Often when I talk to ambitious women at networking events, they are curious about coaching. Perhaps their friend has invested in coaching and they’ve seen how much it has helped them in their career and in their home life. I get asked “how does coaching work?” or “when would be the best time to invest in coaching” and always “how would coaching help me?”
You’re probably come to this article because you’re curious about how coaching would help you too.
10 Ways coaching helps ambitious women get the success that they deserve
These are just a few of the ways in which career, confidence or leadership coaching empowers ambitious women to be even more successful, make a bigger impact at work and get the recognition that they deserve.
1 – Get clarity on what is most important to you
In my view, the first step for confidence is to get clarity on what is most important to you. When you are clear on your values, what is important to you about being a mum, what is important about your career, it enables you to have the confidence to make powerful decisions. Get clarity on what is important to you, and then you know when you are making a compromise. Simply having that awareness allows you to compromise without resentment because you understand the reason behind the compromise.
2 – Be free to be you
When you work with a coach, you are free to express your true feelings about life, career, home, family and so much more. You don’t have to watch what you say. It allows you to reclaim your sense of identity because a coach does not judge you for what you say.
Your coach is there to support you, encourage you, and maybe challenge you. It is OK to say “I love my career”. That doesn’t mean that you don’t love your children too.
3 – Acknowledge your strengths and talents
One of the powerful results of working with a coach is that you get to acknowledge and accept your natural talents and strengths. Often women are not good at that. We see strengths and skills in others but not always in ourselves.
My clients are often surprised at the feedback that they get from friends, work colleagues and family. We take our own talents for granted because they are part of us and they feel ‘so easy’. When you have clarity on your strengths and talents, this boosts your confidence and empowers you to apply for positions and promotions that perhaps before you might have pushed aside.
4 – Overcome your limiting beliefs
No matter how confident a woman may appear on the outside, you can be sure that somewhere on the inside there is a limiting belief or two about what she is capable of or what she deserves. Even me. An effective coach will work with you to tease out those limiting beliefs and help you to replace them with positive affirmations. Sometimes those beliefs about ourselves are based on very very old evidence. I hear you asking “why is it so important to overcome my limiting beliefs?” Because they are likely to be holding you back. Making you hesitate about applying for that promotion. Or asking for that pay rise. Or putting yourself forward for that meaty project.
Sometimes exploring your limiting beliefs can be painful and very emotional, as it was for me a few months ago. Read more about my experience here.
5 – Develop the confidence to step up
As you get clarity on what you value, what is important to you, express your inner thoughts and feelings, acknowledge and accept your strengths and talents, and start to move beyond your limiting beliefs, you will expand your comfort zone. As your confidence grows, you will find yourself doing things that a few months earlier, you could only have dreamed of. You WILL develop the confidence to step up.
6 – Understand that good enough really is good enough
Are you a good enough mum? Do you wonder about this?
Often the mums I talk to put themselves (me included) under enormous pressure to be the perfect mother; the perfect leader; the perfect wife; the perfect woman. However honestly and truly, good enough really is good enough. Perfection is impossible to achieve. And anyway whose perfection would it be anyway? Good enough honestly is good enough. This is especially true for our children. They do not notice that we are not perfect. Honestly they don’t. They love us, imperfections and all.
7 – Trust in yourself
As your confidence grows, through coaching or mentoring or other self-development tools, you will learn to trust in yourself. You will learn to trust your instincts, to trust your decisions, and to trust that you can do it. Whatever it is that you want to do.
8 – Identify what success means to you
Very often our idea of success is based on other people’s values or beliefs. Your idea of a successful career will be very different to your friend or your parents or your manager. Success means different things to different people. For some, it might be promotion, industry recognition or being home by 7pm every night for the bed and bath routine.
Identify what you success means to you and you will have more clarity about how you are going to achieve that success.
9 – Ditch the guilt
Oh my goodness … as working mums, there’s one thing we know, and that’s how to feel guilty. Guilty that we’re going to work; guilty that we leave work on time; guilty that we leave our children with a nanny; guilty that we’re not using that law degree that our parents helped to fund; guilty when we get home late …. and doesn’t the list go on.
How to ditch the guilt is a hot topic for many of the mums that I work with. Last year I asked mums in my Facebook group what triggers the working mum’s guilt and nearly every single one confessed to feeling guilty some or even all of the time.
Think about guilt as being a positive – we feel guilty when we are doing something wrong or we think we are doing something wrong. However you can use guilt as a catalyst for change. It is possible to ditch the mummy guilt for good by reflecting on what you feel guilty about, whether there are specific triggers, and what can you do to change it. If the answer is nothing, then ditch the guilt.
10 – Take action
THE most significant way that coaching helps ambitious women is that you will discover what is important to you, what changes you can make and most essentially, you will take action. Sometimes a very small step can make a very big difference.
For example, one mum I worked with felt constantly overwhelmed and stressed out. Rushing around to get everybody out of the door to school on time on a Monday morning was killing her. Her weekends, like many working mums, were taken up with housework and ironing. She felt like she had no time to herself and was constantly rushing around. She felt guilty for shouting at the children in the mornings. She felt guilty for feeling frazzled when she got to work.
She made one very simple change: she moved the ironing night from Sunday to Wednesday. This gave her a couple of hours to rest and relax on a Sunday evening when the children were in bed, with a glass of wine, watching trashy TV. It was her ‘me’ time.
Without the support of a coach, she might never have had that realisation. It sounds so simple but it had such a significant impact.
If you are curious about how coaching would help you, let’s talk. Coaching isn’t just for the big things in life. Get in touch for a complimentary clarity session, and we can explore whether coaching (either one-to-one or as part of a group programme) is the right step for you.