rockingyourrole

For women who Rock their Role in work and life

Archive for the category “well being”

Lean In or Retreat?

Sheryl Sandberg is currently advocating in her book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, that women should go towards opportunities. I agree that women shouldn’t hold themselves back, but I think that there are times when women should retreat.

You see going full steam ahead without conscious thought, enough physical, spiritual or psychological resource, can be more damaging than doing nothing.

Have you ever?

  • been up all night with poorly children and then had to work the next day
  • had to deal with a family or relationship crisis while being all smiles at work
  • felt unwell but afraid to take a day off

The fact is on days like those above, the answer is not to lean in, but retreat.

Think of it like a battle, when your soldiers are injured and depleted you don’t go into attack, do you?

The dictionary defines ‘retreat ‘as

*The act or process of withdrawing, especially from something hazardous, formidable, or unpleasant.

*A place affording peace, quiet, privacy, or security

*A period of seclusion, retirement, or solitude.

*Withdrawal of a military force from a dangerous position or from an enemy attack.

Sometimes you need to go back to go forward, so you at least have a fighting chance.

Retreating is the answer if:

  • You are at a turning point in your life
  • Seeking clarity or insight
  • Wanting to dive deeply within
  • You want to reconnect your inner life to your outer life
  • Slowing your life down
  • Needing rest, deep relaxation, healing and rejuvenation

How you do it is your choice, but here are a five ideas:

  1. Journaling
  2. Getting closer to nature
  3. Meditating/Mindfulness practice
  4. Yoga
  5. Taking a few days to take part in a retreat

When you are back to feeling fully resourceful and know what you want, then of course, take Sheryl’s advice and Lean In.

From the 11th-15th July, I will be leading a  Life Coaching Retreat at the Premier Luxury Mountain Resort, Bansko, Bulgaria. Come along to Relax, Re-energise and Refocus. See this video for more information

I am Jenny Garrett, Executive Coach, founder of Reflexion Associates, a leadership and coaching consultancy and author or Rocking Your Role – the how to guide to success for female breadwinners. Find out more about me, my programmes, speaking engagements and training at rockingyourrole.com and sign up for my newsletter

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Lean In with…….Chocolate

Sheryl Sandberg Lean In groups

Sheryl Sandberg Lean In groups

There has been a lot of talk about Sheryl Sandberg’s new book, telling women to ‘Lean in’.  By encouraging women to ‘lean in’, Sheryl is encouraging women not to sabotage their own careers by shying away from the top jobs, but lean in to the opportunities instead.  I was interested to find that she is planning to launch ‘Lean in’ groups for women.

This is a great idea, although Inge Woudstra from Mum & Career and I had thought of it first!

We are running 3 hour Saturday morning sessions where women can benefit from networking and putting strategies together to advance their personal and professional lives.

These sessions will be expertly facilitated by us – we are trained action learning facilitators.

They are not just a talking shop or tea and sympathy but action oriented, experience packed events to take you towards your goals.

What’s even more exciting is the venue is Daskalides Belgian chocolatier in Covent Garden.

I am sure the smell of chocolate will help our creative juices flow.

Daskalides chocolatier in Covent Garden.

Lean in with Chocolate – Creative Solution Groups

Daskalides chocolatier in Covent Garden.

Venue for Creative Solution Groups askalides chocolatier in Covent Garden.

The first event will take place on Saturday 4th May.

You can take advantage of the early bird price until 1st April

You can book here, or call me on 0844 776 4744 for more information

I am Jenny Garrett, Executive Coach, founder of Reflexion Associates, a leadership and coaching consultancy and author or Rocking Your Role – the how to guide to success for female breadwinners. Find out more about me, my programmes, speaking engagements and training at rockingyourrole.com and sign up for my newsletter

Just had to show off this venue

Lovely venue_Womens Leadership Success programme

Venue for Women’s Leadership Success programme 4th March_Jenny Garrett

As soon as I saw this venue I fell in love with it and knew that it would be ideal for my Women’s Leadership Success Programme taking place on 4th March, 2013.

Maybe it was the plump red leather chairs or the intimate yet decadent atmosphere.  One thing is for certain when women invest in themselves for a day, they should be comfortable and well looked after and I know they will be.

I am delighted to say that the programme is sold out, we limit it to 8 participants, but actually have 9 on this occasion!

If you would like to add your name to the waiting list, we will advise you of when the next programme will take place. I am looking at dates, but is likely to be around June time.

Here’s what you’ll be missing this time:

  • 9am   Welcome and Intro               Jenny Garrett
  • Being Guilt-Free                                Amber Khan
  • Break   10.45am
  • 11am  Life -Style Management      Joanna Pieters
  • Intro Rocking Your Role process  Jenny Garrett
  • 1pm  Lunch
  • 2pm  Money Management              Andrew Priestley
  • 2.45pm  Self – Leadership               Jenny Garrett
  • 3.30pm  Break
  • Creative Solutions                            Jenny Garrett
  • Action Planning                               Jenny Garrett
  • 5pm   Close

and the women who attend will come away with:

  • Increased Confidence in their ability to cope and succeed
  • Freedom from the shackles of guilt, resentment and shame
  • Improved sense of psychological, physical and spiritual Well-Being
  • Sense of Direction and Purpose
  • Community and Belonging through the Support of the group
  • An ILM (Institute of Leadership & Management) certificate

I know that this wonderful environment will contribute to making all that happen, alongside expert facilitation and knowledge.

I am Jenny Garrett, Executive Coach, founder of Reflexion Associates, a leadership and coaching consultancy and author or Rocking Your Role – the how to guide to success for female breadwinners. Find out more about me, my programmes, speaking engagements and training at rockingyourrole.com and sign up for my newsletter

5 Reasons Why Women Feel So Guilty

Amber Khan is one of the guest speakers on my Women’s Leadership Success programme taking place on 4th March, 2013

Below she shares her thoughts on why women feel so guilty.

9a59560be6535da6ef20b75b7a52d073Women can feel guilty about any & everything. For many women, the driving force in their lives is guilt. Somewhere along the way, it all becomes a matter of doing it all.

According to a daily mail article, a survey has found that more than 96 per cent of women feel guilty at least once a day, while for almost half, the feeling strikes up to four times a day.

Women tend to…

  • Be perfectionists. You feel guilty because you feel as though you have to live up to unrealistic expectations, and you cannot make mistakes.
  • Blame themselves. If you fail at even the slightest thing, you start to blame yourself for not being good enough. Then you feel guilty for being somehow “lesser than” all those women/mothers who seem to be doing it right.
  • Can’t say No. Throughout history, women have been those who pleased others. Admit it we are people pleasers. Even when you really want to say NO, the only 3 letter word which comes out of your mouth is YES. If you do say No, the feeling immediately turns into guilt.
  • Put others first. We care for our partners, families, friends & co-workers. We do & buy things for them but feel guilty when we consider those things for ourselves or even to take time out for ourselves.
  • Be control freak. We tend to take responsibility of everything at work or at home and shy away from delegating chores. Why? Because we are afraid of losing control. We’d rather boast about our multi-tasking skills than face the music of feeling ill, stressed, overweight & exhausted.

The guilt builds and builds until it becomes not a consequence, but rather, that driving force that keeps you moving forward even as a little piece of you is screaming to slow down, take a deep breath, take it easy, and don’t let life sweep you away with the tidal wave.

Do you recognise any of the above traits in yourself, found yourself nodding away to some?

Come along to the Women’s Leadership Success programme to find strategies to ditch the guilt

I am Jenny Garrett, Executive Coach, founder of Reflexion Associates, a leadership and coaching consultancy and author or Rocking Your Role – the how to guide to success for female breadwinners. Find out more about me, my programmes, speaking engagements and training at rockingyourrole.comand sign up for my newsletter

What’s your legacy as a woman breadwinner?

You are leaving a lasting legacy

You are leaving a lasting legacy

Here are a couple of responses I had from women on being the breadwinner recently:

I see myself as a role model for my niece, that you can’t leave it all up to a man. You have to be able to support yourself and if need be your family.

I know not to say I am the main bread winner, this seems to be a thing of shame to my male partners family and they would never acknowledge or talk about it. People still talk as if the money is his and I spend it – which is strange.

What sort of legacy are you leaving as a female breadwinner? Is it positive where you exude confidence, are happy and helping to establish a new normal? Or is it negative where you’re stressed, burdened and angry with your lot?

Coping with the highs and lows of financial independence, balancing traditional roles with new ones and remembering to take care of yourself isn’t easy. But you should bear in mind that however you choose to manage these challenges, your actions will leave a legacy for those that follow in your footsteps.

If you haven’t reflected on the legacy you leave or how you’re a role model and have influence over others, this is a good time to start. Think about it, if you were teaching someone to drive you would show them how to do it well and model your best self. It’s the same with showing the world how to be a female breadwinner. You need to display best practice whenever you can.

How you choose to be in the role of breadwinner has a significant effect on those around you. In my book Rocking Your Role: the ‘how to’ guide to success for female breadwinners I spoke to women main earners that were leaving a positive legacy for those that follow by making their corner of the world work.

Here are a few points I picked up:

Enjoy it – have pride in what you are doing even if it happened by accident or is a temporary situation. Ditch the guilt around being a female breadwinner and try to enjoy your role. This will give others the confidence to do so too.

Set your own terms– the role of main earner is traditionally male and you may work in a male dominated area, but that doesn’t mean you have to act like one. Let go of other’s assumptions to formulate the unique vision of you. You can be a main earner on your own terms; you just need to brave enough to set them.

Avoid superwoman syndrome– when you try to do it all and present an image that nothing has to give when juggling family and work you send out the wrong message. It’s an impossible charade that hurts you and the people that look up to you.

Stay healthy- if you want future female main earners to have a good sense of well-being, to feel physically and mentally healthy then you should place these things high on the agenda for yourself.

Embrace femininity– it can be hard to be able to display feminine characteristics in a traditional male role or even at work with many male colleagues but don’t shun them. It can send the wrong message to our daughters, sisters and nieces as well as the males in our lives.

As a female breadwinner you are one of the new breed of women that the world is watching. Whether you like it or not you now wear the badge of trendsetter or pioneer – so why not use your new position of power to encourage a positive legacy to help future female main earners? Give it a try and see the difference it makes to those around you.

I am Jenny Garrett, Executive Coach, founder of Reflexion Associates, a leadership and coaching consultancy and author or Rocking Your Role – the how to guide to success for female breadwinners. Find out more about me, my programmes, speaking engagements and training at rockingyourrole.comand sign up for my newsletter

How to make your Marriage more Exciting

Happy Couple sitting under a treeAny long-term relationship will need invigorating at some point. Busy lives, children, work and the drudgery of life (by drudgery I mean housework) can really get in the way of focusing on your relationship.
Before you know it, you haven’t really spoken in a week. Ships passing in the night, living in the same home, but having a pretty transactional relationship, or just too tired to engage and taking each other for granted.

Here are 5 ways to make your Marriage more Exciting

1. Discover together
Whether it’s a new restaurant, new country, new sport or new hobby, discover something that neither of you have tried nor experienced before and go for it. This will provide you with something different to talk about and share, you are likely to realize that there is still more to learn about each other.

2. Nurture
You don’t expect your plants to survive without water, or your friends to keep calling if you take no interest in them, do you? In the same way your partnership cant thrive without some commitment to helping it grow and develop. Regular date nights, even if they are at home with a movie and a picnic on your living room floor are critical for reconnecting.

3. Look and feel ‘hot’
I know you want to relax when you get home, slip on that onesie and a pair of slippers, but what does that do for your marriage? If you feel your best, your partner will sense that and make the effort also, helping you to rekindle your attraction to each other.

4. Reminisce
Perhaps you have kids who have taken over most of your daytime hours, or are working or studying hard. With these demands it’s easy to forget the good times and what interested you about partner in the first place. You could watch your wedding video, look at old photos, or revisit the music you both loved when you first met. This will reawaken the emotions you felt when you were first together.

5. Create a sanctuary
Have a space in your home where distractions such as mobile phones and TV’s are not allowed, so that you can focus on each other. Talking, listening and relaxing in comfort, nurturing your friendship.

Marriage is a marathon not a sprint, so don’t think that you can do this for a week and then forget about it. It’s a continual commitment that will reap real rewards. Give it a try.

I’ll leave you with a quote from Barbara de Angelis

Marriage is not a noun; it’s a verb. It isn’t something you get. It’s something you do. It’s the way you love your partner every day.

I am Jenny Garrett, Executive Coach, founder of Reflexion Associates, a leadership and coaching consultancy and author or Rocking Your Role – the how to guide to success for female breadwinners. Find out more about me, my programmes, speaking engagements and training at rockingyourrole.com and sign up for my newsletter

How to Be the Most Organized Person in the World (Infographic)

I came across this fabulous infographic via Skirts and Ladders, a new network led by Lily Dey, designed to release the potential of early career women and accelerate their journeys as future leaders.

I was very flattered to learn that Lily has read Rocking Your Role, and chosen it to launch the Skirts and Ladders book club taking place on 12th February, 2013 at Canary Wharf,to find out more go to the Skirts and Ladders website.

Be the most organized person in the world

More Health and Fitness News & Tips at Greatist.

I am Jenny Garrett, Executive Coach, founder of Reflexion Associates, a leadership and coaching consultancy and author or Rocking Your Role – the how to guide to success for female breadwinners. Find out more about me, my programmes, speaking engagements and training at rockingyourrole.com and sign up for my newsletter

Why you must invest in womankind

Women having coffee togetherI talk to women all the time, I love to share the good stuff, but what I have found through being a main earner and talking to others who are, is that often the most important stuff is left unsaid.

When was the last time you shared your story, not to burden someone, but to help them?

The act of sharing, talking and being with other women in a similar position is an opportunity for you to become clearer about your own identity as a main earner. Conversations will make a radical difference to how you do things and how you experience the world. For a start it can help you realise you’re not alone!

The research I did for my book, Rocking You Role: the how to guide to success for female breadwinners, meant I was lucky enough to hear a variety of stories from women main earners. Each had her own unique path but often faced similar highs and lows. These conversations helped me to create a walkthrough for others that might be struggling with similar issues or a way to celebrate and articulate achievements.

You might think, I’m not a group person or I don’t need more friends, but moving from me to we gives you more resources to handle your situation. It’s important that you share with other women like you and invest in womankind like the women in my book have. Here are some ways you might do it:

Utilise an informal network – you have amassed an informal network of colleagues and friends so use them to start you off. Perhaps you could write down five names of women you know that are in a similar situation and five you suspect might be and set a target to have conversations with them. You might even want to set up your own network. For a guide on how to get started email me mailto:info@rcokingyourrole.com

Join an existing group – have a think about an existing group you can join. It could be a speech giving class or even a book club. It doesn’t have to be focused on female breadwinners; any group that allows you to get into contact with other professional women is a chance to meet another main earner.

Attend focussed events– there are lots of events you could go to throughout the year that are especially focused on encouraging professional women to network. Here you can quickly hear and share stories and grow your circle of contacts.

Get online – online groups are easy to set up or join. The advantage is you can access them anytime and you benefit from anonymity. Plus you get a wider geographical reach. You could also try sharing your own reflections through a blog or by writing an article. Feel free to join the Rocking Your Role LinkedIn group to meet like-minded women.

Share with me– if all else fails you can always use me. I am always happy to hear other women’s experiences and finding ways to share them. Get in touch via Twitter @JennyGarrett or email me with your story.

Don’t be wary of other women main earners. Seek them out to find out more about yourself- it is surprising what we learn from each other and what we can teach. So go on, start the conversation today and don’t forget to let me know how you get on.

I am Jenny Garrett, Executive Coach, founder of Reflexion Associates, a leadership and coaching consultancy and author or Rocking Your Role – the how to guide to success for female breadwinners.

Caring for ageing parents

Caring for elderly parents

Caring for elderly parents

As I visited my grandmother in hospital this week, with my Mum by her side and my daughter by mine.  I was struck by the fact that it is nearly always the woman’s responsibility to be the carer for elderly relatives.  We usually do it willingly and without thinking about it, but nevertheless it is usually down to us.

Combine that with having your own children and a career and there isn’t much space for you in the picture.  My Mum is devoted, she works a full day as a teacher and visits my grandmother every single day, she wouldn’t think of doing anything else.  Even if my grandmother is grumpy or ungrateful one day she keeps coming back the next.

When it’s a week of even a month of someone being ill you can just about handle it but my grandmother has been in hospital for over two months and will need caring when she leaves.  I know my Mum is not alone, my sister-in-law was recently in this position, with two young children, a partner, a home and career to manage it wasn’t easy.  With women in particular living longer, the likelihood is that many of you reading this will be in the same position.

So how do you cope?  I don’t think that there are any easy answers.  We love our relatives, and love means that we do extraordinary things: self-less, kind and maybe illogical things to care for them.

Here are some suggestions, but I would love to hear yours:

Decide on how much time, you will give – you can spend 3 hours or thirty minutes visiting a relative, does the quantity of time matter? Is just seeing you good enough? How does the amount of time affect you?  Maybe one hour feels good, 2 hours feels exhausting or you start thinking about all of the other things that are piling up that you need to do.  Only you can decide.

Don’t wait for others to offer – I am sorry to say it but others don’t think.  They often don’t think to offer, especially if you are demonstrating that you are self-sufficient and have it all under control.  Maybe others cant visit every day, but at least once a week to give you time off with the piece of mind that they are checking to ensure everything is OK.

Don’t make ‘carer’ your only role in life – studying, working, time out with friends gives you an identity, in addition to the role of carer, and they will be a welcome reprieve so don’t let them drift.  Explain your situation to your employer, tutor etc, so that they’ll understand if you are not performing at your peak.

In the UK, there is sometimes a small allowance for carers, which might enable you to go for a massage a few times a year.  Whatever you can do to have some respite time, do it, it will keep you sane.

This is definitely not easy and I recommend that you talk to others if it is becoming too much for you.

Good Luck and wishing the happiest and healthy life possible for you and yours.

I am Jenny Garrett, Executive Coach, founder of Reflexion Associates, a leadership and coaching consultancy and author or Rocking Your Role – the how to guide to success for female breadwinners. Find out more about me, my programmes, speaking engagements and training at rockingyourrole.com and sign up for my newsletter

Self-Confidence, Self-Criticism and Self-Sabotage

I came across this Blog by Ann Ulrich through one of the members of my LinkedIn group Afi Afori, who incidentally has launched the Women in Sales awards which will take place this year

Every one of us needs to be confident about what we have to offer the world.  For some reason the self-criticim and self-sabotage is more apparent among women.  I wont go into what I feel the reasons are here, although I know it starts from childhood

Anyway read Ann’s article and let me know what you think Self-Confidence, Self-Criticism & Self-Sabotage.  I hope it makes a difference!

I am Jenny Garrett, Executive Coach, founder of Reflexion Associates, a leadership and coaching consultancy and author or Rocking Your Role – the how to guide to success for female breadwinners. Find out more about me, my programmes, speaking engagements and training at rockingyourrole.com and sign up for my newsletter

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