Inspiring Advice From Inspirational Women

One of the main features of this blog is the interviews that I love to conduct with other professionals on the topics of careers, wellbeing at work and work-life balance. I've been lucky to interview some wonderful people and always enjoy learning from their trusted advice, motivation and encouragement. Among them have been some truly inspirational women who are carving out unique paths in the working world and who have offered some thoughtful wisdom that has certainly helped me and I hope has also inspired you as readers. So today, as it is International Women's Day, I thought it was about time to reflect back on some of my favourite tips and pull them together here to provide continued creativity, imagination and determination for all of us in our working and indeed our daily lives. Without further ado here are a few of my very favourite interview snippets!

 Image Source: Pexels

Image Source: Pexels

1. ON VALUING YOURSELF AND KNOWING YOUR WORTH

From Business and Personal Coach Kim Morgan at Barefoot Coaching

When it comes to your career what’s the one piece of advice you wish you could go back and give your younger self?

That’s a great question but it’s hard to choose just one piece of advice as I think I made so many ‘mistakes’ along the way! If I had to have just one it would be - value yourself and what you are offering. That means:

  • Deciding on your fee structure and sticking to it
  • Resisting the impulse to over-deliver (giving away your time)
  • Believing that what you are doing is making a difference
  • Not discounting your skills and recognising all of the time, energy, training and investment you have put into being able to do what you do.

Read The Full Interview Here: Discussing The Power Of Positivity And Everyday Coaching With Kim Morgan

 

2. ON FINDING HAPPINESS AT WORK

From Happiness Consultant Samantha Clarke

Are there any key points that people reading this right now can consider to help them find more happiness in their own working environment?

  • Identify what’s authentic - take time to distil what really matters, what you need. Educate yourself or your team on your core values to make sure you are consistently embodying and aligning yourself accordingly. When things feel out of sync pay attention to it, interrogate it and hold yourself accountable to the changes that you need to make to put things right.

  • Build the right support framework around you - once you have clarity on your goals, there is no shame in reaching out and connecting to get help to take you closer to where you want to be. Either by getting a consultant into your business or investing in your creative learning or growth, perhaps on a retreat or workshop. Also look to see how you can help others, it’s a two-way street.

  • Don’t be scared to challenge the status quo - without innovation, your work life will become stagnant and not a true representation of the evolving individual or your company. Embrace change head on and any challenges to seek new opportunities.

  • Know your goals - map out the vision you have for your work/life. Is this path you are on taking you closer to, or away from these goals? How much progress are you making? Focus on noting down your wins and successes towards this goal as well as identifying where you might need to pivot, readdress, get creative and move through the friction and resistance that comes with change and action.

Read The Full Interview Here: Finding Happiness At Work With Samantha Clarke

 

3. ON STAYING MOTIVATED AND FINDING THE RIGHT SUPPORT

From the Founder of The Business Girls Network, Amanda Ayres

What is it that really drives and motivates you on a daily basis and how do you keep this momentum when feeling under pressure?

I'm a firm believer of supporting women and giving women opportunities. I think it's something that is naturally inbuilt in me and I do a lot of charity work too which supports this theory.

When I'm under pressure I go and exercise, just take some time out or reach out to the number of different people that support me. I think it's important to have a support network where you can get some coaching.

Recently I was so overwhelmed with the volume of work I nearly gave up. I think I had ‘start up fog’.  Nothing made sense to me. I took some time out and hey presto everything seemed to fall into place! 

Read The Full Interview Here: Amanda Ayres Discusses The Importance Of Supporting Women In Business

 

4. ON MAKING MISTAKES AND STEPPING OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE

From the Founder of letterbox florist company Beards & Daisies, Jo Lambell

How do you set about conquering your biggest fears and setbacks in your working life?

When I was working in sales there were always scenarios that took me out of my comfort zone, whether it was a project, a meeting or a presentation. It would be easy to play it safe when you have your own business as there's no one to push you or challenge you other than yourself. It’s cheesy but at least once a month I try to force myself to do something which takes me out of my comfort zone or makes my stomach turn with fear. For example going to a networking group where I don’t know anyone. ‘Living in fear of making mistakes, is the only mistake you can make’ is a great motto to live by.

Read The Full Interview Here: From A Passion For Florals To A Blooming Beautiful New Business

 

5. ON WELLNESS, BALANCE AND LOOKING AFTER YOU

From the Co-Founder of Work Well Being, Louise Padmore

If you could give one piece of starting advice to someone trying to find better balance in their lives what would it be?

My single biggest piece of advice to someone trying to find balance within their working life would be to trust your instincts and remain firm and courageous in your need for space and time for wellbeing.

I know that this is often much easier said than done but, for me personally, now that I look back there were lots of little warning signs pointing me to the conclusion that the path I was on wasn’t working for me. I wasn’t eating well, didn’t feel particularly engaged around those I love, was incessantly scrolling through my phone often even without any real sense for what I was searching for, wasn’t sleeping well and just generally had a sense that all was not right. I do think that perhaps if wellbeing during the working day had been made available to me, then things could have been different. 

Read The Full Interview Here: Discussing Work Wellbeing With Louise Padmore

 

I hope that the great advice from these very inspirational women sparks encouragement and a sense of support within you this International Women's Day. If you're after more motivation take a look through the many other What Now interviews to get some more top tips for work and life here: The Interview.

Thanks for reading and see you soon!

Louise

 


Embrace Your Not So Perfect Life!

FORGET FOMO, EMBRACE JOMO AND RESIST THE URGE TO COMPARE

We all know the saying that 'comparison is the thief of joy' and it truly is. The only problem is, in the modern world we live in, we are bombarded with imagery of seemingly perfect lives to compare with on a daily basis. A deluge of reasons to feel rubbish that can make us feel like we aren't doing well enough or living up to the careers and exciting lives displayed by our peers. So I thought I'd share a few thoughts on how to combat the urge to compare. Some tips and places to turn to inspire you out of the negative, and into a more positive frame of mind on the days when everyone else seems to be having more fun or doing better, brighter things than you!

 Image Source: Pexels

Image Source: Pexels

"Everything you need you already have. You are complete right now, you are a whole, total person, not an apprentice person on the way to someplace else." Wayne Dyer

 

5 THOUGHTS ON HOW TO STOP THE COMPARISONS AND FOCUS ON BEING YOURSELF

1. Forget About FOMO And Embrace JOMO Instead:

I think I actually realised quite early on in life that worrying about missing out is a complete and utter bore and a waste of time. I'm really not one for dallying on the fear of missing out, rather I much prefer to embrace JOMO - the JOY of missing out! There's nothing that pleases me more than not worrying about what other people are doing and instead just doing what makes me happy when I want to do it. Whether this be in a work capacity or even if it just means sitting at home on a Friday night with a good movie and a glass of wine, knowing that I didn't have to get all dressed up to go out in the cold just so I don't feel like I'm 'missing out' on something. Absolute bliss!

2. Focus On Finding Real Life Inspiration:

I'm a little bit obsessed with the podcast Ctrl Alt Delete by Emma Gannon, as you may remember if you read my recent post on 5 Podcasts To Inspire, Intrigue And Motivate. In a recent episode, Emma interviewed bestselling author Sophie Kinsella whose newest book My Not So Perfect Life focuses on social media and how it's making many of us feel inadequate and inconsequential in a never-ending feed of unreachable perfection. The podcast episode is well worth a listen as amongst other very interesting topics, Emma and Sophie discuss the role of social media in our lives and the whole issue of unhealthy comparison that it can breed, you can find the episode here.

Sophie Kinsella has also created an Instagram account to accompany her book and I love it. Real life photos of real life situations behind the daily life of the successful author. Take a scroll through photos of her dogs ripping up a tonne of toilet roll, burnt cookies that got well and truly forgotten about in the oven and that moment when you're caught in the rain and your umbrella decides to forsake you and turn inside out in an unforgiving gust of wind! Moments that we all recognise but hardly ever see on our social media feeds. A nice change from the picture perfect, and a reality we could all do with seeking out and sharing more of - myself included.

3. Remember The Great Things You Have And Don't Keep Worrying About What You Don't:

Everything you need you have! There's a reason people keep talking about the benefits of gratitude and it really can help to take a moment each day to think about what you have instead of worrying about what you don't. Find out more about my thoughts on gratitude and how to embrace it in this post: Counting Our Blessings: The Benefits Of Gratitude.

4. Appreciate That Which Makes YOU Unique: 

In a world where so many seem preoccupied with looking, sounding and achieving the same, take some time to understand and embrace the things that make you stand out from the crowd. Stop trying to be the same as everybody else and focus on being and loving the unique wonder that is you. 

5. Take A Break And Walk It Out:

When all else fails, take a break from the things most likely to be making you feel inferior - usually technology in some form or another, and go outside, get some fresh air and walk it out. It will do both your mind and your body the world of good I promise you.

 

Do you often find yourself negatively comparing notes with other people's highlights reel? How do you switch off and focus on what makes you feel good instead? Share your own thoughts and tips with me below.

Louise

 


Seeing The Colour When It All Feels Very Grey

"Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness." Desmond Tutu

The world can certainly seem like a very unfriendly and unhappy place to be. In this post I don't want to dwell on the unsettling events and uncertainty that we all feel especially at the present moment. Neither do I wish to brush all that under the carpet in a frivolous way. However I have been thinking about how to face the world with a little more brightness and colour when it all feels a little too dark. Finding colour and positivity can be done - plus it even seems as if the sunshine is also on my side today as I get my thoughts together and start to write this!

 Image Source: Pexels

Image Source: Pexels

Here are some thoughts for staying on the brighter side of life despite what may be happening around you. I'd love to hear any further tips you have for staying positive and motivated even during difficult times.

 

1. Focus On Positive News Stories.

I'm not saying we should bury our heads in the sand and not take notice of world issues and events, but the truth is that we just weren't designed to be able to cope with all of our own ups and downs in life as well as those from each and every corner of the planet. There comes a time when enough is enough. You have to switch off the negative replays and focus on something more positive. If you need a daily dose of news in your inbox then why not seek out positive news stories to help you see more of the good in the world. Don't dwell too deeply on the sadness that inevitably grabs our attention on a daily basis. Why not try taking a look at these for something a little more constructive: Good News SharedHuffington Post Good NewsPositive News.

2. Reconnect With The Special People In Your Life.

We all get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life and no doubt have many a friend or family member that we haven't caught up with for weeks, months or perhaps even years. Making an effort to reconnect with someone that you care about can be so uplifting and incredibly important. Maybe you've been meaning to head out with one of your dearest friends for a glass of wine and a catch up and you keep putting it off because you're feeling bogged down with other commitments. Get that date in the diary and spend some simple but rewarding time with those that know you best. The feeling of being truly known and connecting with people that mean the world to you can really help put the rest of the world into much better perspective. Don't be tempted to switch off from others and run and hide, make that all important connection.

3. Help Others And Give Them Something Positive To Believe In.

Helping others to learn and grow is not only helpful to that person but has a knock on effect for you too. You may not be able to solve all of the worlds problems but perhaps you can do smaller things either at work, home or within your community to bring a little colour and brightness into someone else's life - give someone else a reason to feel positive in this world. Perhaps you can help out a new colleague at work by offering them your time, training, support or advice without actually having to be asked or prompted. Maybe you can be a positive influence to a family member or friend, or could you do something useful within your community? Perhaps you have some items you no longer need that you can donate, or some time to offer on a voluntary basis. Or perhaps, just simply, you can remember to offer up a smile to a fellow human being as you walk home from work today. Even the smallest of things can have the brightest of impacts.

 

So please enjoy the rest of your Monday folks and don't give up on the brighter side of life. It's still there, you may just have to look a little harder at times in order to find it.

Louise

 


Beauty And Power In The Spoken Word: Chill Pill

This past weekend I went along to an event called The Sunday Papers Live. To be honest I accidentally stumbled across it late on Friday evening, explored the website and line-up, watched a few videos from previous events and feeling intrigued, knew it was something I wanted to book. Luckily I was able to get two tickets last minute and off we strolled on Sunday to see what it was all about. Now this entire event in itself is well worth talking about so you'll probably catch me sharing more snippets over upcoming posts here on the blog. But for today I wanted to share one of my favourite findings from the day - Chill Pill UK.

Chill Pill UK At The Sunday Papers Live

Chill Pill UK are a group of up and coming, as well as long established, spoken word poets. Delivering quick witted, emotive and sharply crafted poetry that tackles some of the freshest issues of the day as well as tapping into topics that we can all relate to and find our feet with.

Quite honestly their work left me awe struck. There is something about the power of words that has always resonated with me and when I witness people bring spoken word together so sharply but in such a relatable way, about topics that I can understand and feel passionate about, well for me that is something really special. So sitting back as the sun drew in on Sunday afternoon, cold beer in hand, watching these guys deliver with such power was a real treat.

From what I gather there are many members of the Chill Pill collective of poets. On Sunday we were offered inspiration from Adam Kammerling, Mr Gee and Ben Norris. They delivered both established and new work of their own as well as creating poetry on the day in the form of letters, based on requests received earlier from members of the audience. Whether that be a poem on the stark reality of the life of an immigrant worker, a poem that truly depicts that feeling of inadequacy we can all relate to when we don't feel we can step out of the door in the morning, put on our mask and pretend to be confident in a world we feel everyone else understands and we don't, or a letter put together for a bride to be to her bridesmaid, describing the power and depth of their friendship in tales of nights on the town and tears around the toilet bowl! Each and every offering gave laughter, emotion, insight and a true grasp on the delicacy and intricacies of the human condition.

I've shared a couple of videos below for anyone intrigued about their work. These aren't from Sunday's event itself but they will give you a taste of what I'm talking about.

Chill Pill UK hold regular nights at the Albany, Arcola and Soho Theatres so keep an eye on their website and Facebook page for more details. Some of their poets will be taking part in Tongue Fu at The Roundhouse in Camden this Friday 3rd June and when I last looked there were still some tickets available. If you want to check them out then get yourself a spot - I'm pretty confident you won't be disappointed.

Oh and if you like the sound of The Sunday Papers Live (and you should!) their next session will be held on Sunday 28th August. Or if you're heading to Wilderness Festival this summer you'll be able to find them there.

This post isn't sponsored in any way. I'm sharing because I'm passionate about new experiences and great events that get you thinking and bring you joy. I highly recommend that you check these guys out if you ever get the chance.

Louise