"I'm someone who can get sh*t done" is said proudly by 95% of the women I work with.
"It's part of who I am. It's part of what's got me here. I'm proud of it and I'm proud of just how much I get done in one day, far more than other mere mortals."
That's all wonderful, but what happens when we get more senior and the volume of work increases?
Well… we work harder. And longer. And more on the couch. And on the weekends.
Here's the thing… being a get sh*t done person is only going to take you so far. What you need to do is to learn to play the orchestra.
Steve Jobs said "Musicians play instruments, I play the orchestra."
You, my dear, are a musician. Otherwise known as a workhorse. One who gets flogged and is valued for the volume of output they can produce. Also, one who's sense of confidence comes from being able to deliver.
Yet, as the work volume increases and it starts to become almost impossible to work any harder, you feel like you're failing. Your confidence takes a nose-dive and you wonder if you should be doing your job at all.
This is the danger of playing instruments and I promise it will hold you back from more senior roles. It's also doing significant damage to your self-confidence and has you second-guessing much of what you do.
So how do you play the orchestra?
You master these 3 things:
You eliminate words like 'sorry' and 'just' from your vocabulary. These make you play small, undermine your skill and intelligence and make others question your authority. Instead, you learn to say no. No to taking on more work. No to things you don't want to or shouldn't be doing. And you say it without the guilt!
Words have always meant a lot but they're even more important now when we're not seeing people in person as much as we used to.
Master your emotions
If you control your state, you control the day! You need to stop feeling guilty, resentful, angry or ashamed. When you operate from these places, you behave differently and don't get great results. Let's not forget that these emotions are exhausting and are no way to live!
Master your expectations
I'm not suggesting you lower them (heaven forbid!) but I'm suggesting that your high achieving DNA needs to be tamed because it drives much of your unhappiness. We are permanently shifting the goal posts, 'waiting until' to be happy, or to feel something. Instead, if we revisit these expectations and ensure they're aligned with what we really want in life, we find that they no longer have the same stranglehold they did on us previously.
Master these 3 things and you'll be well on your way to no longer be a musician, or a workhorse and instead become a conductor, a person of influence who is finally able to see exactly what it is they're capable of.