24 May

Dealing with Imposter Syndrome

I have the privilege of coaching some amazingly talented individuals. From all walks of life, cultures, ages and skill sets. Everyone’s goal is unique and every coaching session is different. You never go into a session knowing how it will end, it is always an interesting journey of discovery.
It’s a beautiful experience to be invited into their space of vulnerability, curiosity and exploration. I always feel very honoured to bear witness to some amazing transformations.
As much as everyone is unique in their ways there is one common thread I see quite often in coaching sessions. Something that affects both men and women, but in my experience, an issue which predominately affects women. That is Imposter Syndrome. The feeling of not being good enough and that one day someone will “catch you out” for not being the person you say you are. It doesn’t matter how talented or brilliant the individual is, they still believe that their career advancements and accolades came from pure luck or being in the right place at the right time.
As a coach, I have pondered this issue many times and what I’ve deduced is that one of the main reasons why people suffer from this syndrome is because they believe they need to be perfect. They strive everyday to achieve this unattainable goal of becoming the “perfect person”. When they have failed they seem to fall deeper into the idea of being an imposter.
The reasons behind this could come from many sources. However in coaching we look at the present and build new habits and strategies to help us move forward. Here are a few techniques you could look at implementing into your life, should you be someone who suffers from Imposter Syndrome.
1) Environment
Who you spend your time with and the people you surround yourself with everyday is a key influencer to how you see yourself. Don’t get me wrong, you don’t want people pandering to your every whim or agreeing with everything you say. You want people in your corner who will add value, who will help you grow, positively challenge you and support you. People who genuinely believe in you and your goals.  Are you keeping good company?

2) Acknowledge and accept your weaknesses

We all have weaknesses, whether we like them or not, they are part of who we are and make us unique. By ignoring our weaknesses and sweeping them under the carpet we prevent ourselves from accepting who we are. We  create a very distorted picture of ourselves, believing we are perfect. Acknowledging our whole being, our faults as well as our strengths allows us to create a realistic picture of ourselves. No filters, lies or stories. By facing our weaknesses we are not only able to start improving ourselves, but we can comfortably accept that we are not perfect and challenge the idea of being an imposter.
3) Celebrate your successes
We strive to achieve our goals everyday and when we do achieve them, we either ignore them, glance over them or challenge their credibility. Why? Stop it! Get into the habit of celebrating your successes everyday and every week, even the smallest ones. A win is a win and should always be celebrated. By acknowledging your successes you are re-enforcing the fact that you are not “winging it”. You are debunking the idea that your successes came from pure luck.
4) Partner with a coach or a mentor
Sometimes we need a sounding board, an objective voice who is not a family member, friend or colleague. An independent person who will provide you with that safe space where you can unload, question yourself and develop good strong habits.
Asking for help or guidance shows strength and is another way for you to shift your mindset out of thinking you are an imposter. It’s okay to not be able to do it on your own.
If you suffer from Imposter Syndrome, make the decision today to start taking control of your future. You get to decide on who you want to be, nobody else.
01 Sep

Is work-life balance achievable?

Last weekend was a productive one for me, decluttering my kitchen cupboards. In our home we are avid followers of Marie Kondo’s philosophy of “If it doesn’t bring you joy, get rid of it.” Whilst decluttering and celebrating our new found space, I thought about her mantra and realised that one could apply the same philosophy to life itself, and specifically to work-life balance.

Finding work-life balance in our modern busy lives often feels like searching for the holy grail, completely impossible. However, unlike the holy grail, work-life balance can be found. It is achievable. You just have to know where to look.

Instead of trying to cram so much into our work and personal lives, and desperately trying to “make it work”, think about what you can remove. Ask yourself this question, “How is this task/job/action serving me?” If the answer comes back negative, then why are you still doing it?

How can you remove the task/job/action from your life? Do you need to delegate the task, apply for another job or stop performing a certain action? Whatever it is, if it is not working for you, if it is doing you a disservice, then find a way to remove it.

By removing “stuff” from our lives we start to create some breathing space. We start to create a balance. Making a choice to keep something in our lives also reminds us of its importance. We cherish it more.

Now here comes the trick. Once you have eliminated and decluttered unnecessary things from your life, be incredibly mindful of adding any new things.

When embarking on a new project or task ask yourself these questions:

  1. What joy will I get out of taking on this new task?
  2. Will this new task fit into my existing lifestyle and work-style?
  3. What have I removed from my life to make space for this new item?

Trying to achieve work-life balance is ongoing. It is not a quick fix, but something we are continuously managing in our lives. Remember you are in control of what comes into your life, so if it doesn’t serve you, get rid of it.

Need some assistance with finding your work-life balance? Why not take on the service of a coach to help you? Contact Nicole at nicole@tikumu.co.nz to set up a free consultation.

17 Mar

Does your business have a safety net in place?

In today’s working world, independent self-motivated employees want flexibility. They don’t want a drill sergeant dictating to them on the small stuff, such as time keeping, working hours and when to take their tea breaks. That cramps their style, demotivates them and drives them to look around at greener pastures. Gone are the days of employees working in their little grey cubicles from 8:30am to 5:00pm. They require freedom and flexibility in certain areas of the business and in today’s ever-changing environment it makes sense to allow for this extra flexibility.

If you’re granting people freedom though, you should also provide a safety net. The safety net is there to provide your team members with some structure and boundaries. Having this structure prevents you from having to “step in” suddenly to bail out a team member.

So how can you apply this approach? How can you give people freedom to work in the way that suits them, but be there with a safety net all ready to go.

Here are some ways you can build a strong communication platform in your business. Your “safety net” starter kit.

  1. Weekly team meetings – Reporting back to your team on your area of responsibilities every week is key to maintaining a focused and responsible employee. If your team members know that it is not just you their boss that requires feedback, but the team as a whole is counting on them for results it definitely shifts from a “you and I scenario” to an “us” scenario.
  2. Utilise an external coach or apply coaching techniques – Don’t try and solve your team members problems for them. Coach, support and guide them. Get them to come up with their own solutions. This results in them taking ownership and builds motivation. If you are unable to coach them, then engage the services of an extremal coach.
  3. Introduce an accountability buddy system – Pair your team members up. It may be a mentor-team member relationship or a peer-peer relationship.
  4. One-on-one sessions – Depending on the type of job and responsibilities there should always be a time and place to check in. One-on-one time is not a formal event, but a chat over a coffee and a place to discuss the current status (professionally or personally) of your team member. Once a month, once a quarter it’s your decision.
  5. Answer their emails and queries in good time – In most organisations the turnaround time for external customer feedback is immediate. This is good customer service isn’t it? Your team members are your internal customers and they should be presented with the same courteous treatment. By responding in good time shows you care and that they are important to the business.
  6. Business culture – Build a culture were your team feels safe to talk, discuss, debate, challenge and provide feedback about the business goals. Where they feel accountable for their actions.

To build a flexible working culture there is definitely work to be done. Establishing the  correct systems and processes in your business allows you to develop self-motivated, focused and responsible team members.

22 Dec

Postive mindsets are key to goal achievement

One of the most common reasons why some people don’t succeed in achieving their goals is that deep down inside they are telling themselves “I can’t do it”. People can be their own worst enemies and sabotage a perfectly good and achievable goal by telling themselves they cannot do it.

So much energy is wasted on coming up with the most creative reasons for not achieving. “I’m not clever enough. I’m not good enough,  I’m not fit enough, young enough, experienced enough, rich enough.”  The list goes on.

I hear this type of negative talk often. People believe that if they justify why they cannot achieve something then its okay to not work towards a goal. All that the negative speak and excuses do is set you up to fail, or make it very difficult to succeed. Why do people put themselves through this type of stress? Is it to have the last word, “I told you so” after you failed or is it to stay in their comfort zone?

A postive, motivated and enthusiastic mindset is one of the essential traits to have in order to achieving our goals. The will to succeed. The journey that takes place between establishing a goal in the beginning to actually achieving it at the end can be very long, lonely, frustrating and bumpy with many obstacles, road blocks and distractions.

Here are some tips on how to successfully achieve your goals:

  1. Ensure that the goal you set out to achieve is your own goal and that you are clear on the purpose of why you are achieving this goal.
  2. Be realistic about your goal deadlines and understand that there will be many lows in your journey before the highs of success kick in. Yes, be realistic.
  3.  Positive affirmations can be labelled as being “fluffy” at times, however, what affirmations do for you is that they focus you and gently force you to think positively about your goals and what it takes to achieve them, even if you are not feeling very motivated. By implementing this practise on a daily basis you build a positive routine into your day. Take 10 minutes a day to implement this essential habit. You will thank me.
  4. Surround yourself with supporters. You may be the most positive individual that you know, but it helps to have people around you who believe in you and who can support you when you need it. They could be family, friends, colleagues, a club or networking group. Surround yourself with like-minded individuals to make the journey easier.
  5. Hire a coach. This could be a sports coach, life coach or business coach. Partner with someone who will hold you accountable, keep you on the straight and narrow, remind you of why you want to achieve the goal and challenge you.

Just think if your energy was channeled towards achieving the goal instead of thinking up excuses of why you can’t do something, how much would you actually accomplish?

Need assistance? Contact Nicole at nicole@tikumu.co.nz for professional coaching.