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Helping yourself, Life Tips, Own your life, Personal Development

10 things I learnt this year that helped me get the f*ck out of my own way……

Can you believe another year has nearly come to an end!! Was 2018 what you hoped it would be? Did you put yourself out there as much you said you would in January? What did you achieve this year personally and professionally? Have you stepped forward and out of your comfort zone, or have you played it safe and are just getting through each day (if you are doing this, we need to talk!!)?

Below are the 10 major things that I have learnt this year and wanted to share with you – they’ve formed the basis of a lot of my blogs this year based on conversations I have had with people, challenges I have personally faced, and most definitely lessons that I have learnt along the way. If any of these points really resonate with you, then I suggest you click the “READ THIS” links next to them that will take you to my wider thoughts on the topic.

As the year comes to a close, do yourself the favour of taking some time out to reflect on your year – what worked, what didn’t and above all else, what did you learn? If you aren’t happy, remember, you have a choice.

Also, hopefully you are having a bit of a break over the festive season, so what a great opportunity to refresh yourself on some of the “Best of” 2018 Eating your Cake too blog posts!

MY LESSONS FROM 2018…..

  1. If you don’t ask, you don’t get…. If you miss out on an opportunity that you didn’t put yourself out there for in the first place, that is your fault. No one else’s. You have two options now. Throw your toys out of the cot and sulk or get back up and learn a lesson – ask for what you want.  You have to take responsibility for your own life – deferring it to others gives you a scapegoat and a reason to blame when it doesn’t work out –READ THIS, ALSO READ THIS , AND FINALLY, READ THIS
  1. You need to be relentless in the pursuit of your own goals – It takes courage to put yourself out there and be brave about what you want. It also takes work. A lot of work. Putting your goals on a piece of paper or on a pretty vision board isn’t enough. You have to consciously work at them every day. And check yo’self to make sure you haven’t gotten too comfortable. Comfort and routine feels good, it feels nice – but it is often where the safe play and where the safe get stuckREAD THIS
  1. Be kind and don’t judge others – Just because others may live a life differently to you, doesn’t make it wrong. What is wrong, is judging them based on your own values set. We need to stick together, not tear each other down. Every time you judge another person for what they say, or don’t say, wear or don’t wear, look at yourself in the mirror – you are the one with the issue, not them.READ THIS
  1. But also remember, you can only help people so much –Always lend an ear when people need to talk. Be supportive, take time and help where you can, but acknowledge that some people don’t want to get out of their own way, and that is their responsibility, not yours.  READ THIS.
  1. There is plenty of awesomeness to go around – STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS! There is no awesomeness tap – you can be just as fabulous as the person next to you. Comparing yourself to others just makes you miserable and chews up time you could of been spending on improving yourself.  Compete with yourself every day. Beat yourself every day. But not those around you. READ THIS
  1. Relationships are the most important thing in getting what you need, both professionally and personally. If you treat people like sh*t and then want their help, do you really think they’ll be there? READ THIS
  1. You cannot be all things, to all people, all the time. You are one person and saying no when you need to is OK. Also, not everyone will like you AND that is ok too! READ THIS  AND, READ THIS
  1. Make time every day for yourself, and yourself only, even 10 minutes – there is only so long you can last doing everything for everyone else, except for you. Take the time to get to know yourself. What are your triggers, what gets you excited? What gets you up in the morning? The more you know about yourself, the better you will be as a human being. READ THIS.
  1. Don’t’ ever be too proud to ask for help – it is not asking for it when you need it that makes you a tool! READ THIS
  1. Don’t do things for people on the basis that you expect they will for you in return. Everyone is different and if you’re only doing something for someone in the hope you will receive it back, when it doesn’t happen, you’ll just be resentful for something you expected from them, that was ultimately self-serving and that they may not even be aware of. READ THIS
  1. And finally (yes, I know I said 10, but I’ve added a bonus lesson!) – YOU CAN Get the f*ck out of your own way– you were given the opportunity, or the challenge that you were for a reason – you’ve got this, you CAN do it, so make the most of it! You are on this earth once, for one blimp in the existence of the whole world. You can look at that as a sad fact, or something really powerful – something that sparks you to make a change in the 30,000 days you have here to make it.

If there is something in you that just wants a little more. If there is something in you that knows there must be more to what you are experiencing now, but you don’t know what it is. If you aren’t sad, but you definitely aren’t happy – talk to me.  I can help you. I can help you wake up in the morning excited to take on the day. I can help you build the confidence you need to ask for what you want. I can help you gain clarity on what your career path could, should and can be.

But….the first step starts with you to decide that you are done being in your own way.

Claire Seeber
Keen advocate for helping you get the f*ck out of your own way! 
youcan@eatingyourcaketoo.com
www.eatingyourcaketoo.com.au
www.claireseeber.com.au

Author

Claire Seeber is a self-proclaimed travel addict, mini-sausage dog mumma, avid blogger, a lover of a good glass of pinot noir and believes a solid belly laugh should be part of your every day.

She is also a professional coach, speaker and People and Culture consultant. Claire started her business in 2017 whilst working full time as General Manager of HR for a large retail business. What she loves the most about the work she does is being able to work with passionate, motivated and courageous people who genuinely want to reach their full potential and are ready to put the hard yards in to get there.

You might also like:

How to manage Interview Guilt?

Welcome to our ‘Real Women’ Interview Series with Charlene Perera!

The scary wake-up call I had that made me realise I was practising self-care all wrong!!!!

WARNING: This post includes reasonable levels of sarcasm. Enjoy ?

Due to the nature of my job, I sit through my fair share of job interviews. I actually really enjoy them – meeting new people, getting to hear their unique journeys, their stories and their career aspirations. However, just through the general law of averages that means I have also sat through my fair share of doozies when it comes to interviews.

 

So…….. I’ve decided to share with you all my list of “do’s” and “don’ts” when it comes to interview preparation. Here’s how you can nail your interview and ensure you don’t walk away wanting the world to swallow you whole.

 

Here is my lovely list of “must do’s before your interview to ensure you nail it every time:

 

  1. Please, sweet baby Jesus, RESEARCH the damn Company you have applied to work with. Infact, do one better and research the Company BEFORE you apply to work with them. If I had a dollar for every person I have called, who, when I ask them what it was about “Company X” that excited them, they respond to me with “I don’t really know anything about the Company”, or worse, they list brands, products, or services to me that “Company X” doesn’t own, sell, or do – I would be a very rich person!!!

 

  1. Prepare some notes or some questions to ask in your interview based on the research that you most definitely have now done because you followed my wise suggestion in point one. Your interviewers will love that you have done your homework and that you are clearly engaged and excited by the role. I love people who come prepared with questions – I especially love when people ask me things like “how long I’ve been with the business for?”, “What I like most about it?” etc. It tells me they care about where they are working and the people they will be working with.

 

  1. BE ON TIME! Or, if your sisters, friends cat really did get hit by a bus, at least ensure you call to advise that you will be late. It is not a good look when you rock up late to an interview, and you did not advise, or call the interviewers, and then do not even apologise when you arrive. My advice is always this – give yourself as much time as possible so that you are not flustered when you arrive. Account for things like bad traffic, late buses or trams, no parking, getting lost etc. Worst case (really best case!) you are early and then you have time to sit in your car, centre yourself and ensure you rock up as the best version of yourself for your interview and not a sweaty, hot mess who has forgotten what role they are actually interviewing for.

 

  1. Whilst I am on the topic of punctuality – I also believe there is such thing as being TOO early. Hence, my point above. If you are 30 minutes early to the venue for your interview (firstly, bravo!), but go and grab a coffee nearby, or sit in your car and read for a bit, but PLEASE don’t arrive at reception 30 minutes early for your interview – it puts unnecessary pressure on the interviewers, and quite frankly, is annoying.

 

  1. Ensure you get your roles right (yes, I am serious!). I understand that when people are actively looking for that next job they may be applying for more than one role. However, please ensure that you are very clear on the role that you are interviewing for when you arrive. Also ensure you are prepared to answer the relevant questions to that role that will no doubt require you to talk about how your experience is relevant to the role you are applying for.

 

  1. Be prepared to state your remuneration expectations out loud, if you haven’t already done so in the initial phone screen. AND, if you have done so in the phone screen, make sure you write down what you said (particularly if you weren’t being totally honest) – why? Because you’ll likely get asked again in the interview and if you say two different figures because you forgot the lie you told the first time, you start to appear a bit dishonest. If you’ve never thought about your rem expectations before and how to ask for them, then this blog is a MUST READ, my friend. Click here.

 

  1. Finally, come prepared with examples to questions that you will of course get asked. Things like talking about your strengths, your development areas (this isn’t a trick question, we all have them.), how you work in a team, how you like to be managed, how you manage stress, examples of how you have pushed boundaries before, or managed projects or teams are all likely to be asked. So….. prepare for them with some examples. That way when you are asked, you don’t have to sit there staring blankly at the interviewers like you want to pass out.

 

Are these tips really just the world according to Claire? Possibly. But I confidently feel that if you can nail the above and you genuinely have the relevant experience that a role is looking for, then you should find yourself very much in with a solid chance to be the successful candidate.

 

Does the thought of going to an interview make you sweat? Need help prepping? Perhaps you know you want out of where you are currently, but you’re not sure what the next step is for you? I can help you.  Hit me up at youcan@eatingyoucaketoo.com and let’s talk about how we can get you out of your own way and on to a new and fulfilling career path.

What do I do?
If you need some help working out what your next career move is, I can help. I help women get out of their own ways. I help you deal with the overthinking. The Imposter Syndrome. The self-doubt. The career confusion or crossroads. All the things currently getting in your way of being a confident, kick a** woman in your workplace and in your life.  www.claireseeber.com.au or www.eatingyourcaketoo.com.au 

 

Much Love,

Claire Seeber

Keen advocate for helping you get the f*ck out of your own way!
youcan@eatingyourcaketoo.com
www.eatingyourcaketoo.com.au
www.claireseeber.com.au

Author

Claire Seeber is a self-proclaimed travel addict, mini-sausage dog mumma, avid blogger, a lover of a good glass of pinot noir and believes a solid belly laugh should be part of your every day.

She is also a professional coach, speaker and People and Culture consultant. Claire started her business in 2017 whilst working full time as General Manager of HR for a large retail business. What she loves the most about the work she does is being able to work with passionate, motivated and courageous people who genuinely want to reach their full potential and are ready to put the hard yards in to get there.

You might also like:

How to manage Interview Guilt?

Welcome to our ‘Real Women’ Interview Series with Charlene Perera!

The scary wake-up call I had that made me realise I was practising self-care all wrong!!!!

Who sits in that chair above? Have you ever tried to describe them? Have you ever stopped and considered what your personal brand is? What the message that you send out to world looks like? Whether you like it or not – we all have a personal brand.  What vibe do you give off when you walk into room? The way you speak, the stories you tell, the way you communicate, the way you dress, this is all a part of your unique personal brand. Are you currently using it to your advantage? When we think of products, we think of brands and the way they are marketed to us – some appeal to you, others do not. The same will be true for your personal brand.

The question is this – how do you make sure that the people you want to appeal to, whether it is colleagues, clients, your manager, new job prospects, or the industry you work within, are interested and trusting in your personal brand?

Some of you may have read my last blog about self-development and knowing who you are, warts and all! (Check it out here if you missed it).  Having a strong self-awareness will be a big help when it comes to having an understanding of your own personal brand and its message. Sure, when you walk into an interview, it is unlikely that the interviewers will be able to tell your motivator at its core, or what your drivers in life are, but what they will be able to tell is your demeanour, your personality, your confidence and the manner in which you speak.

They will also likely already have a picture of you in their minds from the research they may have done online, through your resume, or through references from people who may have worked with you before.  If you don’t know what this all looks, feels like, then how do you know if it is helping you or hindering you?

Personal Branding is the key to giving yourself an advantage both in your current job and when you search for a new one. Your personal brand is something that follows you around – you can’t shake it. It’s something that exists even if you don’t bother to nurture it. From job to job, the way you present yourself professionally matters, and it is instrumental in establishing yourself as a valuable leader and contributor in whatever your field of expertise might be.

Ever googled yourself to see what comes up? Now might be the time, my friend. Ever tested your Facebook privacy settings to see what strangers can find of you? Now might be the time.  As vain as it might sound, before people get to meet you and get to know you and the deeper message of your personal brand, they will go on what they can find, which in this day and age is all in the public domain – don’t you ultimately want control, as much as possible, on what that message is?

Because of social media and our boundaryless levels of visibility, personal branding is one of today’s leading career strategy topics and a critical tool for flourishing in today’s work environment. It helps you attract business opportunities through playing to your strengths and communicating expertise to your chosen target audience through your online, verbal and networking channels.

Not sure of your personal brand? Here are a couple of tips to help you start controlling the message, instead of it controlling you:

Know who you are – if you don’t have an awareness of who you are and what you stand for then you’ll have no idea what message you are giving off, or if that is the message you want to be giving off – check out my recent blog around self-awareness here which will help you.

Complete a social media audit -do a scan of what is currently in the public domain regarding you and decide if you are happy with it. You want consistency in your message, so consider this when doing your homework. A professional picture of you on your Linkedin site, coupled with an open Facebook profile with pictures of you skulling wine from a box might not send a consistent message. I’m not saying don’t skull the wine, I’m just saying maybe lock down your facebook! ?

Raise your profile – share your thoughts and educated opinions to help get your profile out there. Become a thought leader in your field, whether this be internally within your current role and workplace, or externally out in the market. Get to know people and allow them to get to know you and your thoughts, opinions and knowledge on the areas you’re skilled in.

Work out what your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is: Companies spend insane amounts of money understanding their customers and how to pitch themselves in the market to create a USP. You’re also unique and you too have unique value that is important to articulate clearly to successfully position yourself in the market – remember your “market” might be internal in your workplace or external within the industry, or both!

Need help cultivating your personal brand? Or, not sure where to start? I can help you work out your USP and help you dig deep into who you are what you’re all about! Once you know this you’ll experience a heightened sense of confidence and self-esteem. If you feel like this could be lacking – contact me and let’s have an initial chat about your goals.

 

I help women get out of their own ways. I help you deal with the overthinking. The Imposter Syndrome. The self-doubt. The career confusion or crossroads. All the things currently getting in your way of being a confident, kick a** woman in your workplace and in your life. 

 

Much Love,

Claire Seeber

Keen advocate for helping you get the f*ck out of your own way!
youcan@eatingyourcaketoo.com
www.eatingyourcaketoo.com.au
www.claireseeber.com.au

Author

Claire Seeber is a self-proclaimed travel addict, mini-sausage dog mumma, avid blogger, a lover of a good glass of pinot noir and believes a solid belly laugh should be part of your every day.

She is also a professional coach, speaker and People and Culture consultant. Claire started her business in 2017 whilst working full time as General Manager of HR for a large retail business. What she loves the most about the work she does is being able to work with passionate, motivated and courageous people who genuinely want to reach their full potential and are ready to put the hard yards in to get there.

You might also like:

How to manage Interview Guilt?

Welcome to our ‘Real Women’ Interview Series with Charlene Perera!

The scary wake-up call I had that made me realise I was practising self-care all wrong!!!!

Self work is the hardest work, without doubt. Being bold enough to look deep into yourself and ask the question, “Who am I?” warts and all, is one of the toughest questions we can ask. Why? Because it means we have to deal with some of the things we’d rather not know about ourselves. It means we have to accept that there are traits about us that limit us from being our best self. That there are traits that derail us from living our full potential. The best thing about digging deep though is that you get to learn new things about yourself – that gives you more power than anything else you could ever ask for.

Once you know what your unique core motivators are and you can truthfully identify with them (not what you wish they were!), you are able to understand more about your behaviours, your triggers and what happens when this core motivator feels stressed or triggered (Often, this is the behaviour that we usually regret doing, but in the moment couldn’t help ourselves). Imagine the power you would have if you were able to manage those triggers for good instead of bad?  Leverage them to work FOR you, instead of AGAINST you.

It always interesting to me how many people still view the whole “self-help” or “personal growth” field as “Woooo woooo”, or a waste of money. An industry predicated on drawing people away from who they really are. I heard someone the other day openly diss another person for embarking on a self-discovery journey. FYI – Generally, the weakness you note in someone else, is the weakness in you.


My question to you is this.
By not taking time to understand more about what drives you, motivates you, or triggers you, aren’t you actually the one living a sheltered, numb’ish experience of life? Aren’t you ultimately the coward who doesn’t want to know more about themselves so that they learn how to leverage their best skills, work on how to close some of their gaps and in the process become a more compassionate and understanding human towards the differences in other people?

Aren’t you the individual who will ultimately live a disempowered, ignorant life that won’t get you close to your full potential – by the way, this won’t be anyone else’s fault but yours. Annnnnnnd breathe out.  If I have just offended you – it means I’ve hit a nerve in you. You are at a crossroads now in terms of choosing ignorance or empowerment.

I had the fortune of attending a training course a few weeks back. It was most significant investment I’ve made in my own learning and growth with the exception of a university degree, so I was praying it would be worth it. It was. What I walked away with in terms of understanding myself and the psychodynamics associated with WHY we behave the way we behave sometimes, has just unlocked a new layer in me that I didn’t have before.

I learnt some things I didn’t like along the way. Now that I know these things though, I can work on them. The good comes with the bad. The light always comes with a shadow.  I already knew that at my core I was motivated by living life to its fullest in terms of experiencing everything. I thought that was the best core motivator EVER! However, there is always a shadow  – I am often never in the now. I am often so future focussed and looking at what is next, that I can often come off as scattered and not really “available”. I can glaze over when something isn’t as interesting to me as what I deem the “future” to be.  I avoid negativity because it could mean pain and I’d rather focus on the future than deal with pain.

This is something I had as a blind spot and the impact it can have on my relationships and my team. I am being open about it here and choosing to be brave, to be vulnerable, and to accept that this is true in the hope that it might light something up in you to want to explore the same. Now I can focus on growing this muscle instead of just ignoring it like I have for the last 31 years.

When people don’t know themselves truly, they don’t know their full potential.  And when you don’t know your full potential you limit yourself in terms of what you think you are capable of. People lose confidence and self-esteem when they don’t know who they are. When a lack of self-esteem or confidence is evident, people convince themselves that they do not deserve good things in life and they thus decrease their own expectations for things such as promotions at work, fulfillment at work or in life etc.

 

Want to know what level of self-awareness you have? Ask yourself these questions, truthfully.

1) Who are you? – Note: This is not what you do, what you like or don’t like, it isn’t a character you play in your life (e.g mother, sister, wife, girlfriend, manager, etc), it is who are YOU?
2) What words describe you?
3) What words don’t describe you?
4) What do you know about yourself that works for you?
5) What do you know about yourself that doesn’t work for you?

If you struggled to answer these, don’t worry. You are not alone. However, it may mean that your levels of self-awareness aren’t high, which means you could be missing out on things just by not tapping into your full potential. I’d love to hear from you and how you answered these questions! I can also help you put the meat on the bones here or dig a little deeper if you are ready to.

Ever done a discovery session? I am currently offering these utilising the Enneagram transformational tool. Want to know more about yourself? There is no time like the present. Discovery sessions are a great, cost effective intro exercise that helps you start the development journey. The sessions are a two hour time commitment, but what you walk away with could change the path of your life!

 

Much Love,

Claire Seeber

Keen advocate for helping you get the f*ck out of your own way!
youcan@eatingyourcaketoo.com
www.eatingyourcaketoo.com.au
www.claireseeber.com.au

Author

Claire Seeber is a self-proclaimed travel addict, mini-sausage dog mumma, avid blogger, a lover of a good glass of pinot noir and believes a solid belly laugh should be part of your every day.

She is also a professional coach, speaker and People and Culture consultant. Claire started her business in 2017 whilst working full time as General Manager of HR for a large retail business. What she loves the most about the work she does is being able to work with passionate, motivated and courageous people who genuinely want to reach their full potential and are ready to put the hard yards in to get there.

You might also like:

How to manage Interview Guilt?

Welcome to our ‘Real Women’ Interview Series with Charlene Perera!

The scary wake-up call I had that made me realise I was practising self-care all wrong!!!!

You’ve done it. Everything you have worked so hard for has been recognised. The late nights, the extra work, its been noticed and you have been promoted into a leadership role. Amazing! You get to lead a team. You get to set the tone for your team and drive the teams objectives forward. It will be fun they said. It will be great they said. YOU will be great, they said.

Then reality hits. You’ve never managed people before. In fact, you are now managing people who last week were your colleagues. You used to whinge together over lunch about your manager – now you are that person. Sh*t. Will they talk about you behind your back too? Will they think you aren’t capable, or that you shouldn’t have been promoted over them? Are you even capable? Oh gosh, people will realise I can’t do this! I can’t do this!!!! (insert minor melt down…) These tend to be some of the thoughts that I hear people go through the first time they start to lead a team.

HELLO Imposter Syndrome – nice to see you again! Welcome to the club of women (and some men!) who experience this every day. Imposter Syndrome can present itself in many ways and on very different occasions – it is a “different strokes for different folks”, kinda syndrome this one! Ever had that all-encompassing feeling of self-doubt, that feeling that everyone around you is questioning your ability, or your worth? That, my friend, is the ever-pesky Imposter Syndrome kicking into gear.

I used to be terrible for this and was the absolute epitome of what Imposter Syndrome stands for. And then one day, I realised something.  Not one person actually told me that I couldn’t do something, or that I wasn’t capable. In fact, quite the opposite. It was all in my head.  I was the one who told myself I wasn’t capable.

Are you reading this wondering if Imposter Syndrome has sunk its pesky little claws into you?

 

Here’s what Imposter Syndrome might feel like:
  • Being 100% sure you are going to fail at almost anything you set out to;
  • Devaluing or being self-deprecating of your experience or expertise in front of others because someone else might appear more confident, more experienced, older, wiser, than you;
  • Feeling like a fraud and like someone is going to find out about you, or your lack of ability; or
  • Being sure that someone else’s leadership style, ability, confidence is better than yours.

Being promoted is a big deal, so firstly, well done!  Moving from an individual contributor role, where you are ultimately in control of your own deliverables, to a role where you are assisting a team of others to deliver is a big shift and it can feel overwhelming. But, don’t panic – here are some things for you to consider as part of your transition into a leadership role:

 

  1. Accept that there is not just one “awesome” leadership style – and STOP comparing yourself to others – YOU are also awesome.
  2. Be prepared for a little bit of awkwardness at first – Transitioning to a new role, let alone a leadership role will always be a little awkward. People get used to things being a certain way, and when things change, it can be a challenging for some people initially. Be ok with this.  It is not a reflection on your ability, it is just the process of change.
  3. Acknowledge that you had to play some part in your current success – it doesn’t all come down to luck, or whatever other B/S you have been kidding yourself that it is. You were promoted because something was seen in you – now get out of your own head and prove those people right!
  4. Ask your team what they look for in a good leader – this will not only show your team that you care, but also give a you a great insight into what support they are looking for from you.
  5. Call yourself out – when you experience the feelings of self-doubt, or like you aren’t doing a good job in your new role, call it Imposter Syndrome. Once you put a name on it, it almost makes it easier to accept. Now that you have accepted it, squash the self-deprecating thoughts and move the F**k on!
  6. Get a wing-woman – whether you have someone in your life you can do this with, or you need to consider seeking out a coach, or a mentor, get someone to help call you out on these feelings and put the actions in place that you need to (in addition to the above) to get you past it.

 

Moving into a leadership role can feel scary, a bit awkward (particularly when you are now managing people who you used to be hierarchically equal to), and you start to feel like your days have a very different meaning and purpose.  Don’t panic. This is not a reflection on you, or your abilities – this is just the awkwardness of transitioning to a new role. Be confident. Be brave and believe that you were given this opportunity because you CAN do it.

 

If despite following the above advice, you are still feeling like you are suffering from Imposter Syndrome, perhaps it is time to invest in yourself to learn how to manage it.  I can help. 

I help women get out of their own ways. I help you deal with the overthinking. The Imposter Syndrome. The self-doubt. All the things currently getting in your way of being a confident, kick a** woman in your workplace and in your life. 

 

Much Love,

Claire Seeber

Keen advocate for helping you get the f*ck out of your own way!
youcan@eatingyourcaketoo.com
www.eatingyourcaketoo.com.au
www.claireseeber.com.au

Author

Claire Seeber is a self-proclaimed travel addict, mini-sausage dog mumma, avid blogger, a lover of a good glass of pinot noir and believes a solid belly laugh should be part of your every day.

She is also a professional coach, speaker and People and Culture consultant. Claire started her business in 2017 whilst working full time as General Manager of HR for a large retail business. What she loves the most about the work she does is being able to work with passionate, motivated and courageous people who genuinely want to reach their full potential and are ready to put the hard yards in to get there.

You might also like:

How to manage Interview Guilt?

Welcome to our ‘Real Women’ Interview Series with Charlene Perera!

The scary wake-up call I had that made me realise I was practising self-care all wrong!!!!

How often do we talk about wanting to be more assertive? Wanting to have more confidence to say no or to push back and value ourselves more? Yet, in the same message, how many people do we know that we feel are just difficult as*holes who say no to everything? They may be cynical, oppositional, aggressive or just generally unhelpful? Guess what. There is a middle ground. You can be assertive without being an a**hole and this post is going to tell you how.

 

Firstly, when we talk about being assertive and building the confidence to be more assertive, what does that actually mean? Being assertive is ultimately about being able to stand up for what you or others believe in a calm and positive way without being aggressive, or passively aggressive. Note the importance in this sentence around “calm and positive” – this is generally the part where people fall down.

 

We’ve all been there – we all get frustrated and might become aggressive (either directly or passively), but regular outbursts like this are unhelpful, they make people not want to work with you (or for you!) and basically make you a bit of a jerk!

Often, I find the challenge with us as women is that we aren’t confident enough to be assertive, so we become passive.  We let ourselves go to the beat of someone else’s drum instead of putting our own thoughts and opinions out on the table. We will be the one to take on someone else’s work, cop someone else’s incompetence because we don’t want to push back or rock the boat. This type of behaviour also comes from the need for approval – for more on this and the shadow that comes with chronic people pleasing, check out my recent blog post about it here.

Let’s talk through an example of a passive response when it comes to assertiveness.

 

Someone asks you at work “Do you think you can find time today to do this report for me?”.

A typical passive reply to this would be something along the lines of… “Yes, I can get to it later this afternoon after I have done the weekly reporting, made the follow up calls I need to and respond back to my outstanding emails”.  

 

A far more appropriate and assertive response would have been. “No, sorry I won’t be able to today as I am pretty loaded up with other deadlines. I could look at this for you tomorrow though if you still need”. In addition, and if relevant, you could also suggest instead of doing it tomorrow for this person, that instead you sit with them and show them how to do it (This will naturally depend on the situation though).

The person in the first response really does not have the time, but their answer does not convey this message. The second response is assertive. It is calm, honest and still provides an alternative for the person making the request. If you become known as the person who cannot say no, you will continue to be loaded up with tasks from others (potentially that they should be doing themselves!) and you run not only the risk of burnt out but at the very least not being able to prioritise your own needs and your own tasks.

 

So, back to assertiveness. How do you just become assertive? You can start being assertive right now if you want to. Assertiveness is about sharing your thoughts. It is not about pushing them over other people’s or being aggressive. Assertiveness is putting your ideas on the table as well as hearing other people’s too. Sometimes people who are more passive and decide they want to become more assertive get it wrong. They go from one extreme of not sharing anything and just nodding yes all the time, to forcefully pushing their opinions down other’s throats and not taking anything else on board.

Assertiveness sits in the middle.

Here are some tips on how you can be assertive without being an as*hole.

 

  • Keep your emotions in check – the second you start pointing the finger, talking loudly over others or crossing your arms in frustration, you’ve just gone from assertive to a-hole in 0.5 seconds. Check yo-self.
  • Limit qualifying words – When you put words on the front of your sentences like “I think maybe….”, or “I’m guessing that….”, or “I could be wrong, but…”, you automatically limit your own credibility and look like you aren’t confident in your own opinion. This doesn’t make you an a**hole, but it makes you passive.
  • Conversely to the above tip, it is also unhelpful to start sharing your opinions in the manner that is condescending to others. Be aware when sharing your opinion that ultimately you want others to buy into it. Outwardly criticising others ideas won’t get you this.
  • Put options on the table – Although this might feel like you aren’t putting all your eggs into your basket, you actually are. By providing options, you are making others feel like you have considered other scenarios, other points of view, but guess what, they are all YOUR scenarios. Control the options and influence the outcome assertively.
  • Be OK with silence. You’ve said your piece, now wait.  Don’t keep pushing your own agenda or filling the silence with your own voice, just let the other parties consider your opinion and wait.

 


Assertiveness is one of the primary areas that women cite as being something they find challenging to do. 
Try these tips above and see the confidence you start building just by putting yourself out there.

Good luck and please let me know how you go!

I help women get out of their own ways. I help you deal with the overthinking. The Imposter Syndrome. The self-doubt. All the things currently getting in your way of being a confident, kick a** woman in your workplace and in your life.

Need help? Contact me at  youcan@eatingyourcaketoo.com and let’s see how I can help you.  Our first phone consultation is completely obligation free.

Much Love,
Claire Seeber


Keen advocate for helping you get the f*ck out of your own way! 
youcan@eatingyourcaketoo.com
www.eatingyourcaketoo.com.au

Author

Claire Seeber is a self-proclaimed travel addict, mini-sausage dog mumma, avid blogger, a lover of a good glass of pinot noir and believes a solid belly laugh should be part of your every day.

She is also a professional coach, speaker and People and Culture consultant. Claire started her business in 2017 whilst working full time as General Manager of HR for a large retail business. What she loves the most about the work she does is being able to work with passionate, motivated and courageous people who genuinely want to reach their full potential and are ready to put the hard yards in to get there.

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Picture this – It’s a beautiful day and you are heading to the beach to get some sunshine. You’ve got your bathers on (togs, swimmers or cosi for those playing interstate!), you’ve found a great patch of sand and you are about to get your kit off for some well-deserved Vitamin D. Then, right next to you rocks up a “perfect” looking woman (in your opinion), with a “perfect” bikini body and off she goes into the water. All of a sudden you have lost your appetite for the sun and for a swim. You now choose to sit there in your dress watching everybody else swim because, oooppps, you’ve done it again and compared yourself to someone else.

Perhaps you’ve done this in your workplace. Someone else speaks seemingly confidently and like they really know what the F they are talking about, therefore you must be wrong. So, what do you do? You decide to just not say anything at all because you’ve compared yourself to someone else and convinced yourself that they must be better than you.

 

Why do we do this? Compare ourselves to others. Act as if there is only a set amount of awesomeness to go around and if someone else has got “it” then that means there mustn’t be anymore left for us.

We do this every day and often unconsciously. “I could never wear those jeans because I’m not that skinny”, “I could never do that job because I’m not as smart as her”. We even compare ourselves to celebrities for looking amazing, and then we almost take pride when magazines show the photos of them with cellulite because it makes us feel a little better about ourselves. If we didn’t compare ourselves to others to start with, we wouldn’t need to worry about this!

 

Here is a list of the things that you lose when you choose to compare yourself to others:

You invest energy on something you cannot control: You can only control one life — yours. But when you are constantly comparing yourself to others, you are wasting precious energy focusing on other’s lives rather than your own and what you can do for yourself.

When you compare yourself to others you get resentful: You focus on the things you don’t have instead of all the amazing things you do have, and you get resentful towards others or towards yourself.

You miss out on the opportunity to be happy: when you constantly compare what you have with others you aren’t being appreciative or grateful for what you do have. Instead, you are busy looking at what others have therefore not allowing yourself to be happy.

If you are constantly feeling like you aren’t as good as others or you are worried that other people might think that of you, you could be suffering from Imposter Syndrome (learn more about it, here).

But, guess what – you can manage Imposter Syndrome and “Comparititis” – Here’s how:

 

1) Accept that there is no cap on how many people can be awesome, and STOP comparing yourself to others – YOU are also awesome.

2) Acknowledge that you had to play some part in your current success – it doesn’t all come down to luck, or whatever other B/S you have been kidding yourself that it is.

3) Keep notes of the positive compliments that you receive and read them back when you need reassurance that you aren’t a fraud or when you feel you aren’t as good as someone else.

4) Realise that at the end of the day we are all just trying to make sense of everything together. If you think you are an imposter, then so is everyone around you!

5) Call yourself out – when you experience these feelings, call it Imposter Syndrome or Comparititis. Once you put a name on it, it almost makes it easier to accept. Now squash the self-deprecating thoughts and move the F on!

6) Get a wing-woman (or wing-man!) – whether you have someone in your life you can do this with, or you need to consider seeking out a coach, get someone to help call you out on these feelings and put the actions in place that you need to (in addition to the above) to get you past it.

 

One final reminder – Be OK with imperfection and STOP comparing yourself to Beyoncé. Comparing yourself does nothing for your confidence and it just makes you think about all the things you think you don’t have instead of all of the things that you do have. You allow yourself to miss out on great opportunities professionally and personally through thinking you need to be perfect to succeed at them.

Remember this – Every time you look at something someone else has and wish you had it/where it/could wear it consider that there is someone doing the exact same thing towards you.   

I help women get out of their own ways. I help you deal with the overthinking. The Imposter Syndrome. The self-doubt. All the things currently getting in your way of being a confident, kick a** woman in your workplace and in your life. Need help? Contact me at  youcan@eatingyourcaketoo.com and let’s see how I can help you.  Our first phone consultation is completely obligation free.

 

 

Much Love,
Claire Seeber


Keen advocate for helping you get the f*ck out of your own way!
youcan@eatingyourcaketoo.com
www.eatingyourcaketoo.com.au

POSTED IN LIFE TIPS

Author

Claire Seeber is a self-proclaimed travel addict, mini-sausage dog mumma, avid blogger, a lover of a good glass of pinot noir and believes a solid belly laugh should be part of your every day.

She is also a professional coach, speaker and People and Culture consultant. Claire started her business in 2017 whilst working full time as General Manager of HR for a large retail business. What she loves the most about the work she does is being able to work with passionate, motivated and courageous people who genuinely want to reach their full potential and are ready to put the hard yards in to get there.

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Hi – I’m Claire and I am a recovering Overthinker.

We all know this person – someone bumps into them in the street and they say sorry.  Someone might forget to call them back, respond to their email etc and they end up being the one apologising saying they should have followed up again. The person who will assume they were the last person in line at the bar and will let the other 4 people around them go first even though they have been there longer. You might know this person. You might even be this person. Why? Because all you want is just to be liked.  If you are liked by people then you must be doing something right.

 

Do you ever hold back your opinion on something with fear you might upset someone? And if you upset them then they might not like you anymore? And then the thought of someone not liking you creeps in – if someone doesn’t like me does that mean people will think I’m not good at my job? Does that mean that people will think I am not a good person? Does that mean my ability to progress will be stunted?  All these thoughts come rolling in like a steam train and before you know it you’ve just missed a great opportunity to put forward your point of view. F*ck, I am exhausted just re-reading these two paragraphs.

 

Wanting to be liked is normal. I don’t think any human being goes through life actually wanting to be disliked.  But the issue is when this need to be liked gets in the way of us being true to ourselves, or really showcasing who we are with fear that people might not like that person.

 

Newsflash. Not everyone will like you.  Ouch, but true.  And guess what else? You wont like everyone either.

 

The longer we remain more concerned with others approval, which, by the way, is completely out of our control, the less time we are spending on being comfortable in our own skin and happy with who the f*ck we actually are.

 

Here’s what can happen once you rid yourself of the burden that you must be liked by everyone you meet and you embrace the fact that you won’t be:

 

 

  • You feel at ease and more comfortable in your own skin – once you stop giving a f*ck whether every Tom, Dick and Harry likes you, you feel a sense of freedom to really be you – and it feels good.

 

  • You become more confident and comfortable to say NO – Why? Because you are no longer stressing about the fact that if you say no to someone it will mean they don’t like you anymore. You become confident in saying no, offering an alternative to still be helpful but without compromising your own work or your own priorities like you would have in the past.

 

  • You will have more time back in your life – when you stop caring so much what others think you will find you naturally have more time in your day. How? Because the chances are your people pleasing behaviour was causing you to spread yourself too thinly to please everyone. On top of that, you were likely overthinking your interactions with everyone too and whether they liked the support you gave on a project, whether they appreciated you staying back to help them etc. STOP OVERTHINKING – click here for how to.

 

  • You share your opinion more freely – When you no longer tailor your thoughts and opinions to those around you, you are able to freely share what is on your mind because you are no longer catering to the thinking of others.
  • When people don’t like you, agree with your opinions, your style etc, atleast you know you have had some sort of impact on them and their lives. When you are a people pleaser you aren’t in any position to leave an impact on anyone because they don’t really have any idea who you are. Why? Because you are not being you – you are being who you think they would like.

 

 

It is ok to want to be liked – that is natural, but not at the expense of who you are and what you are all about. Next time you worry if someone might not like you, really ask yourself
a) what is the big deal if they don’t? and;
b) what control do you really have over that anyway?

I help women get out of their own ways. I help you deal with the overthinking. The Imposter Syndrome. The self-doubt. All the things currently getting in your way of being a confident, kick a** woman in your workplace and in your life. Need help? Contact me at  youcan@eatingyourcaketoo.com and let’s see how I can help you.  Our first phone consultation is completely obligation free.

Much Love,
Claire Seeber


Keen advocate for helping you get the f*ck out of your own way!
youcan@eatingyourcaketoo.com
www.eatingyourcaketoo.com.au

POSTED IN OWN YOUR LIFE

Author

Claire Seeber is a self-proclaimed travel addict, mini-sausage dog mumma, avid blogger, a lover of a good glass of pinot noir and believes a solid belly laugh should be part of your every day.

She is also a professional coach, speaker and People and Culture consultant. Claire started her business in 2017 whilst working full time as General Manager of HR for a large retail business. What she loves the most about the work she does is being able to work with passionate, motivated and courageous people who genuinely want to reach their full potential and are ready to put the hard yards in to get there.

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So…… it sounds like my last blog post hit a bit of a nerve in a lot of people and how difficult it can be to ask for what you want. Thank you for the kind words and the awesome feedback on the blog – this is what keeps me going and gives me a feel for what people want to hear!  Last fortnights blog was specifically related to how to state your salary expectations with confidence and my experience of women not being great at this. If you haven’t read it yet, check it out here.

What this article seemed to open up though was a range of different areas in peoples lives where they do not feel confident or comfortable to ask for what they want. Examples that have come through to me have been around things like flexibility in working days, or hours, the confidence to ask for more responsibility, and even the confidence to ask for some (by the sounds of it, well deserved) annual leave!

Although the 5 steps that I gave in my last blog can be relevant in a lot of ways to anything that you want to ask for, here are a couple of suggestions for things that you can do to confidently prepare yourself to ask for what you want that might not specifically be about salary.

1) Ask yourself these questions beforehand:

 

Do you think your request is reasonable?

 

If it is related to work – is it fair, researched and not emotionally based?

 

Would you do it for someone else if they asked you?

 

What is the worst that could happen by you making this request? Literally, the worst-case scenario? (hint: usually it is just that the answer is NO!)

 

Asking yourself these questions first is really important.  Why? Because it allows rational you to come forward and layer another perspective on things. It helps you remove emotion and fear as to whether what you are asking for is truly reasonable. Just because we want something, doesn’t always make it reasonable. Going through this thought process gives you the opportunity to really reflect on that. I would LOVE to work from a Greek island with a cocktail and masseuse on call for a year, but unfortunately if I reflect on it rationally, for my role, it is probably not a reasonable request (Daaaammmnnn!!).

 

The most important question to ask yourself here also is “What is the worst that could happen from asking for what you want?”. We often work ourselves up so much to ask for something that we then don’t even ask for it because we’ve already convinced ourselves that it will never happen. Remove some of the fear by asking yourself what the worst thing is that could happen.

 

 

2) Be clear and practice hearing yourself ask for what you want before you do it

Yes, I did just suggest you practice asking for what you want – possibly in a mirror of some sort, or at the very least out loud. Why did I suggest that? Because that way when the words come out of your mouth for the first time you wont panic at what you’ve just asked and downplay the request, or worse yet take the request back! Be clear in what you are asking for and why (which you will be after doing step 1) and then ensure that you have thought about how you are going to ask.

3) Watch your body language

Be aware of your body language when asking for what you want.  Are you hunched over with your face talking to the ground and your request is barely heard? Are your arms crossed? Are you biting your nails or twirling your flippin’ hair?  Or, are you standing/sitting up straight with a positive tone, good eye contact (not a stare contest!) asking for what you want? This TED Talk by Amy Cuddy was shared with me a little while ago and it is a great talk all about the power of body language. Check it out here. It is 20 minutes well spent!

 

 

 

4) Don’t fall in a heap if the answer is NO

Here’s the hard truth. You won’t always get what you want. Sometimes the answer will be NO. But, before you let yourself fall in heap and believe that the world is out to get you (oh boy, have I been here!), consider this – a NO is not a personal rejection. Accept it for what it is and move forward. If you aren’t clear on why the response was no, then absolutely seek clarity. Ask if there is anything you could do to find a middle ground, or is there perhaps a timeframe where the request could be revisited. But, once this is discussed, and if the answer is still no, don’t wallow, don’t drown yourself in negativity – be graceful and move on.

 

 

 

5) Know your values and what is most important to you

This is probably the most important step of all. Understanding what is important to you – I cannot beat this drum hard enough. If you know what the most important things to you are and what your values are, then you will know how to deal with a no that could come your way. You will know if that is just a minor set-back, or is it a full-blown case of “its time to reassess”. If you need some help working out what this is for you, check out one of my older posts which might help.

I help women get out of their own ways. I help you deal with the overthinking. The Imposter Syndrome. The self-doubt. All the things currently getting in your way of being a confident, kick a** woman in your workplace and in your life. Need help? Contact me at  youcan@eatingyourcaketoo.com and let’s see how I can help you.  Our first phone consultation is completely obligation free.

Much Love,
Claire Seeber

Keen advocate for helping you get the f*ck out of your own way!
youcan@eatingyourcaketoo.com
www.eatingyourcaketoo.com.au

Author

Claire Seeber is a self-proclaimed travel addict, mini-sausage dog mumma, avid blogger, a lover of a good glass of pinot noir and believes a solid belly laugh should be part of your every day.

She is also a professional coach, speaker and People and Culture consultant. Claire started her business in 2017 whilst working full time as General Manager of HR for a large retail business. What she loves the most about the work she does is being able to work with passionate, motivated and courageous people who genuinely want to reach their full potential and are ready to put the hard yards in to get there.

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Do you recall the last time you applied for a new role? You get a call from the recruiter and you are pumped that you have gotten through the first hoop. They are talking to you about the role and it all sounds flippin’ fantastic! Then, it feels like out of nowhere they ask you for your salary expectations. You panic. You sweat.  You stutter. If you are lucky you say your expectations with a molecule of confidence, but mostly just fumble through the sentence. You may even then put something on the end of the sentence like “Oh, but it’s really just about finding the right role. The money isn’t important to me!”. Eeeeeeeek. Sister, you are not alone.

I have coached several women who have been in this situation either regarding roles they’ve applied for, or roles they are currently in. I have also been in this situation and have then beaten myself up afterwards for not being prepared for the question.  I ask this question regularly when I recruit for roles and it still surprises me, even in the more senior space of recruitment, how often women get flustered when asked about what their salary expectations are. Why do we do this? Why do we not say with complete confidence what we are worth?

 Have you ever experienced this? How did you feel when you hung up the phone and you knew it was too late to go back now and say a different figure because you panicked and said the wrong thing? Have you ever even accepted a role considerably lower than your expectations because you felt you couldn’t say what you really felt you were worth? Maybe you didn’t want to rock the boat, or loose the job opportunity because of the money.

My question is this – Why, for the most part do men seem so often more confident in saying exactly what they expect? (yes, I know this is a sweeping generalisation!) So much so that you almost just assume, “Oh, ok they must be worth that”. Infact, sometimes, in my recruitment experience, I have even had my question about what the applicant’s salary expectations are, returned with a question. Yes – they answered my question with their own damn confidently executed question about what I was prepared to offer for the role! At the other end of the spectrum though, often sits us. Highly capable, competent and professional women, yet for some reason when asked what we are worth, we fumble and panic on the other end of the phone trying to work out our answer to the question.

Let me give you two recent examples from phone calls that I have had regarding separate roles I have been recruiting for as part of my other full-time role (General Manager of People and Culture for a large retail business):

Example A) I was speaking to a gentleman the other day regarding a role and after talking about the role for about 20 minutes or so, I went to ask for his salary expectations – his response straight away was, “What is your banding for the role?” “What are you prepared to pay for the role?”. He literally answered my question with a question without even batting an eyelid (atleast that is how I imagined it given I couldn’t see him!).

Example B) I am on the phone to a woman about a different role and I go through the same 20 or so minute discussion about the role before asking her what her salary expectations are. She pauses for about 5 seconds, panics and then says, “I’m so sorry, I just don’t know what to say”. She then apologises again. Then continues to say she is really unsure what to say. We then sit in silence for another 5 seconds or so whilst I wait for an answer. I then ask if she would like to talk me through what she is on now as a package instead. The candidate then responded with that she would prefer not to disclose what she was on currently. Awkward.  

Here are my tips for preparing yourself mentally for when you get asked this question and how to then nail it when you answer the question:

1) Know both your current package breakdown and your expected salary package figure in advance. This sounds obvious, but a number of people I speak to are unclear on this and it can sometimes come across as untruthful when they fumble through stating it. Also make sure you know your package as a base salary, and as a package including super or anything else you may receive.

2) Do your research on what the market is offering to be sure that if you are going in asking for more than your current package that you are in line with market. Doing this research is not just a matter of going onto seek and downloading a couple of ads that look marginally similar to the roles you might be looking at. It is about considering things like size of business, scope of role, team size if you are managing people, your experience, level of risk in the role, industry, state etc. Do your homework honestly. Don’t just look for data that aligns with what you want to get – what is the market really offering.

3) It is all good to have a difference between what you are on now and what you want to ask for in your next role. After all, if you are going to move on or upwards in your role, it is understandable that you would want it to be for more, but be sure that you are confident about that as you could get asked both questions.

4) Practise saying your salary expectations over and over again and with confidence. Hear them out loud so that the first time you say it out loud to a recruiter you don’t panic and then add a sentence on the end like “oh, but the money is not that important though!”.

5) Be prepared to walk away if there is a considerable difference between what you believe you are worth and what the company will offer. This is a really important one and it is so critical here that you have thought about what is important to you. If a new role cannot offer you the package that you are after, but it can offer other things that are important to you (eg, flexibility in working hours, opportunity to work from home, learning and development opportunities, less commute, travel opportunities etc) then it is ok to still consider it. Just ensure you are being true to you and what is important to you and not accepting something you are not comfortable with, just because you think you must.

Talking salary can be scary and is often one of the things people hate talking about (it is up there with bather shopping for sure!). But, it doesn’t have to be an uncomfortable conversation if you are sure in yourself what you are worth and you ask for it with confidence.

I help women get out of their own ways. I help you deal with the overthinking. The Imposter Syndrome. The self-doubt. All the things currently getting in your way of being a confident, kick a** woman. Need help? Contact me at youcan@eatingyourcaketoo.com and let’s see how I can help you.  Our first phone consultation is completely obligation free.

Much Love,

Claire Seeber

Keen advocate for helping you get the f*ck out of your own way!
youcan@eatingyourcaketoo.com
www.eatingyourcaketoo.com.au

Author

Claire Seeber is a self-proclaimed travel addict, mini-sausage dog mumma, avid blogger, a lover of a good glass of pinot noir and believes a solid belly laugh should be part of your every day.

She is also a professional coach, speaker and People and Culture consultant. Claire started her business in 2017 whilst working full time as General Manager of HR for a large retail business. What she loves the most about the work she does is being able to work with passionate, motivated and courageous people who genuinely want to reach their full potential and are ready to put the hard yards in to get there.

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You walk into a room and take a seat at the meeting table. Everyone else gradually trickles in ready to get started. They seem so relaxed. So confident. The meeting works its way around the room with everyone sharing what is going on for them – successes for the week, what they are doing really well in, sounding like they know exactly what they are talking about. And you sit there.  Sit there. Still sitting there. Waiting for your turn. But not just waiting for your turn to speak. Waiting for your turn when they will find out. They will find out that you’re a fraud. That you’re not capable. That you are an imposter. 

Say HELLO to Imposter Syndrome, and welcome to the club of women (and some men!) who experience this every day. Although only formally conceived as a term in the 1970’s, Imposter Syndrome is without doubt a syndrome we have been feeling for years before this.  Have you ever had that all-encompassing feeling of self-doubt, often just as you are about to speak, or pitch or present on something and you are just waiting for those around you to realise you are a fake. Sound like you? Then here is your VIP membership love, welcome to the club.

Why do we do this to ourselves? And, where does it come from?

Often, I see women with a fear of putting themselves out there in case they are wrong. A fear of asking for something in case they don’t get it, or are told NO. A fear of not putting their hand up for that promotion just so that they can get some “more experience” first, or another qualification to help them validate that they know their sh*t. WHY? Why don’t we just have faith in our own abilities and the fact that our knowledge and capability is what got us to where we are today, therefore it must be worth something, right?!

I used to be terrible for this, and was the absolute epitome of what Imposter Syndrome stands for. And then one day, I realised something.  Not one person actually told me that I couldn’t do something, or that I wasn’t capable. It was all in my head.  I was the one who told myself I wasn’t capable.

Imposter Syndrome can manifest itself in many ways, including;

  • Being 100% sure you are going to fail at almost anything you set out to;
  • Devaluing your experience or expertise because someone else might appear more confident, more experienced, older, wiser, than you;
  • Feeling like a fraud and like someone is going to find out about you; or
  • Being sure that someone else’s presentation style, pitch ability, confidence with conflict or debate is better than yours.

But the good news is, there is a community of women here to help you beat it. High profile C-Suite executives including Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook have quoted their own Imposter Syndrome before. Even celebrities like Tina Fey and Meryl Streep have opened up about feeling like frauds who were sure they were going to be “caught out”.

So, what can you do to beat Imposter Syndrome??

  1. Accept that there is no cap on how many people can be awesome, and STOP comparing yourself to others – YOU are also awesome.
  2. Acknowledge that you had to play some part in your current success – it doesn’t all come down to luck, or whatever other B/S you have been kidding yourself that it is.
  3. Keep notes of the positive compliments that you receive and read them back when you need reassurance that you aren’t a fraud.
  4. Realise that at the end of the day we are all just trying to make sense of everything together. If you think you are an imposter, then so is everyone around you!
  5. Call yourself out – when you experience these feelings, call it Imposter Syndrome. Once you put a name on it, it almost makes it easier to accept. Now squash the self-deprecating thoughts and move the F on!
  6. Get a wing-woman – whether you have someone in your life you can do this with, or you need to consider seeking out a coach, get someone to help call you out on these feelings and put the actions in place that you need to (in addition to the above) to get you past it.

So often the chances we miss out on are the ones that we never took because we didn’t think we could, think we were ready to, think we were experienced enough, had the qualification that we probably didn’t need, or that we would be successful if we took it. If you need some help getting past Imposter Syndrome, feel free to reach out to me and let’s help you get out of your own way.  

 

Much Love,

Claire Seeber

Keen advocate for helping you get the f*ck out of your own way!
youcan@eatingyourcaketoo.com

Author

Claire Seeber is a self-proclaimed travel addict, mini-sausage dog mumma, avid blogger, a lover of a good glass of pinot noir and believes a solid belly laugh should be part of your every day.

She is also a professional coach, speaker and People and Culture consultant. Claire started her business in 2017 whilst working full time as General Manager of HR for a large retail business. What she loves the most about the work she does is being able to work with passionate, motivated and courageous people who genuinely want to reach their full potential and are ready to put the hard yards in to get there.

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Does the thought of networking in a large room on your own make you feel a wave of fear? Do you break out in sweats at the thought of walking into a room of strangers on your own and having to find someone to talk to? Does the thought of thinking of things to say to people you don’t know give you heart palpitations? You are not alone, my friend.  You might even be someone who never has trouble talking to people you know, you may even be the life of the party with your own friends, but walking into a group of people you don’t know is a very different feeling.

Gone are the days (for most people!) when successful networking is defined as the number of business cards you can walk away from an event with. Usually this is from people whom you can’t remember, never contact again, and likely did not make a genuine mutual connection with. Successful networkers understand the value of quality connections, over quantity, AND this is great news for you if you are someone who sweats at the thought of walking a room of strangers and not knowing where to start (maybe you even automatically pull your phone out when you get uncomfortable as your security blanket – click here for my previous blog post about out habit of doing this!).

Networking provides a great opportunity to meet people and learn from them. It also provides a great opportunity to stretch yourself in terms of conversations and connections.

Here is a quick support list of things you can do to stress less at the thought of networking face to face, and start nailing these types of events instead of dreading them:

Pick one person at a time – it is far less daunting walking up to one person and introducing yourself, than it is walking up to an entire group of people who already look like they are fully engaged in a conversation. I guarantee you there will be someone else feeling like you in the room. Find them and connect. You will also find that the conversations you have with people are far more genuine and meaningful this way, and you may actually keep the contact going after.

Ask lots of questions – It is often easier to ask the other party lots of questions about themselves, than it sometimes is to talk about yourself. Build the connection by asking lots of questions of the other person first and take genuine interest in what they do. Still worried about how to kick off a conversation?

Here are some easy questions to get the conversation started:

 

“Hi. I am Jane, I don’t think we have met before. What was your name?”

“Have you been to one of these events before?”

“What are you most hoping to get out of the session?” (if you are attending a conference, speaker day etc).

“What do you do?”

“That sounds really interesting. What do you enjoy most about it?”.

 

Don’t be all business and no fun! – Just because it might be a “business” event, doesn’t mean you can’t talk about things other than strictly business. Get to know people. Ask them what they do outside of work. Do they travel. Do they like football. What are their hobbies. Once you find you have a common ground, or a mutual interest, the conversation becomes so much more natural.

Give without expecting in return – A lot of people go to networking functions thinking there is only value talking to people with whom they can see immediate benefit from talking to. Not true. Just because you might only be able to offer the other party something of value now (a connection with someone, some advice, a helpful resource etc), doesn’t mean that that person may not be able to help you at another point down the track. Be open minded with who you talk to, and don’t disengage as soon as you realise that that person may not be able to get you a sale, or a contact etc. Bad networking karma for you!

Take small steps – If you are someone who gets worried about how to work a room, then set yourself small goals and once you have achieved it, bow out gracefully. For example, give yourself a goal of talking to three people with meaningful conversations and making a connection. Once you have done that, exit the event, and pat yourself on the back. Next time you attend a function, stretch yourself to four people and build up from there. You will be a pro in no time!

Follow up on connections within 2 days – often people go to network functions, make these great connections, and then never follow through! Ensure you leave a quality conversation with an action to touch base again – that might be connecting on LinkedIn (make sure you have a killer profile if you are going to do this – learn how, here!), follow up on email, or a phone call. Make the commitment to do it, and then make sure you do!

Finally, go in with a positive attitude and a smile (yep, this sounds obvious, right?!) – both of these go a long way! You will not be the only person there who is nervous, or praying that they aren’t that person standing in the corner hoping someone will come and talk to them. If you do find you are alone for minute or two – don’t panic, and DON’T pull out your phone – relax, smile, and look for the next person to talk to.

Networking is like riding a bike, the more you do it, the more you enjoy it, the better you get at it, and the more you get out of it!

Much Love,

Claire Seeber xxx

Strong advocate for helping you get the f*ck out of your own way!

Author

Claire Seeber is a self-proclaimed travel addict, mini-sausage dog mumma, avid blogger, a lover of a good glass of pinot noir and believes a solid belly laugh should be part of your every day.

She is also a professional coach, speaker and People and Culture consultant. Claire started her business in 2017 whilst working full time as General Manager of HR for a large retail business. What she loves the most about the work she does is being able to work with passionate, motivated and courageous people who genuinely want to reach their full potential and are ready to put the hard yards in to get there.

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