Pinch, punch, first of the month! This is the month of mad hares, the Spring Equinox and potential “unlocking” of the UK lockdown conditions. It is a time where we start to see those early blooms nodding their heads in the breeze, leaves opening up on the branches and sunglasses replace woolly hats when we head outdoors.

It is the season of beginnings, fresh choices and within the One of many Powertypes, it is Warrioress season. So let’s get going, welcome to this month’s theme: Growth

INSIGHT

Personal and professional development as an adult requires us to give up many of the things we were taught at school about learning. Being right isn’t always a good thing. The why is often as important as the how. Comparing our outcomes motivates us to achieve more. Logic and reasoning matter more than creativity and agility.

Stanford University’s Professor Carol Dweck researches the heck out of what does physiological growth look like and how can we be open to more. She describes it as “My work bridges developmental psychology, social psychology, and personality psychology, and examines the self-conceptions (or mindsets) people use to structure the self and guide their behaviour. My research looks at the origins of these mindsets, their role in motivation and self-regulation, and their impact on achievement and interpersonal processes.”

Her concept of the fixed and the growth mindset challenges those school day methods. Parroting and repetition only going so far in increasing our intelligence and skills to approach life’s challenges. Praising our results whilst ignoring our efforts. Hearing the negatives more than the positives. (remember the sh*t sandwich feedback model? Let you only recalling the filling)

Infographic by Nigel Holmes
Infographic of Carol Dweck's Mindset work

Personal and professional growth come to us in mixed-up ways – some through conscious choice, others through surprise and others by pure chance. It can be smooth and it can be messy. 

To achieve a life fueled by joy, we need to find courage and bravery to move through imperfect decisions, actions and attempts to be our best selves. This is a true growth mindset, as set out by Carol Dweck. We must appreciate our own potential and our own fragility – that is to say to recognise we can do hard things when combined with self-compassion and self-care.

The last 12 months has seen us use Superwoman and her disempowering friends, Bitch, Martyr and Victim, and we’ve leveraged our Powertypes too. Many of us been in survival mode to get through some weeks or even days, biding our time and energies. We’ve demonstrated our resilience and care, as well as our adaptability to keep doing new things.

I want to encourage you to use March to revisit your intentions from a year ago – in what aspects did you want to grow as a person, as a leader or as a partner or parent? Reimagine how you anticipated this stronger, more aligned you feeling, doing and being as 2020 drew to a close. Now is the time to reconnect with that vision and start to rekindle, refine and redevelop that vision for positive, sustainable growth. 

Let’s be brave together and grow into our YES for joy.

COURAGE

LIBERTY

Growth requires liberty in order to make our choices. I believe we need to make 3 sets of decisions – what is no longer, what is in between and what will be in the future. 

The latter is the vision of your feeling, doing and being from above – what will be. The other two can also fall into that messy camp and can be accompanied by resistance, both our own and that of those around us. Just who are you going to become? 

The fact that you are here with me, reading this, tells me she’s a phenomenal woman. One who will cherish those at her Hearth and forge a better future for those in her Realm, both whilst holding to her values in life and work. One who will show herself the respect and honour she merits. One who will lift other women around her to their best lives. One who will find joy in the small coincidences, the giant leaps she makes and in the triumphs of others.

Letting go of what is no longer serving you can be cathartic, upsetting and a joyful release. It can also be need pacing with small accumulating steps towards the in between.

You might consider using your self-connection habits to linger on the choices you wish to make as your commitment to your personal and professional growth, and your gratitude practices to recognise your progress and actions. 

Guided conversation and counsel can also accelerate and clarify how you wish to use your liberty – the autonomy to grow and be who you desire to be. My next coaching programme begins in April. If you’d like to know more, drop me a line – sarae@saraepratt.com

Woman looking at artist's easel pondering her art

Within all the successful talent, leadership or cultural change programmes, I’ve worked on, there has been a strong element of connection through small groups or peer buddies. It is through supported practice that we move from the in between to the what will be of our courageous decisions.

I’ve mentioned my mastermind group before. I connect with them each week for inspiration, support, encouragement and to embolden by actions in achieving my vision of “women being empowered by joy – without guilt, shame or judgement – to lead, inspire and create positive change in their world”. Goodness knows we need women leaders to collaborate and move things forward for all as we come out of the pandemic!

Over the next two months, I’m going to be offering you greater connection with women in my network to help you step into supporting growth. So keep your eyes peeled for announcements here or in the Haven.  

CONNECTION

JOY

If you’ve ever done one of the positive psychology based questionnaires, you may have noticed that joy can be found in many ways. The beauty of bird song on a spring day. The aroma of a meal first had on a special occasion or holiday. The cheeky look on a loved one’s face that tells you exactly what’s on their mind. The connection with Source that opens our hearts to new wisdom. 

There is joy in the twists in our growth’s messiness and in its ups and downs. In knowing ourselves better and building the confidence to keep growing. Often we link our success to the final outcome or milestone along the way and miss out on the joy spotting of each a-has and learning, each moment embracing our developing self and acknowledgement of our own power to succeed.

How do you recognise your growth with joy in each day and week? For me, joy is best when shared and the Haven is there to celebrate with you.

I mentioned this is the season of Warrioress with her joyful get up and go, her desire for nurturing ideas and starting to explore and action them. I’m curious what is it this month that you want to delve into to aid your personal and professional growth? 

And don’t forget my invite to join me and my fabulous peers in our series of mini workshops – more info in the Haven. Not yet joined us, here’s the link.