To all you life leaders out there leading your careers, life, and teams, we can learn and lead forward through the uncertainty together. That is why on this Friday end of the week blog, I am wanted to share a few key leadership and life lessons with you so we can learn from each other and progress forward faster; not alone, but together. Together as a community, in partnership, supporting one another is where we magnify the: solutions, ideas, networks, and energy. Our career, leadership, and life goals are personal and they are also meant to be shared because when we do build a team of support around them, we are elevated! I will be sharing a community collaborative space with you soon as my goal is to connect the amazing network of leaders I know together so ‘we’ can share, grow, and learn with one another. Below, I am going to share some of the leadership and life lessons I have witnessed as a coach recently and in addition, I am going to humbly share some of my own growing pains as a leader of my career, business, and life.

Career Leadership Lessons When You are Unhappy or Looking for Work

Wow, there are so many people right now assessing their career options, looking for new work opportunities, and unhappy in their current jobs. As a leadership coach, I am hearing and working with many individuals who not only want to align with work that lights them up, but who also want to connect to the culture of the company, the leadership, and even the lifestyle they want to live. This week alone, the diversity of clients I worked with spanned from preparing someone for their interview, to job search and networking strategies, to being confident as a leader. Here are some of the career leadership lessons that stood out this week:

  • Preparing for an interview requires presentation and public speaking skills that are best refined with feedback
  • When looking for a new job, networking with people you know takes effort, time, patience and follow up. It can take 4-6 weeks to have a lead here depending on how focused you are and how many people you reach out to.
  • Discovering what you do want to do when changing jobs or careers may not be a direct path and often it is a series of explorative steps and trying pathways out where you will discover what you do not want. This knowledge and clarity of realizing something is not right for you will ultimately lead you to the right path. Be an experimentor, open doors, and listen to what excites you.
  • Confidence in yourself and in your job is unshakeable when it comes from internal validation rather than external validation. Yet, we have been conditioned to external validation; therefore, we need to build and foster our own internal validation habits because when we do, our confidence will be strong to the core rather than shaken by external circumstances or comments.

Leading through Overwhelm

Feeling and being overwhelmed is one of the biggest issues many leaders have experienced over the past year and half. I hesitate to say it is normal as I want you to know if you feel this way, you are not alone, but this state should not be normal and we do not have to accept it. There are some great tools and resources we can do to support ourselves when we feel this way. This was a personal leadership lesson this week for me and so I want to share some coaching tips with you to help support anyone else experiencing this right now.

  1. Overwhelm can come from having too much to do and/or our thoughts, emotions, and approach around everything we have to do which requires a pause, a reassess, and a refinement of approach along with getting or asking for help
  2. Sometimes it is our own expectations or the pressure we put on ourselves that exacerbates the feeling of overwhelm and if this is the case, work with a coach and possibly a Cognitive Behavioral Coach (CBC). CBC is a powerful coaching method that empowers people to change the beliefs and thoughts that are not serving them which then leads to a new, more positive behavior; in this case, thoughts and behaviors that would lower stress. I will be sharing more about CBC soon as I do Cognitive Behavior coaching and just last week, a leader wrote me an email after applying it and said, “CBC really works!” She used it to reduce stress and a pattern of thought that was negatively impacting her happiness.
  3. The equation for Performance is: Potential – Interference = Performance. The interference in this equation is defined as is our own internal thoughts, doubts, critic, imposter syndrome, fears, judgement, self-talk. Imagine if we limited or eliminated the interference? Your full potential will be expressed and you will be at your peak performance. Our aim then is to get help on how to minimize the interference.
  4. The coach I worked with this week gave me a great exercise that had me sit with the emotion of overwhelm and fully accept it because when we acknowledge, process, and accept the emotion, it helps us move through it rather than resist it.

Life Leadership Coaching Lesson

Yesterday was the first year Canada had a day for Truth and Reconciliation for everyone to pause and reflect on the whole history and experiences that our Indigenous people have had. This day was a recognition, a validation, and a connection point where we can learn and try to understand and respect what the survivors of the residential schools and our Indigenous people have been through at the hands of our government and all of us. We do not always want to look at the ‘ugly truth’ or the ‘trauma’ and if I am honest, often I am guilty of not wanting to dwell on negative things because I like progress, solutions, and positivity; however, sitting with the ‘reality’ of what was and is can connect people and bring understanding which brings about a better, brighter way forward.

For the past two weeks and culminating in a conversation last night, I have found myself drawn back into a reality of a negative experience in my own past. Sometimes we cope by moving forward because we must, never really stopping in our own truth or speaking the truth of our life experiences with others. Last night after holding my truth and reality sacred to myself to protect another person, I shared it, voiced it, and gave it space to be heard and to be understood clearly. It took all these years for me to speak it, my truth, and the reality of what I lived.

It was liberating! It freed me from the past. It connected me to a greater understanding with another and in a way giving it a voice in a safe space and being heard somehow gave me strength and confidence in the present.

I have not experienced anything like what the residential school survivors did and yet each of us has a past with a pain that is waiting for us to speak our truth with someone or some place safe so we can be freed.

We lead our life moving forward, but every now and then we need to revisit the past to free ourselves for the strength, peace, and confidence to lead and live our happiest life from this moment forward.

What were your leadership and life lessons this week? Let’s lead and learn forward together.

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