Live a blissful life on your terms
"I feel like I'm having an affair… with your laptop!"
Was something hubby said to me not too long ago.
"It joins us on the couch, it's in between us in bed and it's the first thing you touch in the morning."
You know what? He was right. I was very much glued to my laptop and it was coming in between us. Thankfully, I'm in a position to be able to fix this but I know of many women who feel that 'just putting it away' isn't an option.
… But Jo, 9.30pm is the only time I get to do the real work I need to get done because I spend my days in back-to-back meetings
… If I don't clear my inbox each night (and answer a few quick emails) I'll start my day underwater before it's even begun
… I left early to do pick up and so need to show everyone my work won't suffer
Are just some of the stories and reasons they tell me they need to work on the couch every night.
"So, when do you actually chat to your husband?" I ask these women?
"Oh, on the couch after the kids have...
We've all read that we should be meditating more right?
Well, I was one of those dabblers... I'd have a bad day or a bad nights sleep and think to myself "I must get back into meditation". Then I wondered why I never got any of the supposed benefits others raved of.
So, a while ago after a particularly bad run of bad sleep, I decided it was time to change. I made a commitment that I was going to do something for my mental health, after all, if I'm not able to earn the bacon then we will be in serious trouble.
I got over the "but you're meant to do it first thing in the morning and I already get up so early" b.s. and decided to do it my way, on my terms.
So every night before bed, I'd not spend 10mins scrolling through Facebook (the story I told myself about needing to wind down after a busy day).
Instead, I spent 10mins on Headspace, my meditation app. I decided I was going to hit a 100 day run streak and see if all this hype was actually worth it.
I'm not going to lie. It wasn't all...
For at least the last 10 years, I've been saying one mantra over and over again, so much so that it's become a part of who I am and has literally changed my life.
Done is better than perfect.
This isn't revolutionary, but I'm sharing this with you because it's a mantra and belief I've tried to infect many others with, yet they resist it like the plague.
Why are we so obsessed with being perfectionists?
As if dealing with a messy house (that no one sees) is more important than quality time with the family when we come home…
Or the belief that no one else can do 'x' as good as you when you really know with some coaching they probably could…
The fear that we've got to be a living, breathing 'insta' family including children who always look neat and tidy.
The belief that our pitch to a manager about a new idea has to be perfect with every i dotted and every t crossed before we can even raise it.
As someone who used to be afflicted with this disease, I can say that adopting this...
Exhausted. Stressed. Guilty.
The three words I hear most often from the women I speak to who are like me - bucking social convention and bringing home the bacon for their families.
These words are often followed by sentences like:
“I thought working full time with little kids was tough - it’s got even harder as they’ve got older”
“My to do list is just endless and I’m never able to get on top of it”
“It’s the running part that I hate the most - always feeling like you should be doing something else”
Ladies... we need to say enough!
We need to say enough with the running. Enough with the 3am wake ups. Enough with the pretending we’ve got it all under control when we don’t.
We deserve to have fulfilling careers without sacrificing progression for treading water, because we’ve got “flexibility.”
We deserve to be present with our children so we can soak up those little moments that we know will be fleeting....
“Get that bum down Jo” were the words screamed across a suburban park.
An aptly timed message from my personal trainer who was reminding me that despite my otherwise perfect plank form - elbows at 90 degrees, shoulders back, legs straight, feet together - my bum was too close to the sky.
So, as you do when a trainer gives you a command, you duly obey and tweak your position by 1%.
It doesn’t look like much, but if you’ve ever needed to adjust your plank you’ll know that your abs completely engage and the pain goes up by 50%! In theory this means you’re on your way to a flatter stomach but the jury's out on that one for me!
In any case, it got me thinking that there are many other areas of our life where a seemingly innocent 1% shift can have a massive difference. Perhaps instead of all looking for silver bullets we should be embracing tiny tweaks to our lives?
Did you know that if you were to make yourself better every day for a year, you'll be 37x...
Things are uncertain right now. Ahhhh… possibly the understatement of the year!
The situation is literally changing from minute to minute and there's this compulsion to stay glued to news and social feeds to try and stay up with any implications for your work, your family or your health.
What's different about this compared to other tough times we've had in our lifetimes, is this uncertainty is literally assaulting us on all fronts.
We don't know if we're going to get sick and what this means…
We don't know how our company will fare or if our jobs are vulnerable…
We don't know if our kids will go to school, if we can socialise or even go outside…
As humans, we crave certainty. I don't mean we just like certainty. I mean it's one of our core human needs and for high achieving women like us it can be the number one thing that drives us.
We need to have this need met. Our desires are so primal that if we can't meet our needs in constructive ways, we'll settle...
I owe you a HUGE apology.
I was just doing a review of what’s happened in the last six months and realised how busy I was supporting women get their life back, that I haven't had time to share with you how you can balance your career and family without sacrificing your ambition or burning out.
Poor effort on my part!
In the past few months, our clients have:
I’ve been so busy helping THEM achieve these kinds...
My heart was racing. Adrenaline pumping.
It's not that high. Kids can do it.
Well let me tell you the thoughts running through my mind in those 3 seconds could have filled a novel.
But I did it! I jumped! And it was exhilarating!
It doesn't matter the abseil off the high ropes course doesn't look that high from the ground. Trust me, from up there it does! It's all a matter of perspective!
I'm not the worlds biggest adrenaline junkie, but I'm no shrinking violet either. So the opportunity to push myself out of my comfort zone on a recent holiday was a chance to release that side of me who is more likely to have my adrenaline release with a 5pm board paper deadline or winging it through a high profile presentation where I was woefully underprepared.
Do you know what that jump did?
It made me feel on top of the world.
It reminded me that there's so much more outside the office that I rarely make time to do.
It reinforced the importance of showing your kids that there's other sides to you...
When I spoke to Sophie, a brand new member of my program, I asked her what was one word she'd like to use to describe herself at the end of our time together. Her gut reaction was to say 'happy' however she thought that was just not going to ever happen, so she changed it to something else.
For many women, the word 'happy' remains something that's just always out of reach.
I'll be happy when the kids sleep through the night…
I'll be happy when I get that promotion…
I'll be happy when I go on holidays…
Why are we living our lives in a holding pattern, on a treadmill, without feeling any happiness, joy or bliss? Reserving these emotions for holidays, birthdays or far off moments in time that disappear as quickly as they arrive.
You deserve to be happy now. As in, right this very moment. The main reason you don't feel happy? You don't feel you deserve it.
As for Sophie, when we finished working together I asked her how she felt. The word that escaped her lips without...
Polite. Perfectionist. Peacekeeper.
Sound like you at all?
If so, these three words are symptoms of something bigger that's very likely to be holding you back at work.
This 'thing' cautions you against speaking up in meetings, makes you nervous about upsetting the apple cart and has you feel like it's important that everyone likes you.
It's not something physical, yet its ramifications can impact your career and bleed into other aspects of your life.
What am I talking about?
I'm talking about the Good Girl Complex, and it afflicts many, many women from all walks of life.
What is the Good Girl Complex?
While we might have come a long way in selecting gender-neutral toys for kids, there are still many ways society still imprints upon us how we should think and behave.
Many women who are now entering the leadership ranks were told as children, consciously and subconsciously, that they should be polite, nurturing, warm and never get into trouble. In contrast, boys were told to 'be boys,' to...