Another month closes and the 4th month of 2021 arrives! Our April theme is “taking action’ – something close to my heart and purpose in my work. It’s all well and good visioning, reflecting and pondering our futures, unless you take action, you won’t ever get to feel the joy in living your vision.

And I think you’re here, reading this, as you are a woman seeking to take action and change her life, her work, her relationships, her wellbeing and her leadership with greater clarity of vision, self-awareness and of course, joy.

INSIGHT

When I worked with a therapist she taught me the competence ladder model. You start at the first rung by taking action and getting on the ladder; you might already be getting the chills down your back, but you’re doing it anyway and breaking through the inertia of inaction.

Next, you climb up to the rungs of increasing competency and in each one your knowledge, skills and fluency shift and reshape into a full enabled, capable practitioner.

You reach the self-belief rung, where your mindset believes and actively acknowledges your developing self’s value and benefits. 

Finally, we climb to the shady heights of confidence, where you look back on our journey and its bumps and joys with a smile. You feel fully empowered and enabled to deploy your learnings and skills and move with greater ease onto the next ladder……

She shared this at a time when I was struggling to feel I was doing ok in my role. I had a bully for a boss, who’d encouraging others to confirm his bias and peers who were also struggling with the weight of the expectations on us.

Suddenly in the blink of an eye, I didn’t need to feel my old confidence and be fully ok with performing at work, I just needed to focus on the next rung of the ladder, no further ahead. To start with a small step and do something that felt safe and would get me taking action.

Ironically, the rungs of the ladder also gave me so much more clarity on my worth and my potential and helped me recognise the costs of staying put. I left and joined a new company in a role where I was promoted within 9 months and got the biggest bonus I’ve ever had.

There can be a wealth of reasons and blockers that stop women from taking action on their needs, dreams and desires – courage could be considered to be the handrail that runs up the ladder. It supports and assists us as we climb.

I believe that it is held in place, firm and true by our vision of the joys to come – where we have climbed our ladders and are thriving. It buzzes with the energy to remind us when we waiver when we doubt ourselves when excuses feel stronger than our dreams.

Looking ahead into your actions, strengthen your inner vision by crafting a clear image or screen of the top of the ladder. Where are you? Who’s with you? What can you hear? Is there an aroma or taste present? What can you see around you? 

Use your journaling to enhance your vision, create a vision board, paint it or write a poem about it and your courage will increase.

COURAGE

LIBERTY

Taking action is a choice, as is not taking action.

Three common filters we use to influence our choice to act or not are deletion, distortion and generalisation, which we use to interpret our values, our beliefs, our experiences and our previous decisions.

Deletion is the choice to exclude certain information – we dismiss, forget or ignore an input in our decision making. It could be about the how of the action or the potential challenge. 

Distortion is when we adapt facts, memories or someone else’s opinion to better suit a choice we can make to act or not act. We may make them more favourable to action or inaction and can be fueled by fear or anxiety.

Finally, generalisations are where we aggregate a few pieces of information to make a wider conclusion or rationale for our action/inaction. (A common one I hear is “I’ve tried it before and it didn’t work” or “I’ve seen other women speak up and it didn’t go well for them”.)

When you feel resistance to action, check in with yourself: is there anything I am deleting, distorting or generalising that is inhibiting my choice?

At a minimum, at least twice a week, I connect with peers for accountability on my actions. I share how much progress I’ve made, where I’ve got stuck, where I let myself get distracted or when I exceeded my own expectations of myself. We celebrate, we share, we hold each others’ visions and ambitions with love and care.

Yes, we laugh and yes, we cry. Our ability to take actions that are meaningful in shaping both ourselves, our lives, our work, our loves and more, is many, many times stronger through our collective might.

It is exactly why I offer both one to one coaching and group coaching – some things are better explored individually, but when it comes to taking action based on your values, vision and dreams, groups win hands down. 

If coming out of lockdown, through the self-awareness and tools we’re sharing in the Unlocking Lockdown workshops** or through my blogs, you intend to embark on a new journey, a new period of personal or professional development or to leverage the “new norm” so it works better for you, do consider finding the tribe, the group, the circle to connect with.

My next group programme begins at the end of April and I’d love you to be a part of it. I’m also enrolling additional one to one coachees. If you’d like a 45 minute exploratory conversation about how I can support you in achieving a life where you can thrive with more joy, clarity and alignment, drop me an email: sarae@saraepratt.com to arrange a call.

 

** Missed the first two workshops? Want to join the next 2? No worries, just RSVP here to get the zoom invite and to access the recordings (I’m posting each one the day after the live event)

CONNECTION

JOY

Daily gratitude practise for me also includes an element of joy spotting. Big actions and small ones, aligned to our values and beliefs, which honour and respect our needs and allow us to step into our emotions and feel into them, need to be recognised.

I think of it as doing a sort of fitness exercise to strengthen my joy muscles. The more I train them, the stronger they are for finding and experiencing joy.

In terms of taking action, I like to plan a celebration or treat for milestones; not necessarily grand but always something that is replenishing and uplifting. I also use my Passion Planner’s weekly and monthly reflections to look back more formally on my actions, whilst daily, I use a notebook to list 3 wins at the end of each workday and my bedtime gratitude practice to ask for “this please and more” for tomorrow each evening.

The extra exercise that builds my joy muscle is spotting for others. Acknowledging and applauding for each other brings another joy and collectively builds our ability to keep taking the next step on the ladder.

How do you spot joy? Could you do it more often?

Young woman climbing upside down on ladder, reaching out towards you

I’m excited to share this month with you as we all step a little nearer to new normal, after the disruption of the pandemic, and be here to support you in maximising the positive, joy affirming riches it can bring you.

We have two more Unlocking Lockdown workshops coming up, both live at 1930 or you can get the recordings:

  • 7th April “Reset and Re-energise: learnings from sports and neuroscience”, co-hosted with Eva Woods, Female Performance and Brain Coach, Connective Performance
  • 14th April “Create your affirming mindset for thriving in the new normal”, co-hosted with Leonore Lord, Coach and Trainer, True Measure.

It’s completely free to join and you’d be very welcome! RSVP to register your interest and confirm your email for GDPR, then I’ll ping you the invite just ahead of the session and the recording the following day.

And of course, my invite to join other women like you and me is always open in the Haven.