As an Executive, Leadership, and Career Coach to women, I encourage my clients to own their strengths and to stop focusing so much on their weaknesses. However, as I write this, I am very aware of my weaknesses, including my tendency to be inconsistent with any work endeavor that does not involve direct client contact. I do better when I am meeting in real time with women, serving you based on your current challenges and aspirations.
Consistency is a good thing, particularly in terms of managing one's "brand". I would be a better steward of my brand if I cranked out something in writing every week, month, or even every quarter, like clockwork. Unfortunately, consistency is not my strong suit. Alas, heavy sigh. I find it difficult to figure out which weaknesses to work on versus letting go.
To what extent is this true for you? Which weaknesses are you OK with just owning and ignoring, and which ones do you wish you could magically erase?
Imperfect, Inconsistent Coping is still Coping!
Please continue to take good care of yourself, remember to breathe, and reach out to people whenever it helps you to do so. Know that I am thinking about each person in my professional and personal spheres, including you. Paraphrasing what Stuart Smalley used to say on Saturday Night Live, "You're good enough, you're smart enough, and doggone it, people LIKE you!"
I have been listening to a lot of music this year, mostly to keep me company while I do mundane tasks around the house. One of my favorite songs lately is Mary Chapin Carpenter's, A Place in the World.
Here are the lyrics:
What I'm looking for after all this time
Keeps me moving forward, trying to find it
Since I learned to walk, all I've done is run
Ready, on my mark, doesn't everyone
Need a place in the world?
Could be right before your very eyes
Just beyond a door that's open wide
Could be far away or in your own backyard
There are those who say you can look too hard
For your place in the world
Takes some of us a little longer
A few false starts gonna make you stronger
When I'm sure I've finally found it
Gonna wrap these arms all around it
Could be one more mile or just one step back
In a lover's smile, down a darkened path
Friends will take our side, enemies will curse us
But to be alive is to know your purpose
It's your place in the world
Your place in the world
Your place in the world
Songwriters: Mary Carpenter
A Place in the World lyrics: Mary Chapin Carpenter, DBA Why Walk Music.
I hope you are doing OK or even better, in whatever place in the world you currently occupy. I hope you and your loved ones are well, staying safe, and finding ways to stay centered or grounded.
When you are feeling overwhelmed, please consider the value of doing "Bare Minimum" as a way of coping, saving energy, staying sane, etc. This is something I feel compelled to bring up with certain clients, especially women who self-identify as perfectionistic and/or workaholic! Bare Minimum involves doing considerably less than what you would typically do for a work project, task, favor, etc.
How often do you go above and beyond what your boss, team, family, or other people in your work-life expect? What toll does keeping up that level of performance take on you -- physically, mentally, and socially? Might there be certain projects or tasks for which you can do less work? How would that feel? In what ways might that free you up? What impact would that have on your body, mind, and spirit? What would you do instead with the time you free up for yourself?
Independent of how long this pandemic lasts, we are (or can be) in control of how we approach our work and other life roles. What can you do to improve your overall well-being, in ways that only you will likely notice and that won't get you anywhere near fired?! Practice "Bare Minimum", tell a friend about it, and see how it goes!
Kim Bartels is an Executive Coach and Career Counselor for women and other diverse leaders.