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“Tread softly”…a poem to the inner critic of an entrepreneur

Saturday 28th February, 2015

Often the only person you really need permission from is yourself, so that you stop staying stuck worrying about failure and instead focus on innovating solutions and ways forward.

So, for the days when you need to make peace with your inner critic, I think WB Yeats might do the job…

“Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.”

“I’ll believe it for you…”

Friday 27th February, 2015

Some days when you struggle to believe in yourself and your solution, take comfort in the fact that there are people who are believing it for you.

Use that knowledge as your way back to trusting your decisions.

Give yourself permission to adapt, change, update, start again.

The moment of failure is the moment of release into new answers and paths forward.

So, most of all, be YOU.

Without restraint, pour your unique perspective into your solution.

Be present to the traverse as a creative leader

Wednesday 25th February, 2015

On a mountain, you have ‘traverses’ that cut across the sides of the hill, allowing you to get to somewhere and take action.

In theory, they are easy paths that you’re not supposed to be afraid of. Yet, often you are: queasy, uneasy.

Because, traverses often take on a roller-coaster-esque quality enhanced by a steep drop on one side and hidden rocks in places that can trip you up…plus all of those people rushing, pushing, barging past you to get to ‘somewhere’ first making you agitated.

Traverses are the places where you get tripped up when you’re not looking. It hurts the most when you do, because it isn’t supposed to.

So, of all the places where you need to trust your most basic skills to get you out of trouble, it is on a traverse.

In the very place where it is supposed to be simplest, you need to have your wits about you and adapt, create and innovate solutions in the moment.

It is precisely the moment where you need to use your courage to choose your own path, go at your own pace and not follow the crowd.

A traverse becomes a gift when you become present to your incredible resilience and creativity as you travel it:

Off the mountain, everyday life is full of traverses.

What were yours today? What if tomorrow you slowed down and noticed what you were doing in each one?

Choose to become present. Your journey is the destination.

Leading with creativity versus chaos

Tuesday 24th February, 2015

Recently, one of my clients, a highly accomplished woman in business feeling stuck and looking to find direction forward, said to me that she didn’t think that she was a creative person when it came to coming up with new ways of finding answers in her work.

This seemed really at odds with who she is and what she does. So I asked her to define what she meant by ‘creative’ to work around this obstacle.

She said that in her mind, creativity meant losing control, everything coming apart at the seams and turning into chaos. She couldn’t afford for there to be chaos – financially, professionally or personally – so she closed down situations where in her mind this might happen.

By using her definition, the outcome was she was closing down her opportunities to unleash her creativity in finding answers and creating solutions.

As a consequence she was feeling unfulfilled, stuck and not making any real impact. Not only that, but she was also imposing that on her colleagues and the community that she served.

We worked on redefining creativity, so that she saw it as a space in which to share her unique perspective. Where it was the very definition of learning to build up skills and not fear failure. Where the alchemy of finding answers came from trusting her skills so that she let go of control and in doing so, found it.

She went away, promising to practice her creative leadership. The next time I saw her, she was beaming and told me that using our work together, she had successfully led her people through the most exciting and transformational meeting which left them all buzzing with inspiration for days afterwards.

Creativity by its very essence is not about you, or anyone else, knowing all of the answers. It is about learning to trust yourself so that you know that you will find them, adapting to challenges, allowing for the cycle of release and innovation.

That is when you hold the space to innovate and allow others to do the same. That is how you make your impact.

How will you practice your creative leadership this week?

 

 

Abysses and courage!

Saturday 21st February, 2015

Your resilience is your capacity to adapt in the face of challenges and come back from them.

As a woman in business who cares about making a difference, doing what you love to do, in ways that are meaningful to you, you have fallen into many abysses.

Everyone falls in, but finding the courage to climb is the part that counts.

The strength of your resilience doesn’t come from hardness or harshness. It comes from taking the journey into yourself and learning self-compassion.

When you act from this place, you stop fearing failure and focus instead on finding answers and creating solutions.

You open the way to move forward. You innovate.

Dare to keep your ideas flowing

Thursday 19th February, 2015

Having ideas, finding answers and creating solutions is an infinite pot.

There are times when we stop believing that. So, we become reluctant to to share our ideas or act on them until they are perfectly crafted.

We think that if they don’t work then there is nothing else, so sometimes we don’t even get started.

But if you get trapped in that myth, then you close down your solution finding incredible-ness and your impact making awesome-ness. You create your own impasse.

When you are a woman in business that is definitely not where you want to end up. There is no saving the world without movement.

The reality is that if you acknowledge endings and celebrate failures, they become the triggers for every innovation and step forward you take.

There is no finite. When you understand that you will see that the world keeps turning, ideas keep flowing and you keep finding answers.

So, never be afraid to take action because there is always more.

Be a catalyst for your own impact

Wednesday 18th February, 2015

Often when you are a catalyst for everyone else’s creativity and problem-solving, you forget to act as a catalyst for your own.

You sit on your ideas, dismissing them, teasing them towards perfection and then abandoning them as not enough.

But, you know that what you do works, because your unique perspective and contribution is helping to turn ideas into reality for other people.

Dare to imagine right now what will happen when you pour that energy into your own ideas, products or business. To make something real for you.

Hold the space for yourself today to make your impact.

 

Why being self-compassionate is important for women in business

Tuesday 17th February, 2015

What does being self-compassionate mean to you as a woman in business?

Why is it important?

For me, it means coming back to your truest self: a legitimate journey inwards to set down the baggage and narrative that is disempowering you, keeping you stuck and stopping you from making massive impact.

It is a falling into yourself, to find again your incredible capacity, to value your unique perspective, ideas and solutions and to take action to share them with the world.

Heart-centred women in business who care about making a difference are their own harshest critics. When you are waging war on yourself, you limit your ability to find answers and solutions. You create a cycle of guilt and frustration. You sabotage yourself from doing the very thing that fulfils you and makes you happy.

Changing that dynamic comes by breaking this cycle.

Learning self-compassion is the answer because is the starting point of your creative leadership, whatever your role and whatever your business. It is the foundation stone of moving from impasse to impact.

So, start opening up to self-compassion today by considering what it means to you. Go to my Twitter handle @elainefrancetcb and let me know what you think.

Good Stuff

The Guardian: Round Table 7 April 2010

 I sat as a panel member at a round table event hosted by The Guardian in April 2010. Its focus  was on the need for UK charities to develop their commercial skills so that they operated more effectively as social businesses. As a consequence they would create a better social return on investment. Click here to read more.

contact us on: elaine@balanceverbier.com