It’s Okay to Celebrate Success! However Big or Small

We’re constantly talking about how to better our work and personal life. How to achieve your goals? How to get the next promotion? But how often do we appreciate our smaller successes?

Whether it’s the mental fist-pump after speaking up in a meeting, or if you receive praise from an unexpected colleague. Whatever the size of the success, we should celebrate it.

It can be very easy to become submerged by ambition and drive and although determination is important, it doesn’t mean we should forget our daily ‘winning’ moments in the office.

Persevering and knuckling down through stressful times is one thing, but appreciating your quick wins is a great way to feel more energised and positive about future projects. And let’s face it, who doesn’t like to hear when they’re doing a good job?

It can be equally beneficial to look at this from another perspective. When was the last time you aired someone’s success or gave positive feedback to the presenter of a meeting? Small efforts to uplift the mood and appreciation in the office will go a long way, not only for yourself but for those working with you.

Here are some successes I’ve celebrated recently. As I’m sure you can tell, some are much bigger achievements than others, but each have been a productive step in meeting my monthly and annual goals.

  • Completing a content launch for a new TV show to an excellent standard
  • Finished all video edits for the month
  • Connecting with content producers within the domestic business
  • Crossing off the last action on my to-do list by Friday afternoon

Being proactive is one of the best steps to making yourself feel more energised and motivated. Ask for feedback from employers or simply ask for advice. Having a positive outlook won’t just make you feel better but highlight areas for improvement and provide the reassuring feeling that you you really are doing a good job.

What are some of your successes that you want to shout about? Comment below.

Lucy Vince

3 Common Impostor Feelings We All Get and How to Overcome Them

It’s a feeling so many high-achieving women know too well. Picture this; You’re sitting in a meeting about to say something utterly brilliant and that annoying little voice in your head stops you in your tracks. It whispers, “Don’t say it, your words aren’t going to convince anybody.”

Meet impostor syndrome. A habitual fear of being exposed as a fraud. It tells you that you don’t deserve to be recognised for your successes and at any moment, somebody will rumble your fakery and pull you up on it.

Well I’m happy to tell you that you’re not alone. Some of the world’s most successful women, including Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg battle with impostor feelings.

Here are some of the most common ‘impostor feelings’ we get and my tips for  overcoming them once and for all.

1. “I sailed through this project on luck but next time it won’t be so easy, and then everyone will discover I’m a fraud.”

You didn’t get this far on pure luck alone. “The only time you should prepare to fail is when you fail to prepare”, my friend and fellow WICT board member Judy Goldberg once said to me.

If you slogged your guts out on that presentation, the chances are, you didn’t wing it. Telling yourself you did is only setting you up for more apprehension next time.

2. “I’m not going to speak up in this meeting or presentation because my opinions aren’t important enough.”

This is hugely common amongst young people in the workplace, and especially for women.

You were invited to take part in that meeting or brainstorming session for a reason. Even the smallest idea or a few words can sway a bad decision, spark new ideas or direct the course of a conversation in an impactful way.

Maybe someone in the room is thinking the exact same thing as you but is also too anxious to speak up. Don’t let your ideas slip away so easily.

If you really don’t feel like sharing anything, pipe up at the end of a meeting and summarise the key action points or ask how you can help in terms of next steps. This is a great way of reminding everyone of what needs to be done next and also demonstrates that you were engaged throughout.

Bottom line: Say what’s on your mind. What’s the worst that could happen?

3. “Everybody thinks I have strong, creative solutions but one day, I’ll run out of ideas.”

Ever have those days where you simply can’t get the creativity to flow? Getting bogged down by not being able to think creatively can lead to a perpetual cycle of frustration and self doubt. Take a break, go for a walk, catch up with a colleague and maybe reflect on a problem with them.

The neon green sign flashing the answer could light up at any moment. Getting out of your own head is often critical to developing new ideas.

Most importantly, remember that you’re not a machine. Don’t be so harsh on yourself.

I spotted this Instagram post this morning and I think it illustrates some awesome and very simple ways to take a break and clear your mind.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BFkvWjVr838/?taken-by=luxeee16

My Anti-Impostor Feeling Mantra

I find it helps to say this out loud on the days I’m not feeling too sure of myself.

“You’re an expert in your field. Sit up and share your thoughts and ideas with conviction and confidence. Nobody knows this better than you.”

What’s your best advice for someone who experiences impostor feelings more often than they should?

Sanjana Modha-Patel

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20 Key Career Lessons for Every Stage in Life

Childhood Lessons

1. Learning is everything.

2. Women can achieve anything they want (I was inspired by Thatcher’s achievement to be the first Prime Minister – I hasten to add I’m not political!).

3. Remember your childhood dreams.

books

Early Career Lessons

1. Don’t ever give up.

2. Be brave, push yourself out of your comfort zone.

3. Ask for help from people you trust.

4. Feedback is a gift; listen to it, thank the person giving it and act on it.

5. Understand how business works and the numbers. Commercial nous is important. Read more

5 Ways To Kick Start Your Development Plan Without Asking Your Manager

yesno

1. When ‘No’ might be better as ‘Yes’

If someone offers you an opportunity, don’t dismiss it out of hand. I had a coffee the other day with a colleague I used to work with but a long time ago. He’s looking for a new role in the same industry as me and when I asked how I could help, connect him with any of my contacts, he replied with a flat ‘no, I don’t think so, no thanks.’

But he could have asked me out of all my contacts who did I think would be good to connect with? Just one or two people and he’d have saved himself some time, drunk some good coffee or even just met a new and interesting person. He might even have landed a new job.

2. Treat every day at work like it’s your first day in the job

On day one of the job you’re probably a little scared, you’re keen to impress, you’re excited and you’re ready to learn. You ask lots of questions because you don’t know the answers and you need to learn fast. And you even question a bit more deeply to understand why something is done in a certain way, and you may share other ways you’ve done it or could do it. Your ‘day one stance’ is very contagious and the added energy of the newbie, can lift you through the dull tasks later on and gets you thinking about other areas where you can make a difference and learn.

Read more

5 Small Changes That Can Make a Big Impact on You and Your Life

1. Connect and Eject

Being able to connect and eject starts with building a diverse network.  The more quality people you have in your virtual Rolodex the better!  This way when an opportunity presents itself you can quickly connect two people and then eject from the conversation and allow them to take it from there.  I believe every link could lead to collaboration, a new idea or invention, or problem solved, and at the very least a brilliant conversation between two awesome people.   I also believe if you are transparent and open with your network, it will come back to you in spades.  Remove your expectations and stand back to see what great things can come from being the link.

2. Mindset Matters

There is no doubt that the mindset you take on each day matters.  It matters greatly. It can change your day, ruin your day, and even turn your day around.  I believe a growth mindset, as described so brilliantly by Carol Dweck, is the choice mindset that will lead to success, opportunities and positive outcomes.  Believe it or not, choosing the growth mindset will also increase your energy throughout the day.

3. Launch and Adjust

goose

After many years of trying to be a perfectionist, I learned to let go and launch and adjust.  And I have learned that this could also be the best way to get as near to perfection as possible.  Not only can you learn and laugh at any mistakes you make, once something has launched to the public, you can quickly learn what cultural adaptations need to be made, what needs more clarity, and what might not be working at all and why.  So go ahead, put it out there and see what happens.  Sitting on something for years until it is perfect may be too late.

4. See Something Say Something

If you walk up the subway stairs in New York City you will see this slogan written all over the city.  In 2012 I saw Thomas Friedman start his speech with the very same words.  It resonates and reminds me to stay awake, and aware, and to be vocal. We all have a voice and we should use it. When we see something great, people should know.  When we see something that isn’t quite kosher, we should state our view on the matter, and if we see something down right wrong, we need to let the world know. Be seen. Be heard. Be credible.

5. Mentor and Model

The more you read the more you will see a trend in the significance of mentors in the world of work and progressing in one’s career.  You will also read how critical it is for leaders to model the behaviours that are wanted within a culture.  And what happens to an organisation when there is disconnect or no modelling at all.  Seems simple enough, right? Alas, mentoring and modelling is not yet common practice across all companies. There is no reason we shouldn’t all have a mentor, be a mentor, be a role model, and approach the workplace with a spirit of generosity and abundance to lift as we climb. There is really no excuse not to.

By Judy Goldberg
WonderShift Ltd
@Wondershift

Hey Ladies, Stop Undermining Yourself with Words

‘If everything is important, nothing is.’ These are wise words I recently read by author, speaker and consultant, Patrick Lencioni. If this is thinking is correct, how do you know when the person who often says they’re ‘busy’ during your morning chat in the elevator, are truly busy?

In my case, if everything is to be described as ‘amazing’ is anything ever amazing? As I read Lencioni’s words, I felt something reach deep into my consciousness and tug hard at the nerves. It’s a feeling I get every time I say ‘amazing’ and all the other words I overuse.

This got me thinking about other words (or ‘softeners’ as I like to think of them) women often say in order to make a point come across as being less bossy, abrupt or abrasive for the sake of seeming ‘nice’.

We often say ‘I just wanted to let you know…’ rather than ‘Here’s want I think is important to share with you’ and ‘Actually, can I just say…’ instead of ‘I have an idea I’d like to put forward for discussion’. Why do we seek permission for having a valid contribution to make?

Read more

7 Things to Do When You Think You Can’t Accomplish Something

We all have those tasks we spend more time dreading than actually doing. Whether it’s working on your budget, immersing yourself in a presentation, or finally cleaning out the garage (which you’ve said you’ll do for six months now), there are many factors influencing your abilities to not only do it, but to do it well. It might sound easy to push it back each day but in the long run, you’re putting more pressure on yourself, building it up to be something a great deal more dreadful than it actually is. Here are some simple ways to get that thing done.

  1. Do something that energises you
    Half of the battle is feeling too drained to begin a task. Adjust your mind set by doing something you enjoy first. Whether it’s having a creative brainstorm at work, having a chat with someone who energises you, or going outside for a walk, know that you have the power to shift your focus and boost your mood. Starting it with fresh eyes will make the whole thing a piece of cake.
  1. Give yourself a maximum time frame to get it done within
    Set yourself a time frame and stick to it. Tell yourself you have 40 minutes to give this job your full concentration and no more. If it’s a big project, break it down into 30 or 40 minute chunks and tackle it bit by bit.
  1. Think about how you might feel once you’ve actually done it
    So you’ve been building this chore up to be much worse than it actually is by putting it off. Imagine the feeling of relief when it’s finally complete. How will it impact your daily routine and what more can you get done without all the worrying? Chances are you’ll have a clearer outlook and be more productive.
  1. Make yourself accountable
    Talk to someone about it and ask them to check in on your progress from time to time. That way you’re fully accountable if you start stalling again. Who knows, they might even offer a fresh perspective and help you figure out a new way to tackle it.
  1. Take a look back at a time you’ve felt like a true champion at something
    Whether it’s feeling motivated by someone you truly believe in, championing the achievements of somebody who deserved that recognition inside of work or out, or winning that egg and spoon race trophy at Sport’s Day in year five, there’s definitely something you’ve nailed. It’s easy to get lost in the slog of a major project, so take the time to think about a time you felt like you did a spectacular job and how it made you feel. You can put that adrenaline to good use, giving your task everything you’ve got, however big or small it may be.
  1. Put on your favourite music
    Lift your mood and diffuse that looming project with the music you love. Some people simply focus better with headphones on. Going back to point #1, you’ve re-energised yourself, taken a break and set yourself a time frame in which to get it done. If drum ‘n’ bass helps you power through with no distractions, then mission accomplished.
  1. Know that you can do it
    Don’t doubt yourself. Believe you can get it done without spending hours rationalising every minor detail. It has been assigned to you because you’re fully capable. Extinguish any self-doubt you might have and give it all you’ve got.

Sanjana Modha

self-interrupting

5 Ways to Stop Self-Interrupting

Don’t let yourself be your biggest distraction. Here are some simple ways to stop self-interrupting.

1. Focus on one thing at a time

Easier said than done, right? One way to keep focused is to stop looking at your to do list every five minutes. Of course, many tasks are of equal importance but you’re not a machine. Tackle anything urgent first, then when starting your next task, move your to do list away. Any meaningful task requires a large part of focus. Before starting anything, ask yourself why you should do it and try to be creative and passionate in your approach – really make it your own. Most importantly, take pleasure and pride in what you’re doing. If you’re constantly thinking about the ten other things on your list, the task at hand won’t be your best work and will take you much longer to complete in the long run.

Read more