Tuesday, 28 March 2017

The little things

What would it be like to appreciate the little things in life more?
I was working with a thoughtful and inspiring coaching client today, who has recently had a big birthday. She's started writing a journal to help her keep in touch with what is important to her right now.  She reflected that what’s important to her currently is different to what it was when she set out on her career, and that this new phase is about enjoying the small things, the experiences and being present for them. And it got me thinking about my own journey.
If I think about my 20s, they were about achievement, striving to be good at something, progressing my career, being a manager, running high profile events. And if I could sum this up, really it was about excitement. My 30s were about self-discovery in all areas of my life, my work and my relationships – a redundancy led me to re-evaluate and I moved away from fundraising events into Learning & Development and I trained as a coach. This forced me to slow down, be at ease with contemplation so I could better understand myself and others. Then I became a parent, which is a big one for changing all the relationships you have in your life, including the one you have with yourself!

Now I’m 40, I find I’m naturally taking a leaf out of my wise coaching client’s book: what is important to me now more than ever is the day to day little things. I’ve learnt that the bits you remember aren’t necessarily the big achievements, or even the big nights out (though some do stick in the mind, if a little blurrily) it’s the small moments, the moments where you stopped to smell the roses, and really appreciated people; snapshots in time with your friends around you and the sun on your face; your child feeding the ducks or indeed the ridiculousness of your 11 month old choosing the moment the health visitor arrived to go to the toilet in a spectacular fashion, on the kitchen floor. (Yes - this happened, just yesterday.)

Whilst as a coach I advocate working on one’s purpose and goals, what’s often missed if we're focusing on a long term reflection and planning piece is appreciation of the small day to day joys.
Understanding your values can help to raise your awareness of what brings you joy.

Here's an exercise you can do to ground you in today, and what is important to you right now. Take a blank piece of paper, and a pen. Now think of someone you really admire, a friend, colleague or family member. Write down all the things about this person that you really appreciate. When you’ve finished think some more and write down some more. Then put your pen down and think about someone else and repeat the exercise. Now you have a piece of paper with a long list of qualities and skills which you really rate. You could call them values. Ring three of them – the three that really spring out at you today. Then narrow this down to one. Ask yourself the question ‘what would it look like if today I was really living this value?’

Let me know how you get on!

With love


 P.S The pic is taken in the woods with my family this weekend, 2 year olds are brilliant at appreciating the little things, so uncluttered are their minds!
I'm a leadership and team coach who helps people, teams and organisations with Big Change (like redundancy, a new team or return to work after mat leave). Change can be terrifying, but it needn't be. It can truly be the catalyst for better, even more brilliant things! Do get in touch to discuss how we can work together.
Check out my website www.mccannacoaching.co.uk and follow me www.facebook.com/mccannacoaching and @jenthecoach on Twitter for useful articles and exercises you can do at home, plus news of workshops I'm running.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Have you reached 'Peak Change?'

'The only thing that is constant is change', said Hericlitus, the Greek philosopher.

Two thousand years later, post financial crisis, with technology advancing far quicker than we can keep up with, most of us are grudgingly starting to agree.

As individuals we feel the ripples of global change. Few people have a career for life anymore, most have two or three. Even if we stay in one role or organisation for a period of time, that organisation is likely to change dramatically around us.

Workplaces have to be agile to respond to their quickly changing context, which in turn means an increase in the number of restructures we're each likely to go through in our working lives. Before 2007, I knew one friend who had been through redundancy. Now a large percentage of my friends have faced redundancy at least once.

On top of this, we are often dealing with more than one transition at a time. For example, I've just returned to work from maternity leave and the number of changes I've faced is both typical and bewildering: helping my child get used to childcare, getting used to a myriad of changes at work and to sounding coherent in meetings on three hours sleep.

Other changes that are often layered upon change at work include relationship changes and changes that affect our health of the health of our family members.

Sometimes it feels like we've reached 'peak change' and it's overwhelming.

Yet actually going through and coping with peak change is preparing us well for life in the 21st century (even if we are a bit late to the party, sorry Hericlitus!) By raising awareness of how we each respond to change we can take steps to regain control and start positively engaging with our changing world.

Sounds good, where do I start?
The good news is that change elicits a predictable series of emotional responses including, but not limited to, denial, anger, confusion, depression and finally, acceptance. Watch Homer Simpson go through this here.

We don't necessarily go through these responses once and in a linear way, but can jump backwards through the emotions, as new information becomes available and new changes occur.

What helps me travel through this emotional minefield is to actively seek out things that help me stay focused and positive. When I say focused I mean focused on what is important to me, who I am, what I contribute to the world and what I can afford to lose control of and know it will be ok. And this connection with knowing who I am helps me tread more easily.

Sounds nice, but how?

For a start, focus and positivity work for me, but you might want engage with a different qualities - creativity, leadership, courage etc.

In order to work out what would help you, take some time to connect with yourself. You can do this on your commute, in the bath or in bed at night:
Close your eyes, take a deep breath. Ask yourself:

How am I feeling about change?
Name all the feelings that come up.

Take another deep breath and check in with any areas of tension. Maybe place a hand on anywhere that feels tight.

When you're ready (and if all this deep breathing hasn't sent you to sleep!) ask yourself:

What do I want to focus on? which of my qualities do I want to show to the world right now?
See where this train of thought takes you.

Then ask, what does showcasing this quality look like for me right now?

It might be asking questions, speaking up in meetings or getting out of your workplace during the day. Or something non-work related like creating some time to go on a long walk or pursue a hobby.
Other practical things you can do to help you stay positive through change:
Creating awareness of your feelings is the first step to managing them. And in order to do that you need to give yourself permission to have them. No matter how many times you've gone through change at work, relationship changes or any other transition, it is still difficult. Your feelings are still valid. Give yourself some love, and add 'resilience' to that list of fantastic qualities you bring to the world. After all, did Hericlitus ever have to do a work presentation after three hours sleep , a two hour commute and on recently upgraded meeting room software? No, I didn't think so. You rock!!
With love

P.S This blog's picture is the street that I live on in London, experiencing some changeable weather.

If you'd like to find out more about how working with a coach could help you be the person you want to be, and achieve what you want to achieve, email me at jennifermccanna@gmail.com connect with me at Linked In, and if I'm not the coach for you, I have a network of talented associates I can put you in touch with.

Jennifer McCanna ACC

Professional Leadership Coach
Follow me on twitter @jenthecoach

Friday, 13 March 2015

A word about advice

Ever felt so overwhelmed by advice that it becomes hard to know what to think, let alone what to do?

There are some situations in life where seeking and receiving advice is useful, and indeed even life saving. For example if you've been feeling unwell you would probably, sensibly, seek the advice of your doctor.

There are also many situations in life, such as whether to stay in a job or a relationship for example, where ultimately no amount of advice from others will help, because a decision or way forward is so personal and so unique to you, that no one else can possibly make the decision for you.

My baby is ten months old today and I started thinking about this blog post about six months ago when I was faced with so much advice concerning both her, and my, wellbeing.

Being a new parent is, according to many, fraught with pitfalls and boy should us parents smarten up and listen to the advice. And believe me, there is an avalanche of it!

It comes from well meaning friends and relatives. It also comes from baby experts telling us off in their books, other parents sharing what's worked for them in the hope it helps you, and it even comes from complete strangers - one can be nipping to the supermarket for an onion and find oneself bombarded with unsolicited advice about the position of baby in the buggy/ whether or not to give baby water in hot weather/ why your baby is tired/hungry/hot/cold. (NB these exact things have happened to friends of mine.)

Here's the thing - advice is often an opinion. Not fact. Those giving the advice, no matter how well they know me, cannot know what course of action feels right for me. And the more I listen to them, the less I trust my own judgement. And this is truly where I come unstuck.

Back in the summer when my daughter was about three or four months old, I fell fully into the ‘obsessing about parenting advice’ spiral.  I learnt some great tips, but the more I listened to advice, the less I could hear my own voice, and the less I trusted my own judgement and instinct as a parent. I became anxious and obsessed with my baby's sleep patterns. Even though my baby was happy, this anxiety impacted on my confidence as a parent.

I've been in other situations where I've been bombarded by advice before, during relationship difficulties or deciding whether to leave a job. In all those situations the only thing that truly worked for me was to tune into my own instinct, my own inner voice.

Have you ever fallen down an advice spiral?

Now I'm not about to give you advice about taking advice am I? But I'll share what I did this summer to clamber out of that advice spiral when I was lying on the bedroom floor, exhausted and doubting my abilities as a mum.

1. I sought support not advice.

2. I dialled up the volume on my instinct

3. I made some decisions and I waited to see what happened.

But how exactly?

Seek support not advice.

I spoke to friends I know to be good listeners and those who had recently been where I was knew how I felt and boosted my confidence. They also helped me feel not alone.

I tried not to engage emotionally with any advice given, unless of course it was from a qualified health professional. I listened intellectually to the suggestions, but reserved the right to file them in the recycling bin if they didn't seem helpful to my situation. (One way of listening to someone without engaging with it emotionally is to pretend the advice is being given to someone else).

I practiced nodding politely when unsolicited advice was given and didn't feel obliged to enter a conversation about it.

Turn up the volume on your instinct.

If you’re going to try this, first find quiet space (hard if you're a parent I know), go on a walk in nature, stare out of the train window or have a bath without music or the radio. I walked round the park with the push chair and my phone switched to silent.

This quiet time is a great time to tune into your inner voice. It’s not necessarily the time that I ask myself the big questions, because that can often get the anxiety levels rising again, but it’s time to spend with you. You could imagine a version of you in 6 months/a year/5 years time. What does that version of you want to say to you? You could also start by contemplating some smaller decisions. Even ‘what shall I do today’ or even ‘what do I really want to eat for lunch’ can feel huge if you’re feeling stressed, but making some small decisions for yourself can help build your confidence again. I thought about what I’ll be thinking about in 5 years time when my baby is at school, will I still be worried about sleep patterns? Probably not.

Make some decisions and wait to see what happens

I'd already started asking myself questions related to daily tasks, so next I started making a few other decisions relating to whatever it was that was making me anxious: giving things a go and seeing how it pans out. If you read this blog regularly you'll know that for most situations I don't believe there is a right or wrong thing to do, just a range of options, with usually more than one that will turn out just fine. Choosing to do something to change things, however small, helps prevent me getting stuck.

In the summer I decided to stop logging how my baby was eating and sleeping on my baby app (yes I know, who knew they existed?) That really helped me focus less on her sleep, whether it be good or bad (what is good or bad anyway? according to who?) I also sought out conversations about subjects I did know a bit about. That not only helped me keep the whole subject of babies in context, but also gave my confidence a boost.

What about you? What are you focusing on right now? Whose voices are holding you back? If you could dial down the external inputs and tune into your own inner voice, what would life look like?

Let me know if you decide to give it a go!

With love

Jen xxx

If you'd like to find out more about how working with a coach could help you be the person you want to be, and achieve what you want to achieve, email me at jennifermccanna@gmail.com or connect with me at Linked In, and if I'm not the coach for you, I have a network of talented associates I can put you in touch with.

Jennifer McCanna ACC
Professional Leadership CoachFollow me on twitter @jenthecoach

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

In praise of listening

How well do you listen? I mean REALLY listen?

As anyone knows, whether they be coach, client or the most casual watcher of soap operas, we work things out when we talk about them. When I’m in the coaching room, it’s not me working things out, so it’s not me doing the talking. If I’m talking, I can’t be listening, and listening is what I am there for. So outside the coaching room I talk to my friends, and I talk to you, dear reader, through this blog.

Inside the coaching room, the number one skill for me is listening; by listening I can be truly present for my client and can pick up important things they are saying either with their words or with their body language.

My job as coach is then to reflect what I see and hear; ask questions to develop my clients' thinking, whilst supporting and trusting them to be the best they can be.  My job is not to be wise, come up with clever metaphor or showcase my experience (which is handy as I don’t have the answers anyway,) and who cares what my opinion is anyway?  If anyone has the answers in my coaching room, it's my client.

This month I'm thinking about listening more than ever as I look after my two month old baby  and I try to differentiate the  ‘I’m tired’ cry from the ‘my tummy hurts’ cry,  and I remind myself, and whoever reads this, what true listening can result in.
For my daughter, truly listening to her helps me get her to sleep before she gets over-tired and over-wrought, I learn to tell when she’s hungry and which are favourite toys. These things help our days be happy and, relatively speaking, calm.

For me, having someone listen to me in a non judgemental way helps me focus my thinking. It gives me space to explore why I’m feeling what I’m feeling, and that lack of judgement helps quieten my own inner critic. Given that space, I can naturally move my thinking forward myself. In our fast-paced world we so rarely get the chance to slow down and reflect, and someone giving their time to me to encourage me to make that space, means I can move mountains in minutes.

How can you give the gift of listening to someone close to you?

Next time you're with a colleague or a friend, try focusing on what they are saying. That sounds obvious doesn't it? But sometimes, when we think we are listening to another, we're really listening to our own inner commentary on what we are hearing. Put your opinions of what your friend or colleague is saying, or what you think they are saying, aside, until they've had a real chance to speak.

What are they saying with their words? What are they saying without words? What emotions can you hear? Are they excited? Frustrated? Nervous? Body language and tone of voice can often tell us more about what is going on than words. Is your friend’s body language contradicting their words? They are saying they are ok but showing subtle signs of unease?

How can you respond to that?  I think it’s fine to point those things out – as often we don’t notice them in ourselves.

Then, to further their thinking you could ask them a nice open question - one that starts with "what....?" is a good bet!

Then be quiet. Give them thinking time. Don’t ask them four more questions in a row, it will just confuse.  And accept whatever answer they give even if it’s not what you expected, in fact especially if it’s not what you expected! By accepting their answer you are accepting them and that’s a wonderful gift to give.

And what happens when there isn't much listening going on? Have you ever been in a meeting where everyone is very keen to state their opinion but not so keen to hear the opinions of others? Ever get the feeling your colleague is not really listening but busy waiting for a moment to chip in with their own agenda? And do you find those meetings result in you both being able to move your work forward? No, I don’t find those meetings work very well either!

Listening is a marvellous gift. It not only helps a fellow human feel heard, which boosts confidence and helps a person discover what’s right for them,   if it's a colleague you're listening to, if can genuinely help you both achieve great things for your organisation. What's not to love?

When was the last time you truly felt listened to? What did that feel like? Who was listening and what did they do to create that space for you?
With love

PS This image is the plum tree in our garden. I took it whilst waiting for our daughter to make an appearance. The blossom you see has now in the last couple of weeks turned into the most bumper harvest of dwarf plums I have ever seen. There are lots of fertility signs in our house this year!

If you'd like to find out more about how working with a coach could help you be the person you want to be, and achieve what you want to achieve, email me at jennifermccanna@gmail.com or connect with me at Linked In, and if I'm not the coach for you, I have a network of talented associates I can put you in touch with.

Jennifer McCanna, Professional Leadership Coach
Follow me on twitter @jenthecoach

Friday, 4 April 2014

Giving feedback is hard to do

Getting to the point where we feel confident giving feedback can be hard. I explore how you can feel in control of those situations, and relationships, that affect you in a negative way.
Imagine this scenario, you walk into the kitchen at work and you meet the one person who you really have a problem with. Your heart sinks. They always manage to upset you,offend you, frustrate you and frankly you can do without it. What do you do?
The chances are, you grin and bear it as you make your cup of tea, then you go back to your desk and email your best mate to rant about how this person really gets your goat.

Fair enough, this is life. But what happens when it turns out you’ve been put on a project team with this person? Or they become your new boss?
One of the wonderful and interesting things about life is that we all have a very unique set of experiences that make us who we are – from our upbringing, our cultural background and the people who have influenced us to the opportunities we’ve had, or not had. Because we all have this unique take on life there will often be times when we meet people who don’t react in a way we expect or understand, and in some cases in a way we don’t approve of, and when that happens it can provoke a strong emotional reaction.
I’m interested in what we do with that emotion. It’s easy to blame the person who’s inspired it, “they are just inept/bad tempered/rude” and that’s one way to go. But it can leave us feeling powerless. “That person over there is making me feel like this!! The outrage!” But here’s the thing – you can choose to take their behaviour personally and you can choose not to.
For example, my partner is tidier than me, and finds my habit of leaving unopened (or opened) post around the house at best unfathomably weird. This might seem a trivial example, but we all know how the smallest things can be the most annoying, and how they can turn into big things if not addressed. At worst my partner might feel I’m being purposefully untidy, which is disrespectful to the tidy house he’s trying to create. So why do I leave my post lying around? I grew up in a house where things had to be tidied away swiftly, so as a reaction to that I like a relaxed attitude to tidying away paperwork. And you know what, I had never thought about that until he pointed it out.
Faced with your own example of perceived outrageous behaviour, what can you do?
As I see it, there are two options: you can actively choose not to let this behaviour get to you, know it’s not personal and get on with your life, or you can offer this person feedback in the hope that they will change their behaviour.
The problem is option one takes patience and restraint, which we sometimes doubt we have. Option two takes courage, we’re not sure of the reaction, we feel it’s not our place to feedback, for example, within a work hierarchy, or maybe we don’t feel we have the skills to have that conversation.
And because both options are hard, we often fall into default option three: rant and moan about this person or behaviour to our close friends. Whilst this can lower blood pressure by helping you let off steam, it’s not actually serving to improve the situation, and in fact, if you get stuck there, it tends to compound your feelings of injustice and helplessness, lessening the likelihood of ever getting to either moving on, or giving feedback. When I’ve been stuck in “rant and moan” myself, it’s never productively moved the situation forward.
Are you waiting for someone to change? Are you taking someone’s behaviour personally? What are you doing about that right now?
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
  • What’s going on for the other person? By putting yourself in their shoes you might gain insight into why they appear to be being difficult. Think about their background, is this behaviour accepted in their generation/culture? Chances are, making your life hard isn’t their primary motivation. (I’m not saying this makes it ok, I’m saying it increases your empathy towards them, which makes a conversation easier)
  • If you could explain the effect their behaviour has on you, what would you say?
  • How do you feel about giving that feedback?
If you decide it is worth addressing your concerns with them, think through the most effective way of doing this. There has been a lot written about giving feedback, and a proper discussion would take up another few articles, but here are some general rules to bear in mind:
  1. Offering face to face feedback (i.e. not via email or text!) is more productive as you can have a two way conversation about the situation. The person on the receiving end has a right to reply.
  2. Giving feedback in a timely way also helps it be received well. Try not to bring up things that happened three years ago. How would you feel if you thought someone had been mad at you for that long?
  3. Talk about the behaviour you see, not personality. For example “it stresses me out when you leave envelopes everywhere” rather than “you are untidy”. From the point of view of the person receiving the feedback, hearing about a specific behaviour one is exhibiting is easier to take, than a blanket statement about a personality flaw. You’ll get a better reaction!
  4. Talk about the impact of their actions on you. The chances are, the person you’re feeding back to has never thought about this, and this new insight can be the motivation to change “when you leave your post lying around it makes me feel like all the tidying I do during the week is unappreciated, and I can’t relax when the house is untidy
  5. Choose a time to deliver the feedback when you’re not feeling emotional. If you offer feedback feeling calm and open, the chances are that this is how it will be received.

And remember, you cannot influence how others behave all the time, but you can control how you react to them.

Good luck and let me know how you go!
This blog was originally written for Bowland Solutions who provide software to support 360 feedback and performance management. They blog regularly about feedback and the power of meaningful conversations at www.bowlandsolutions.com/blog.
If you'd like to find out more about how working with a coach could help you be the person you want to be, and achieve what you want to achieve, email me at jennifermccanna@gmail.com or connect with me at Linked In and if I'm not the coach for you, I have a network of talented associates I can put you in touch with.

Jennifer McCanna, Professional Leadership Coach
Follow me on twitter @jenthecoach

Thursday, 13 February 2014

To be, or to achieve? That is the question

I've been thinking recently: what would it feel like if self-worth came from who we are, not necessarily what we achieve?
I was reflecting on this as I'm currently seven months pregnant and I spent the first half of my pregnancy suffering from nausea and sickness that really slowed me down.

This was tough as usually I like to achieve a lot, and during that time I wasn't able to achieve as much as I used to. The part of my identity that is associated with "give it to Jen, she'll get it done" was under scrutiny, mostly by me.

I've always linked my own self-worth to tangible achievements, from getting good exam results to ticking things off tasks on a to do list. But now I'm experimenting with a new way of thinking: even though great achievements can change lives, is who I am more important than what I achieve?

I've road tested this by thinking of people whom I admire: a lovely friend with whom I studied music recently sang several shows a week at English National Opera, whilst 7 months pregnant, looking after a 3 year old and getting some pupils through their music exams. I admire her achievements hugely, but they aren't why I love her. I love her for her kindness, her insights and the fact I laugh a lot when we're together, and that's about who she is, not what she's achieving.

I admire my partner for the fantastic work he does professionally and the fact he comes home and does the washing up, but that's not why I love him.

So now I'm trying to apply the same thinking to myself. It's not as important how many things I tick off my list, but who I'm being with my coaching clients -  the space I create for them to explore has more to do with who I am as a coach than how many articles I've had published.

It's like the quality over quantity argument. We can all rush around doing stuff, and yes if we invent a life changing device or successfully campaign for change that’s brilliant and we will be celebrated for that. But even the drive to do those things comes from who we are, and that is what we will be remembered for by those who know us well.
Aha - you're thinking - is this just an excuse for us to stop working, put our feet up and just 'be'? No, not necessarily, but it is an opportunity to stop beating ourselves up about all those things we think we should be achieving, and remembering that those others value us for the wonderful qualities we have which make us who we are, and not for our impressive CVs.
Starting to celebrate who we are may be a good habit to get into, because at some point in life, even the most high-achieving of us may not be able to achieve for a while. As a wise friend said to me 'we mustn't get addicted to achievement, because there may come a time when it won't be possible. What do we have to fall back on then? We only have who we are'. Olympic athletes get injured, best-selling authors get writers block, sometimes circumstances mean we aren't able to do what we want to, but we will always be ourselves, and valuing that will help us get through those challenging times.
Why not practice by writing an alternative to do list - what I'm going to call a 'to be' list: Here are some sentences to get your started:
I'd like to acknowledge myself for the following qualities:
These are the things it doesn't matter if I don't get done this week:
I am going to make space just to quietly be with myself by....
Loving myself this week looks like...
What are your reflections now you read those statements back to yourself?
What one action can you take this week to make them a reality?

Is there anyone else you'd like to bring in to support you?

Here's something to ask yourself when you wake up in the morning:
Who do I want to be today?

Which of my wonderful qualities will I be channelling?

Please do let me know how you go, and I'll keep you posted about my journey too!

With love


This blog is for Serenna, who gave birth in January to baby Rafael, and for Evan, who got a dishwasher for Christmas so now has more time for Pointless. And for Josh for being a great help, as ever. And the photo of Chinese New Year in Soho is for no particular reason only that it's rather seasonal and all about celebration!

If you'd like to find out more about how working with a coach could help you be the person you want to be, and achieve what you want to achieve, email me at jennifermccanna@gmail.com and if I'm not the coach for you, I have a network of talented associates I can put you in touch with.

Jennifer McCanna, Professional Leadership Coach
Follow me on twitter @jenthecoach


Wednesday, 15 January 2014

The disadvantage of hindsight: guest blog for Castle Associates

I was thrilled to be asked to write a guest blog for Castle Associates before Christmas. They offer expert legal advice in the field of grievance, disciplinary and redundancy, both for businesses and individuals. Thank you to Nader at Castle Associates for commissioning the article!

When you're going through change or uncertainty do you find it difficult to trust your decision making?
Listening to the radio the other day, I caught part of a discussion about interest rates. Were they going to go up? If so, when? And at which point should we all scramble to secure the lowest fixed mortgage rate on the market?
By far the most useful piece of advice on the programme was not an answer to any of the above, but was encouragement to get used to the fact that none of us know if and when rates will go up,  we can't do anything about it, so instead we could focus our energies on getting used to living with uncertainty.
Getting used to uncertainty means being cool with not knowing all the answers. It means making decisions about our mortgage based on what we know now, because, without recourse to a crystal ball, that's all we can do.
It isn’t easy to apply this advice to our choice of mortgage, but at least it’s possible, and we can see the logic. But what would it be like to apply the same thinking to other areas of our lives?
Think about change at work - it's easy to feel trapped by change that is being "done" to us and easy to feel paralysed into making no decision at all, especially when change such as looming redundancy or restructure affects our confidence. In those situations, we are often faced with long periods of uncertainty,  followed by a new version of reality that we don’t like the sound of. Sometimes we  have a bit more control of work outcomes than we do over interest rates, but often it doesn’t feel like it.  However, both scenarios have one thing in common  - we can take control of the situation by choosing how we think about it, and how we react to those thoughts.
How have you reacted to change at work in the past? Did you engage? Disengage? Feel empowered or disempowered? (None of the above is right or wrong!)
What has helped you feel empowered through a period of change or uncertainty in the past? For me, it's a belief in myself that I'm making decisions that are good ones for me based on the information I have at the time.
Back on the radio programme about interest rates, our financial expert concluded by urging us, in 3 years time, to not look back with regret and say "oh I wish I had fixed my mortgage rate earlier" but instead recognise that we acted in the best way we could at the time.
I was once made redundant and moved into an amazing, exciting new job. However, it turned out to be not the right amazing and exciting job for me. That situation helped me think through what makes me tick at work, what makes me passionate, and where I should be focusing my energies to really thrive. Although it was hard, I took the decision to leave that job and explore a new direction. That was a tough time, but I still believe the choice to take that job was a sound one based on the information I had at the time. And I learnt so much that I cannot regret that decision for a minute.
Have you ever taken a leap and regretted it later down the line?
What would it be like to let go of regret and know that you did what you did based on the knowledge you had at the time?
Or maybe you are thinking about making a change to your career, but your fear of regretting it later down the line is holding you back?

If you are going through change, or considering it as an option, here are some questions you could ask to help you feel empowered to make decisions:   
- How do I truly feel about this change?
- What do I want my life to look like? (Is it different to now? If so how?)
- Who do I know who can help me create that life?
- What great attributes do I have to help me create it for myself?
And what would it feel like to make a commitment to yourself that whatever happens, a few months down the line you won't look back with regret, but acceptance and acknowledgement that you made a great decision for you with the information you had at the time. Jump in! Who knows what you might learn or where your new path might take you.
With love