are you battling the back-to-work-blues?

Perhaps you have returned to work 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’s really 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 too 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 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 re-ignite 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 re-ignite 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

Bored young businesswoman holding paper and looking away while sitting on chair against grey background

7 common mistakes women make that…

Being overlooked for a promotion, pay rise or being excluded on a high profile project can be devastating. I’ve seen it rock women to their core, and put a dent in their self-belief and confidence. Here are 7 common mistakes mid-career professional women make that leave them overlooked for promotion.

Jane Benston

Missed out on a promotion?

Have you ever been overlooked, or missed out on a promotion or a role that you think is perfect for you? Missing out on a role can feel like rejection. As a result, we can feel confused, frustrated and self-doubt starts to creep in. Here’s how to respond…

Jane Benston

Professional female boxer practicing while looking in mirror. Black and white

If you’re beating yourself up –…

So you’ve found yourself in that awful place where you realised you’ve not lived up to your high standards. Perhaps you’ve made a critical error, missed an opportunity to present well in a senior executive meeting or failed to deliver a piece of work by the deadline…

Jane Benston

Your end of year survival guide

Your end of year survival guide

You’ve almost made it… to the end of 2020!  And what a year it’s been.  

As we hurtle our way to the end of the year, are you feeling the pressure to get those last few projects completed? 

If this is more about surviving and limping your way to a well earned rest, here are my best tips to managing it all.   

Your final week survival guide:

1. Be Super Intentional

Get really clear on what matters most. We sometimes have to come to terms with the fact that we can’t do it all. This is the season to double down on focusing your time and energy on those things that will have the biggest impact – for you, your team and the organisation.

I know you can juggle a LOT… but, with only a limited number of days before we all head off on well earnt break, I want you to practise using one simple word – NO.

Every time you say NO, it allows you to stay focused on those activities that matter most

2. Create Thinking Time

With limits to your time and energy in this countdown to Christmas, creating space to think strategically and make critical decisions will be essential to your survival. Take a look at your calendar now and schedule in at least 20 mins of “thinking time” every day.

3. Protect your energy

When people ask me what my number one productivity tip is, my answer is – get more sleep!  Intuitively, we all know that we do our best work when we’ve had a good night’s sleep and have taken good care of our mind and body.


Don’t be fooled by how simple these suggestions are.

That’s the beauty of them. They aren’t fancy – but they work.

So I wonder… which of these strategies could make a real difference to how you close out your year?

Here’s to a brilliant end to the year.

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

Bored young businesswoman holding paper and looking away while sitting on chair against grey background

7 common mistakes women make that…

Being overlooked for a promotion, pay rise or being excluded on a high profile project can be devastating. I’ve seen it rock women to their core, and put a dent in their self-belief and confidence. Here are 7 common mistakes mid-career professional women make that leave them overlooked for promotion.

Jane Benston

Missed out on a promotion?

Have you ever been overlooked, or missed out on a promotion or a role that you think is perfect for you? Missing out on a role can feel like rejection. As a result, we can feel confused, frustrated and self-doubt starts to creep in. Here’s how to respond…

Jane Benston

Professional female boxer practicing while looking in mirror. Black and white

If you’re beating yourself up –…

So you’ve found yourself in that awful place where you realised you’ve not lived up to your high standards. Perhaps you’ve made a critical error, missed an opportunity to present well in a senior executive meeting or failed to deliver a piece of work by the deadline…

Jane Benston

7 simple ways to boost your capacity as a strategic thinker

7 simple ways to boost your capacity as a strategic thinker

When you reach a certain level of leadership – you are employed to think not just do!  Being able to think creatively, solve problems and create new and innovative ideas will have you stand out in the crowd and put you in a powerful position. 

Innovation, creative thinking and problem solving are becoming increasingly important skillfor all leaders to foster.   Organisations are hungry for employees who can see things from a new perspective, solve long-standing problems with simple changes and really drive progress within the business. 

I once thought that I wasn’t creative, able to think strategically or to come up with innovative ideas. I now recognise that actually I am … I just hadn’t nurtured these skills or learnt how to create the best environments for me to allow my creative juices to run free. 

Here are 7 surprisingly simple ways to boost your capacity as a strategic thinker. 

1.  Create thinking time.

It is near impossible to be creative, let alone productive when you are surrounded by distractions or on high alert for the distractions that are likely to come your way. 

Put aside a chunk of time in your calendar each week dedicated for work that requires thinking clearly and creatively such aspecific project work, big picture planning or nutting out a problem.   Turn off your phone, shut down your emails and find a quiet space.  

 2. Manage your mood.

Research has found that we do our best creative work when we feel positive. We tend to be bolder and more focused on solutions and what is possible when we feel good. Think about what gets you in a positive moodIs it heading out for a quick coffee with colleagues, is it meditating in the mornings before work or hitting the gym? 

3.  Find your creative space.

Our work environment plays a huge part in our ability to think strategically and creatively 

One leader I worked with was struggling to come up with a business strategy that was innovative or inspiring. She felt bogged down and void of new ideas. Not surprising really… she was working in a classified area of the Defence Force requiring her to conduct all her work in a windowless bunker!   

I wonder where your creative space is? Is it a café, sitting on a park bench or your kitchen bench after the kids have gone to bed? Wherever it is … plan to spend more time there. Not only will it be good for your ability to think creatively and strategically, you will also see your productivity take off. 

4.  Get exercising.

We know exercise is good for us for lots of reasons and here’s another… studies have shown that exercise can improve our ability to think creatively.

I love the way it’s explained in this Psychology Today article: 

“Sweat is like WD-40 for your mind—it lubricates the rusty hinges of your brain and makes your thinking more fluid. Exercise allows your conscious mind to access fresh ideas that are buried in the subconscious.”

So … get into motion and notice the ideas begin to flow.  

5.  Extend your boundaries.

There is a very good reason why training programs usually involve butchers’ paper and colour textas. It is to encourage us to return to our childlike exploration of ideas and to remove the limits and linear thinking that comes with lined paper or the standard work document. 

To get ideas flowing ditch the computer and map out your thoughts on flip paper or a white board. Go analogue. Breakthroughs rarely happen on a laptop! And science backs this up. Apparently, paper and pixels access different parts of our brain. 

6.  Find some friends.

You are no doubt smart. It may be your responsibility … but you don’t have all the answers. Very often the best solutions and ideas happen through collaboration 

Reach out to your team, colleagues and mentors to bounce ideas around with. Ladies, we are known for our strength as collaborators so let’s put that skill to work. Stop believing you need to do it all. You don’t! 

 7. Be Inspired.

We do not find new solutions or become more creative by maintaining the status quo. New ideas come when we step outside what we already know and experience new things.   

Explore new places, seek out new experiences, visit places of inspiration, engage in wild and crazy conversations to extend your thinking of what is possible and expand your horizons by immersing in the works of the brightest thought leaders of today. 

Building your capacity to think creatively and strategically is just like building any muscle.  

It takes persistencepractice and perseverance. We were all born creative but somewhere along the way it gets beaten out of us. We are told to colour between the lines, to be like everyone else and to follow the rules. 

If you want to create innovating marketing ideas, develop game changing strategies or to solve the challenges that are thrown your way day in day out, you must flex your creative muscle. See this as a critical skill you can develop.  

Be bold. Be brave and have some fun. 

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

Bored young businesswoman holding paper and looking away while sitting on chair against grey background

7 common mistakes women make that…

Being overlooked for a promotion, pay rise or being excluded on a high profile project can be devastating. I’ve seen it rock women to their core, and put a dent in their self-belief and confidence. Here are 7 common mistakes mid-career professional women make that leave them overlooked for promotion.

Jane Benston

Missed out on a promotion?

Have you ever been overlooked, or missed out on a promotion or a role that you think is perfect for you? Missing out on a role can feel like rejection. As a result, we can feel confused, frustrated and self-doubt starts to creep in. Here’s how to respond…

Jane Benston

Professional female boxer practicing while looking in mirror. Black and white

If you’re beating yourself up –…

So you’ve found yourself in that awful place where you realised you’ve not lived up to your high standards. Perhaps you’ve made a critical error, missed an opportunity to present well in a senior executive meeting or failed to deliver a piece of work by the deadline…

Jane Benston

Do emotions belong at work?

Do emotions belong at work?

Many corporate environments would have us believe that emotions do not belong at work. We have been well trained to suppress any resemblance of an emotion, pushing them below the surface. 

We hide them in an attempt to stay in control, look strong, and keep things at arm’s length. We have been conditioned to see emotion as a weakness or something to be ashamed of. 

But in reality – our lack of emotion is holding us back. 

Emotions are critical to everything we do as a leader: build trust, strengthen relationships, develop bold strategies, focus energy, engage the team, make tough decisions, and inspire action. Without genuine emotion these things always fall flat and stall. 

A genuine display of emotion stands out. We notice it for its authenticity and vulnerability and it compels us to connect. Sometimes it’s messy and can leave us feeling a little uncomfortable but it’s powerful and creates an impression. 

If you’ve ever been in a room with a senior exec who has shed a tear while speaking about something that truly matters to them, you know what I mean. 

Showing appropriate emotion builds trust and loyalty. 

One CEO I’ve worked is charismatic, engaged and light hearted day by day, but when he is truly annoyed or disappointed, he will let his team know. He doesn’t leave any room for doubt about how he feels. His response is measured, authentic and drives action from his team. 

But don’t get me wrong. I’d be the first to say that excessive emotion that flies carelessly throughout the office can also be detrimental. It can feel chaotic and leave us wanting to duck for cover. 

So how do you find the happy medium? 

Self-awareness is the answer. Being aware of how you are feeling is important. 

‘What emotions do you feel on a regular basis at work?’

If you struggle to find the answer to this question, it’s clearly been a long time since you have acknowledged your feelings. You’ve buried them so deep that they can no longer be easily accessed.  Perhaps now is the time to dig deep, tap in and reconnect with your emotions. 

3 simple ways to reconnect with your emotions

1. Introduce mindfulness.

This might include breathing exercises, guided meditation or even a quiet walk where you are totally present. Through a regular practice of mindfulness we become more aware of how we respond to our day to day work and life and we learn to become an observer of our thoughts, emotions and our habitual reactions. 

2. Listen to your body. 

Our body provides us clues! Listen to the aches and pains. Notice the recurring colds and flus. Be aware when being a bit tired slips into exhaustion. Our mind and body are inexplicably connected. When we are stressed, tired, angry, frustrated – it will show up in our body.  

The pain and dis-ease is there to remind us to attend to our feelings and emotions not just ignore themBurying emotions deep within is fruitless.  Left unattended, they will wreak havoc on our overall wellbeing. 

3. Let down your guard. 

It takes vulnerability and openness to be in tune with our emotions. If you want to be known as a genuine, authentic leader who cares… it will require you to let down your guard. It’s only through this personal inner work and courage to be truly seen for who you are, that your effectiveness as a leader will be fully realised. 

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Is having a strong work ethic overrated?

Is having a strong work ethic overrated?

Imagine a world where we worshipped a good “rest ethic” as much as we do a strong “work ethic.”  Where we encouraged taking time out to rest and prioritise self care – just as much as we applaud someone’s dedication to hard work. 

In our current culture of rewarding hard work and hustle it seems like a stretch.

But could it be possible that worshipping hard work is holding us back from performing at our best.  Think about how much more energy, creativity and drive you have after you’ve had a few weeks off work.

Yes!

But… taking time out this year has been challenging, I hear you say.

This pandemic has caused the cancellation of almost all holidays and long weekends while piling on a load of extra work for most working professionals (not to mention the added stress of lockdown, adapting to working from home and home schooling.)

So, it’s no wonder that you may be feeling a little exhausted. 

Being tired is one thing… but what impact is it having on your effectiveness at work?

In his research, economics professor John Pencavel found that productivity per hour declines sharply when a person works more than 50 hours a week. After 55 hours, productivity drops so much that putting in any more hours would be pointless.

Fatigue and over working reduces our capacity to problem solve, think creatively, communicate effectively and manage our emotions.

The harder and longer we work – the more the quality and quantity of our work suffers. 

Intuitively we know this. We feel it in our body. We notice our thinking becoming sluggish.  We make silly mistakes and even the simplest of tasks take way longer than it should.

Yet we persist. We uphold our strong work ethic. We push through the fatigue to finish those final few jobs before calling it a day.

I wonder… How would your results be different if you focused more on defining and building a strong rest ethic?

From studying some of the most successful people, I’ve noticed that they work smart and rest hard!

They have rituals and routines in place that support them to ensure they prioritise exercise, good nutrition and sleep.  These are not a ‘nice-to-do’.  They are a non-negatable! Not occasionally when they feel burnt out – but every… single… day.

Successful people know that if they are to function at their best – they need to feel fresh, well rested and full of energy.    

Self-care is not a luxury.  It’s the foundation on which great outcomes are built.  

We need to take time out to decompress, recharge and refocus.  Just like your mobile phone – you work best with a charged battery. 

I know right now you may not be able to enjoy the type of holiday you do most years – but planning time off remains a critical factor in your professional success. One of my clients shared last week that she has scheduled one day off a month, to indulge in a full day just for her.  No work.  No home schooling.  No technology.  No commitments. 

Imagine, how could your work performance be improved by shifting your focus to building a strong rest ethic – to complement your strong work ethic?

What would you start with?

Do you need to book some time off?

Have your work hours stretched into the early evening?

Would building in a morning ritual of meditation or a walk or yoga or journaling be beneficial?

Let’s let go of worshiping hard work and hustle and shift to respecting the need to take care of our mind, body and soul to ensure we do our best 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.

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Increased workload? Here’s the simple secret to managing it all.

Increased Workload?
Here’s the simple secret to managing it all.

As we head into a new phase of Covid-19, I’m wondering how you are managing your workload.   

A few weeks ago, I asked the 1500 or so women of the Leading Ladies Facebook Group (a free group that I run for mid-career professional women) whether they were less busy, about the same or more busy as a result of Covid 

I had expected a bit of a mixed bag of responses – but to my surprise the response was a resounding “WAY more busy!!”  

Give a busy woman something to do… and she will find a way to make it work!   

And hasn’t this been the truth over recent weeks.  

During the last couple of months I’ve seen so many professional women very effectively juggling home schooling and keeping the family fed along with adjusting to working from home, supporting their team to maintain productivity while managing to churn out a massive volume of their own work. 

Ladies – you are amazing. But there comes a time when it’s time to take a breath and take care of you.    

I’m curious – have you been putting everything and everyone elses needs ahead of our own? 

Doing your best work, remaining productive and focused, keeping your mood and emotions in check; these are all vitally important to any leader. To achieve this we need to feel fresh, energised and on our game... not stressed out and tired! 

My question today is “What are you doing to take care of you?” 

What are you doing to allow your brilliant best to shine every day at work, even when things get a little crazy? 

We all know what we should be doing… but are we doing it? 

These are questions I have had to ask of myself more than once over the past couple of months.  

Too often, when we get busy, the first thing we drop off the to do list is our self-care. But it is exactly these times when maintaining our self-care rituals and routines are most important. 

Here are my personal rules for taking care of me even when things get busy.

1. Keep moving.

Ok… you don’t need me to tell you that exercise is important. It is critical for your health and brain function to maximise productivity, creativity and general mood. My early morning walks at the beginning of the day is a must for me – to get you fired up and focused for the day 

2. Quality refuelling. 

If you put poor quality fuel in a racing car it doesn’t go well. We are the same. We can’t expect our mind and bodies to perform at their best if we don’t pay them the respect with high quality fuel.  Have you been treating your body respectfully the high quality refuelling?  (And ladies – quality vino does not count!)  

3. Still the mind.

The research around the benefits of meditation and the powerful state of mindfulness are irrefutable.   

But who needs proof?  

Intuitively we know that when we make time for even 10 minutes for a little meditation or mindfulness, we feel calmer and our thinking expands, allowing ideas to flow, creative solutions to appear and projects to be completed without quite so much effort. 

If you are looking to add a regular meditation practise into your daily routine, there are lots of great apps.  My personal favourite is Insight Timer.

4. Say NO. 

How often have you said yes to something, only to later wonder why you did or, worse still, feel resentful and trapped into doing something you don’t want to do or is not your responsibility? If this resonates with you – it’s time to learn the art of saying no!  

Take your time. Think it through and only commit to those things that will serve you well. 

5. Schedule ‘you’ time.

Ladies… I know many of us are hard wired to put others before ourselves. However, if we don’t take care of ourselves, we can all too easily end up feeling depleted, burnt out and exhausted. And when that happens, we end up with nothing left to give anyone. 

Self care is not a luxury.  It’s the foundation to doing your best work.   

To manage the increased workload that many of us find ourselves in right now, working harder, longer hours is not the answer. We need to double down on those activities that allow us to be our most productive, clear thinking and keep stress and fatigue at bay.  

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.

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Being overlooked for a promotion, pay rise or being excluded on a high profile project can be devastating. I’ve seen it rock women to their core, and put a dent in their self-belief and confidence. Here are 7 common mistakes mid-career professional women make that leave them overlooked for promotion.

Jane Benston

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Have you ever been overlooked, or missed out on a promotion or a role that you think is perfect for you? Missing out on a role can feel like rejection. As a result, we can feel confused, frustrated and self-doubt starts to creep in. Here’s how to respond…

Jane Benston

Professional female boxer practicing while looking in mirror. Black and white

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Resilience. A key foundation to thrive during Covid-19

Resilience. A key foundation to thrive during Covid-19

Right now, our resilience is being tested.  With increased uncertainty, massive disruption to our day to day lives and the threat to our physical, mental and economic health, focusing in on building resilience has never been so important.   

Resilience is a prerequisite for surviving the fast paced and demanding work and home environments we are currently experiencing.Having resilience creates a secure foundation to managing in this constantly changing and unfamiliar world.  

During periods of pressure, stress and change, people with lower levels of resilience tend to become disengaged, unproductive and struggle with low self-esteem.  They are more prone to illness and emotional distress. 

Like so many professionals I’ve spoken with recently, my guess is that although you are working from home right now, your workload has increased and you’re expected to deliver with even greater productivity and effectiveness than ever.   

And given that having a super strong immune system is critically important to minimise the chance of becoming a statistic in this pandemic, building resilience must be high on our agenda.  

The good news is – its absolutely possible to supercharge your resilience and learn to cope, thrive and flourish in the face of adversity.  

And it all starts with managing your thought patterns, shifting your response to what life throws at you and building a few specific skills to bolster your coping mechanisms. 

So if you want to boost your own inherent resilience to maximise your ability to thrive though this time, here’s what I would suggest.

5 Keys to building resilience during Covid-19:

1.  Accept change and uncertainty.

Resisting is fruitless and tiring. There is much of this experience that is outside of our control and uncertainty is here to stay for a while longer yet.  Focus on what you can control and let go of the rest.  


2.  Avoid making a drama out of this situation. 

Choose not to get caught up in the doom and gloom.  It will only make matters worse.  The events of your life are not what shape you. It is how you choose to respond that has the biggest impact.   Be intentional about choosing how you respond to the disruption, change and uncertainty in your life and work right now.  


3.  Choose optimism and take positive action. 

Choose to focus on what is going well rather than the challenges and setbacks. Choose to focus on the opportunities that are being made available to you as a result of this situation. 


4.  Look at the bigger picture.  

Ask yourself how do you want things to be in one year from today, and begin laying the foundations now for that reality to come to fruition.  Staying focused on the bigger picture will help you avoid dwelling on the events of today that you cannot influence.   


5.  Prioritise your health and wellbeing.

There has never been a more important time to focus on your health.   When you are tired and run down, your immune system becomes compromised. Taking care of YOU is the foundation to building your resilience and your ability to handle whatever comes your way.

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

Bored young businesswoman holding paper and looking away while sitting on chair against grey background

7 common mistakes women make that…

Being overlooked for a promotion, pay rise or being excluded on a high profile project can be devastating. I’ve seen it rock women to their core, and put a dent in their self-belief and confidence. Here are 7 common mistakes mid-career professional women make that leave them overlooked for promotion.

Jane Benston

Missed out on a promotion?

Have you ever been overlooked, or missed out on a promotion or a role that you think is perfect for you? Missing out on a role can feel like rejection. As a result, we can feel confused, frustrated and self-doubt starts to creep in. Here’s how to respond…

Jane Benston

Professional female boxer practicing while looking in mirror. Black and white

If you’re beating yourself up –…

So you’ve found yourself in that awful place where you realised you’ve not lived up to your high standards. Perhaps you’ve made a critical error, missed an opportunity to present well in a senior executive meeting or failed to deliver a piece of work by the deadline…

Jane Benston