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It’s International Women’s Day, and our feeds are going to be flooded with inspirational women and quotes. Overkill? Never! It’s so important to celebrate the women in our lives. Don’t get me wrong it’s also important to say thanks to the men too, but not today.

Today I am going to sing from the rooftops about all the women that I work with. I have learnt so much from them. My very first coaching trainer warned me that you often attract the clients that you need to learn from. I’ve gained so much from working with my clients and from my own coaches, teachers and mentors.

I feel so grateful for the work that I do. I love being part of someone’s growth and seeing the tangible results they create through their hard work. The majority of my clients are in Pharma or Healthcare and what I love about them is that they are ambitious and driven. This can sometimes be their downfall because they overwork and get burn out but the plus side is that they are also really committed to make lasting changes in their lives. Many of my clients have made massive progress; one has been promoted from the role of sales manager to general manager while another has created her dream job literally from a blank sheet of paper. She now has three job offers on the table. If you work on your mindset and beliefs  – anything can be possible.

Finding the missing piece

Some of the women I work with may not have wanted to advance their careers but they knew something was missing and had to change. By committing to coaching and doing the work they have found a way to be that has allowed them to have more fulfilment, confidence, and empowerment in their lives. They found the missing piece of the jigsaw and are more effective in their job and feel happier as a result, which has been life-changing for them.

Progress not perfection

The clients that I work with are often committed high achievers, but this can often be their own nemesis. When they get into the perfectionist mind-set they are anything but kind to themselves. They often set very high expectations for themselves and their colleagues.

Clients are often fearful when it comes to dealing with their inner perfectionist – they think addressing it means they have to lower their standards but you don’t have to do that at all. It’s all about taking a different perspective and focussing on progress. Don’t concentrate on everything that is wrong. Instead, concentrate on what is going right and what can be improved. It’s just a shift in focus that’s needed.

During the last year, three common themes have come up with many of the women I work with and they are:

Lack of fulfilment – so often people have a realisation that they are doing what they should be doing rather than what they want to be doing. They are living their life to the beat of someone else’s drum. This requires some honest conversations with themselves to establish what they want from their current role or future career. Just because you are not feeling fulfilled, all is not lost. You don’t need to do something radical like retrain as an opera singer or a yoga teacher. Sometimes it’s as simple as re-establishing the elements of work and life that have been neglected. Don’t make a knee-jerk reaction, trust that you will discover what lights you up and makes you happy.

Exhaustion – this is where the mirror was really at play for me, after a period of illness I had to re-establish my own boundaries and rest. I had to work at the right pace for me to recover so I could be the best version of me. What I see in my female clients is the tendency to do everything for everyone else. They lean towards serving others and sacrificing their own needs, which can lead to martyrdom. Self-care is more than bubble baths and spa days. I love helping women understand how far-reaching the rituals and habits of self-care can take them. I’ve got a great guide on how to move from Burnout to Brilliance, which has some practical tips you can start implementing straight away. You can download it here.

Lack of confidence –it’s a recurring theme that comes up with all of my clients. No one comes to me for confidence coaching, but every client cites an increase in confidence as one of the benefits of working with me. A client will come with a desire to move forward and a wish list of achievements and results they want, plus the challenges they need to overcome, and it is rare that confidence isn’t a block somewhere. When you lack confidence, it often means that you are in the stretch zone. If you never lack confidence you have probably stopped growing. Acknowledge the feeling and have a relationship with it. But make sure you change the paradigm, embrace and learn from it, so it moves you forward instead of holding you back. You can read my blog with some more confidence tips here.

So let’s remember to raise each other up. Let’s praise the women that have helped us and reach out to those that need our love and support. Together we are stronger.

“The world needs strong women. Women who will lift and build others, who will love and be loved. Women who live bravely, both tender and fierce. Women of indomitable will.”  – Amy Tenney

If you’ve got a vision of the woman that you want to be this time next year or a team member that needs support with some of the issues I’ve talked about, please do get in touch by emailing hello@jocowlin.com to arrange a chat.

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