Are you a dipper or a diver when you make plans? - Which is best?

I just spent a weekend away with my girlfriend who’s struggling with what so many working women wrestle with. The confidence to make change to do work she loves! She wants to try a new vocation but hasn’t done anything about it. Do you have any ideas, I ask? Yes, she smiles, and looks dreamy. What’s holding you back, my friend? I don’t know whether to trust my ideas or not, she says….how will I know?

The problem is she’s second guessing her ideas.  She knows she’s scared to dive straight into the deep unknown, but she’s losing ANY confidence to act!

In truth, her lack of confidence comes from two things.

  1. A lack of clarity about her values, priorities and deepest wishes for her life.
  2. She believes she needs to make big decisions right now.

I’m here to tell you my friend, the dive is indeed too scary. Just dip your toes in first, and feel the gentle current against your skin.

….dip your toes in first, and feel the gentle current against your skin

confidence to change mums coaching

Because, really, she just needs to figure out her very first step.  To do one thing. To just dip her toes in. This will help her feel if the current is taking her in the direction she wishes to travel, and to know that she can swim. For her, this might be getting some ideas out of her head and onto paper, starting to talk to people in the area she’s interested in, or doing some desktop research. Not so scary after all.

About confidence

From a confidence point of view, the best thing about taking smaller steps is that by breaking down your larger more intangible goal, you can start to see these as very possible to do. Once you think it’s doable, you imagine succeeding. You get a sudden boost of motivation and an urge to act. You take the next step towards your goal.

Scientifically proven - small acts boost your confidence:

  • They help you visualise what needs to happen and prime you to notice opportunities that move you towards your goal.
  • Smaller, (more tangible) goals are much more likely to be achieved.
  • The positive feelings of hope and optimism that come from succeeding enhance your problem-solving abilities, help you see more ways to achieve your goal, and give you the courage and motivation to keep going.

3 steps to dip your toes in

  1. Brainstorm OPTIONS. There are many pathways to your goal. What do you still need to know or find out?  This is a time to expand your options (not narrow them). That way, if one path reaches a dead end, all hope is not lost, you have other routes to follow.
  2. Write it down. Define the small steps you can take to make progress on each pathway. Your steps need to be “doable”! Then test them out.
  3. Celebrate. Acknowledging your small wins along the way will boost your self-belief and fuel your motivation to keep going.

I know my friend will take these steps and enjoy the journey. And, she doesn’t have to do this alone! She can tell someone what she’s working on, so they can follow her up. She can have coffee with people who can answer her questions. She can go to a professional and hire a coach!

As her goal of a career change takes shape, piece by piece she’ll feel more excited and confident. We wish this for you too!

Best wishes

Flourishing Mothers

Love the one you’re with: know what you’ve got and flaunt it!

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Who do you see when you look in the mirror?

We want you to see a woman ready to start turning her work dreams into her new reality.  A fabulous woman confident in her knowledge and abilities. A woman ready to do work she loves!

But do you find the mirror can get fogged up?

We know that you need to wipe away the steam and get clarity about your future. To do this you’ll need to recognise what you’ve got to offer in all the areas of your life. Then you can begin to confidently put these talents and skills and strengths to good use.  You’ll need to be a bit of a detective!

With a bit of effort we CAN identify and make the most of our talents, skills and strengths!

Proudly identify your key work related strengths and skills

We often shy away from looking too closely at our achievements and don’t want to seem boastful.  Or maybe we tend to think of things we do as “just being part of the job” and “nothing special”.

Let us assure you - your achievements are well worth celebrating and give you clues to uncover your strengths.  So make a start on identifying your strengths and skills by answering these questions.

  • What do people rely on you for?
  • At work (or elsewhere) what have you been the “go to girl for”?
  • What do you most enjoy doing in your roles - and know you’re good at?
  • What are 5 things you’re really proud of that relate to work?

Once you’ve made your list you can look for the patterns.  What’s consistent in your achievements? What might be other ways of describing your achievements? And what stands out that can help put your future plans into action?

How can you start recognising your achievements and feel strong positive energy?

Leverage your character strengths

As you proudly identify your achievements and work focused strengths, we also encourage you to think about your character strengths. Each of us possesses a range of qualities which influence what we do and how we choose to do it.  Using our most developed character strengths feels natural, energises us and gives us our point of difference.

Are you the person who raises spirits and smoothes conflict with your sense of humour? Maybe you’re the superbly organised team player who helps keep everyone on track?  Perhaps your creativity and curiosity means that brilliant new initiatives often start with you?

So now you’re focusing on all that you already have proven you can do (and so definitely can do again!).  There’s one pitfall to watch out for!

Don’t forget to banish the biggest threat - your inner critical voice

Quieten your worst critic!

It’s easy to notice and dwell upon the stuff that annoys or disappoints us in ourselves (those anti-achievements), but we need to avoid getting de-railed by our self-criticism!  We can accept that we’re not perfect. Then we can make a habit of looking for our strengths and benefit from that energy and engagement to work towards our goals.

So, love the one you’re with!!

We’re in your corner

Kate & Debra - Flourishing Mothers

PS. If you’re interested to investigate your character strengths have a look at www.viacharacter.org or get in touch to find out how you can use your strengths to super-charge your life.

What's your plan, Jan? What to do about work, when you don't know what to do!

As a working mum, do you ever feel like you’re in the wrong job? Or that you’ve compromised your career hopes? Do you wrack your brain, wondering if you can find a job you love that works with the needs of your family? Do you go around in circles but not find an answer? Do you start to doubt you’ll ever have work that thrills you?

If this feels like you, you’re not alone! Figuring out what to do, and planning for a work future that fulfils you can feel confusing and overwhelming. Over time, you can start to lack confidence in your ability to make positive changes. You might  settle for second best.

It IS possible to do work you love AND look after your family in the way you’d like to

We’re here to tell you that it IS possible to do work you love AND look after your family in the way you’d like to. We help our clients do exactly this every day. If this is something you’d like to do, read on!

plan your future do work you love

When you don’t know what to do, the trick is to step back before you step forward. To spend time really understanding who you are in this phase of life. What’s important to you right now.

When you can examine your life from a bird’s eye point of view, it’s easier to see the way forward.

It’s also important to dream about the job you’d love, and how your work and home life life could look if you could wave a magic wand. It’s amazing how this process starts to build a bridge to your future. You can start to set meaningful and motivating goals. Your plan starts to form.

When you need a plan, but don’t know what to do, we recommend you start with these 4 steps.

  1. Identify your personal and work values. There are plenty of “values checklists” around, or you can read on to access ours. For example, do you value autonomy or teamwork? Financial security or legacy? Curiosity or prudence? When your work aligns with your values, you will love your job more.
     
  2. Decide on your priorities. Which domains of your life are most important for you to focus on right now?  For example, how important is your work versus time with family, being social and caring for yourself? This helps gain perspective and clues for how your work-life balance might look.
     
  3. Imagine yourself 5 years from now. What would you love to be doing or have experienced? Be creative and dream! Would you love to work for yourself? Make partner in your firm? Travel the world? You don’t have to hold yourself to it...what’s important here is that it gives our subconscious a direction in which to focus our attention.
     
  4. Start to articulate your “big picture” goals. Don’t start too specific or you’ll limit your options too early. For example, “I’d like to find work within 30 minutes commute from home”  or “I’d like to find flexible work - around 20 hours per week”. From here you can start to brainstorm the various ways to reach these goals.

In place of confusion, you gain clarity, motivation and confidence

Your goals become a roadmap, helping you make decisions and take action. In place of confusion, you gain clarity. And, because you act in a direction that aligns with your values and priorities, you feel motivated and confident.

Developing your own roadmap and making changes can be hard to do on your own - lots of working mums get help with this process! We highly encourage you to break the inertia and do these steps. Make a plan, Jan! Not only will it save time and avoid making costly job mistakes….it will help you find work that you love!

With love from Flourishing Mothers

PS. Please click here to download the Flourishing Mothers Values Checklist