if you were to tell a six year old what you do. What would you say? I help women in particular work out what careers they want and the kinds of work that they want to do that lights them up and makes them feel happy, fulfilled, and makes them feel happy, fulfilled, and like they’re having an impact. It’s crazy that we need to be told that we actually can enjoy what we do every day for our entire life. Like, that’s my sugar nuts to me. Welcome, everyone to another episode of Secrets in the City, where we look at stories of our past and turn them into lessons that help us build confidence and strategies to help us have a better future. My name is Dr. Catherine Iscoe. Although everyone just calls me Dr Kath. and once again, I’m I’m your proud host for this episode. And what an episode it will be. We have Claire Seeber. She is an incredible woman because she also helps women. She is a career and leadership coach that helps women get in the driver’s seat when it comes to their career. But this is what I love the most. She helps them actually enjoy their success. Go figure. She’s worked for some incredible companies like Colgate, NBC-Universal, and I believe Shell. But you know what? Why am I talking? We’re going to let Claire do all the talking, right? Welcome, Claire. It’s so good to have you here. Thank you for having me. This is. Can I just say, this is such a fabulous set up? It is so fancy sitting in a proper podcast, set up much better than I want at home, where I’ve just got, like, my screens. Poddy Mic And we hope for the best. This is very professional. And it’s funny because this is what we’re going to be talking about perceived success. I think, Oh my God, this is like echoey. And like, if you look at the like, I have. Weights holding. On to, like the microphones and there’s like, lights everywhere. And I think I’m sure we’re going to get into that today. But before we get into all that, I think the easiest way I always like to ask people if you were to tell a six year old what you do. What would you say? Yeah, I would say to somebody, you know, a six year old that asked me what I do is I help women in particular work out what careers they want and the kinds of work that they want to do that lights them up and makes them feel happy, fulfilled, and like they’re having an impact. It’s crazy. And I mean this in the kindest way. It’s crazy that we need someone like you. And I mean this. Okay, so you get what I’m saying here. It’s crazy that we need to be told that we actually can enjoy what we do every day for our entire life. Like, that’s my sugar nuts to me. I think it’s probably the biggest reason why I got into this space, because I realized even on my own career pathway, I got to that point where I did all of the right, right in inverted commas, all of the right things. I got the good grades at school and then I went and I studied at uni the things that I apparently was good at. Then I got a job based on what I studied at uni and then got ten, 15 years down that pathway and was like, I don’t really know if this is what I really want to do. And I think that’s true for a lot of people because we end up making decisions based on what are we, what are we good at and what can we make money from, not what do we really enjoy and what do we care about in the world? And that’s usually the missing sweet spot is the combination of all four of those things, which is commonly known as Ikigai, a purpose which I’m sure you’ve heard before. But the most of the women that I work with, they’ll come saying, I feel stuck, I feel lost, I feel unfulfilled. I don’t feel seen, heard, valued, noticed, whatever it might be worth. And there often might be some really practical reasons why. And so we have some really tangible work that we can do in that space. But when I ask the question of, well, what are you passionate about, what do you like doing? That is usually when you get the greatest gap of silence. It’s crazy. First, can you explain to the audience what Ikigai is? I love the concept, but I don’t think a lot of people know what it is. Yeah, of course. So Ikigai is a Japanese term, which essentially stands for purpose, and so it came about by the people base on an island in Okinawa off the coast of Japan, which is known for having the greatest or one of the greatest concentrations of centenarians on the planet. And they talk about this idea that to live a long life, it is the combination of all of those four factors. Yet I think in society we tend to just focus on those two. What am I good at and what can I therefore make money? How do I make money from what I’m good at? And we miss those other two and then we we get this sort of sunk cost biospace right where I’m like, I’m in so deep now, I can’t possibly get out of it. And so then we stay stuck and unfulfilled and miserable. I’m sure everyone in the audience is thinking 99.9%, I would say, of the audience, because it’s including me as well. You know, you have those days where you think, am I? Is this as good as it gets or is there more? And I think that’s that’s the question that you’re you’re getting people to ask. And it’s hard. It must be so hard because would you not say that some people are a bit embarrassed or ashamed that they got so far in life and they’re like, why did I waste all that time? Yeah, I definitely think that that is true. And I also think to cut the crap as well. I also think we have, you know, when we do talk about purpose there then becomes a felt pressure that I have to find my purpose and therefore that purpose has to be the connection of all of those points that I was saying before. And so I think what then happens is we paralyze ourselves too, because we go, Well, I’m not happy. Like I’m not maybe I’m not even unhappy, but I’m not I’m not jumping out of my skin every day to do what I do. But I also have no idea what the intersection of all of those points looks like that I can make. I, you know, a genuine living out of that. I need to sustain the life I want to live. Even more pressure if you’ve got children and people that are relying on you. And so then I think we paralyze ourselves because we’re like, well, I don’t even know where to go now. And so what I would say is that purpose doesn’t always have to mean it’s your full time job. That is the thing that brings you to life. I work with many, many people that have found work and hobbies and things that light them up, which has been enabled them to derive more meaning from their day job because they have they see it for what it is now. So I do like to say that because I do think there’s a lot of pressure also on people to be like you have to find your ultimate full time job purpose to be happy. And I just don’t think that that’s true. I’m not sure if you saw I think it was two weeks ago or so and I was a bit reluctant to post, but I was feeling it. So I always say, you know, if I’m feeling it, likely someone else is. And I put this post. “You do not need to have a purpose.” but I preface it by saying, I’m not saying that purpose is an important and it’s not a guiding light, but there’s a step before that that you don’t have to trip on. And it’s just asking the question, What do you believe in? What you know, what makes you happy is so he makes me happy walking my dogs make me happy. And I think while we’re doing those things, we start to let our mind wander because we’re in the flow state. And that’s when you had these light bulb realization spot on And I think you’re you’re on the money because it’s about asking the bold questions. But for so many of us, we don’t have the bandwidth or the capacity or the just the brain space to feel like we can ask those questions. And so often we don’t until one day we decide we need to and we decide to invest in ourselves or whatever it might be, and find that container of space to start asking those questions. Yeah. And speaking, which I will absolutely put all the, all your links in the Instagrams, the Facebook’s and the websites and so forth. So if people obviously want to reach out to you for little coaching or so forth. So speaking about questions. So then this is like. When the gray cloud comes down and obviously this is about Secrets In the City. And, you know, the premise of this show is I think we all have something that we just don’t feel absolutely wonderful about that’s happened in our past. Sometimes they’re very serious, sometimes not. But I always think that talking about them creates this positive, positive ripple effect. So without further ado, what what secret do you choose out of the thousands? I found this incredibly difficult, but in a really good way. And when I was looking through the examples that you provided, I you know, there was some that, you know, you can scheme through pretty quickly. Anything. No, not may not may not make. But there were so many there was so many that resonated with me that I was like, Oh, which one do I pick that that feels the most right for me in terms of where I’m at now and probably the one that I, you know, perhaps can share the most about. So it was quite a it was a great exercise actually to read through it. So what I’m going with is probably a hybrid of maybe like three. But I think the secret But I think the secret of the way I would phrase it anyway, the secret is that I am a people pleaser who has many moments of feeling not good enough. Yeah, it’s. It’s a deep. One. It’s a deep one is when you say that, it makes me a bit emotional because I experience that as well. You know, we, we go through life and like, if you don’t like me, how can I like myself? You know, that’s that’s a dialog that I have in my head. So why did you pick this? Like what? Why is that? That out of the thousands, that one jumped out Right now, at this point in time. I picked it because I think it’s probably the one that has had the biggest impact on my life from a young age all the way through to now and will probably continue to have an impact on me. But I also pick it because I know by the sheer number of women that I meet and speak to, that I’m not alone. And so I think the more we can talk about it and the more strategies that we can give ourselves to help manage it and and reframe some of the thoughts, then the better position that we’re in. Because I live in a world now where, you know, with this particular secret, where it isn’t about pretending like it doesn’t exist. And I do not subscribe to some of the content out there that says, you know, here’s three steps and you’ll banish your imposter or whatever it will be, because I just don’t I don’t believe that is true. And I actually think that there can be some good that comes from the, you know, people pleasing tendencies. There is good that can come from self doubt when it’s managed the right way. And I always say that every strength has a shadow. The gold is working out. When is it working for you and when is it working against you? And so I feel that having this kind of conversation hopefully will resonate might be a great cathartic experience for me. That’s why there’s tissues. Yes, there’s this issue, but it hopefully will resonate with a few people listening as well. When’s the last time that, you know, that shadow took over? You? Like was there a certain situation that came up? Someone said something or someone didn’t say something. They didn’t, you know, answer an email or, you know, you know, when you message one and then it looks like they’re messaging back and there’s a three dots and then they stop. Yes. Oh, my God. That’s like, that is my personal hell. Because my partner always laughs at me. He’s like, Why do you hang on to this stuff? And whether I’m 16 or I’m 86, it’s going to be the same thing. I, I still want people just like me. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And I use that exact example, that dot, dot, dot or, you know, you’re in a group chat with a few people on Messenger or whatever it might be in the conversations, like, go, go, go, go, go. And then you might say something, kind of just start talking. And you’re like, Oh, what did I say? What did I do if I upset someone? And sometimes if I’m really not, you know, I haven’t managed it well, I might even message separately. One of my friends just with some random shit, Right. Like it won’t be anything of of relevance. It might just be a question about, I don’t know, an activity on the weekend or something, because I’m like, if they’re mad at me, they also won’t reply to this or that, you know, and that’ll give me the information. But I’ve gotten a lot better and I and I use this exact example even in workshops that I round with people too. I’ve gotten a lot better at being able to say, What evidence do you have that this is true? What evidence do you have that this is true? And and what else could actually you. But to answer your question around, when was the last time that it impacted me? I mean, to be totally honest, today, I’m really yeah, absolutely. I’ve been navigating a an interesting situation the last week or two just with some work that I’m doing and I you know, I similar to you, I get up and I speak in front of hundreds of people. I run workshops all the time for clients all over the world. And I’m very aware and totally able to rationalize that I won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. And that’s okay. But for some reason, this particular example that has happened lately I’ve really been struggling with and it’s brought out or brought to the surface insecurities that I, I again, as I said before, hadn’t, hadn’t, hadn’t squashed because I don’t believe you ever do, but you manage them better yet something about this has triggered them and I have found it. It’s taken a lot of my energy lately. It’s taken a lot of my kind of negative. I’ve been caught up in the negative space. I’m I’ve found myself then second guessing other work that I do in this particular space or with this these particular people work that has had so much positive feedback before has proven results. Yet for some reason I’ve allowed myself to just get thrown off kilter a little bit by someone. And I thought, That’s really interesting. So it’s a specific person. Is a specific person as part of a greater group. Okay. All right. Yeah. And is there something about them or some way that they’ve communicated or said a particular word or did they say it in a particular tone without inflections or. I think that it was probably all of the above, to be honest. I think it was a situation that was in front of like a group of people. They were obviously feeling perhaps frustrated or anxious themselves. I’m not sure. I’ll never know. And just the tone of which they spoke was very abrasive, quite direct, a little bit undermining, asking, almost felt a little bit trying to find holes in in my work. Well yeah. Which was hasn’t actually hasn’t happened to me before while certainly not like in front of your face. Yes. And yeah it was just it was just quite interesting and it threw me off a little bit. And then since then I’ve had some, some other conversations around it. But I think I’ve we’ve been able to kind of rationalize myself through that particular example now. Okay. Perhaps walk us through how how you’ve rationalized it, because I think that would be helpful. I just try to keep asking the question around. Well, you know, like I try to deal in data in terms of think of the volume of people that you work with. Think of the volume of people you’ve gotten up in front of or had conversations with, and the positive impact that you’ve been able to have proven through feedback, surveys, testimonials, whatever it might be. Now think about the percentage that this person is overall, which is about 0.001. And am I going to let 0.01% of something derail the whole thing? So and that’s a lot of the work that I often say when I work with people as well, like let’s deal in facts, let’s deal in evidence, let’s look at what evidence do you have to prove to yourself that you are capable, that you are worthy, that you do have a positive impact with the work that you do? And how many examples can you come up with there? Are we really going to let this one exam where it hasn’t happened to rail all of that? So that’s will be the first thing. And then the second thing that I always have been trying to do is say, okay, well, what can what can I actually learn from it? What what could a take away from this for me that I could do differently in the event that it happened again? And so that has been led to making a few changes in the way I have run things, or at least trialing and testing them just to see what works and what doesn’t, because you never know. Maybe people have different learning styles, people have different ways. They like to engage. People have different expectations. And so it’s that balancing act of staying true to you and your brand and what you stand for whilst also then trying to be flexible, I think to cater to others. But it really is when we talk about being a people pleaser, it’s a slippery slope, isn’t it, between being you and staying true to you and sliding too far down the slide, you become what you think others need, which is a battle you never win. You won’t. And there’s a saying, I’m not who I think I am. I am not who you think I am. I am what I think You think that I am. Meaning basically, no one really knows. Here. Who I am because I’m just predicting it based on your reactions. But you probably are not thinking of me in the first place anyways. Like and I always say that the only opinion that we really should care about is ourselves. Yeah. Yeah. We’re in this goal, you know, this this fish tank and we’re all just goldfish looking at each other, all, you know. What do you do? What are you doing today? You know, it’s. All Good morning. Good morning. Absolutely. It’s so hard not to compare. It’s so hard. And I and we you know, and I do think women in particular was having this exact conversation this morning with a client. We have such a tendency to go outwards first and then inwards. And I think for a lot of us and I know that I am absolutely this person, we were just not used to asking ourselves, what do I want? What do I care about what’s important to me? And that can be from such a small level of even like, what do I want to order at this restaurant or what do I want for dinner? Or what movie do I want to watch on Netflix all the way through to What do I want from my relationships? What do I want from my friendships? What do I deserve from those? And so I do think that it is a habit that is ingrained, certainly for me has been ingrained for such a long time that I’ve really had to work quite hard to get back to the point of asking What do I want? And I found even sometimes I’ve had well-meaning friends that will say things to me like, I know you, I know what you like. And the more work I’ve done on myself and the kind of more excavating I’ve done that’s come up for me to because I’ve lost count of the number of times that people have said that to me over my life. And they’re probably not wrong, because I think particularly growing up and in my, you know, earlier, like adult years, I was pretty easily pleased. So it was easy for me to say, Oh, yeah, whatever you want to do, I mean, whatever. And I think that’s such a people pleasing behavior. And was that just a natural tendency or was it modeled off of someone, as in, did you see someone else do it? And then you thought, this is how I’m going to act? Or how did that come about? I think it was definitely something that I saw modeled a lot growing up. I also think and I think this is I probably need to do more therapy in this space, but I am a twin. So I, you know, have shared my whole life. Like, I literally I shared a womb. Yes. So I do think that has played some part in in me always thinking about others first because I don’t know a world where I’ve not had to consider another human right. And so I do think that there’s elements of that that you just learn and then you see it modeled and then you do it yourself, and then it just becomes such a way of living that you don’t know what you don’t know until you start having those experiences where you think, Hang on, I just said yes to something when I wanted to say no, or I just took on work when I didn’t have capacity to or, you know, I just allowed somebody to speak to me in a way that wasn’t okay. And I didn’t say anything about it because I didn’t want to upset them. And you then start becoming aware of all of these times where your desire to please others or your because you want them to like you or you don’t want to rock the boat or whatever it might be, then really starts having a detrimental impact on you and and where you fit into the world and the space that you allow yourself to take up. You suppress your discomfort for the comfort of others. Yeah. Which, you know, if you look that up in the dictionary, you will see my face. But I’m there with it. Yeah, we’ll be twinsies in that way. So now what’s your brother like Yeah. My twin brother Adam, he’s amazing. And I actually he and I just recently did a podcast episode together too, which was so fun. He’s awesome. We’re very different people in terms of sort of strengths and skills and things like that. He looks at the work that I do and he’s like, Oh my God, I could never tell you that. I look at the things that light him up. You know, he’s an engineer, so he’s very, you know, data driven, very scientific, very, you know, loves to talk about like physics and the theory of physics and all these things. Whereas I’m like, oh, lordy, wow. Is that the time? Yeah, yeah, yeah. But in terms of who we are and how we get along. Yeah, very similar and see what we came from. Does he notice your people pleasing tendencies? Um, well, I don’t know. Probably the really, really does. The reason why I ask is if you were saying like, you know, you both share the room together and you’re saying that you know, similar but opposite in some ways. Is he sort of the opposite if you, if you were trying to please him, is he the opposite? Is he the one that always gets his own way? I doubt that’s true. But in, you know, to the full extent. But I think there are probably elements in him that are probably people plays a to which, you know again probably just goes to the way you were raised and and things that you learned along the way. So I think there’s he sees it in me he probably also sees it in himself too. Yeah. Do you speak about this in your workshop, the effect of the, your nuclear family on your mindset and and behavior and decisions and so forth, or is that sort of out of the context, The reason why Asad is, you know, nowadays the line between work and home is there is no line. It’s sort of like this, the sandy beach that we just cross every day. And I think more and more companies are recognizing you have the same brain at work thing you do at home. And therefore this expansion of introspection on the self and are companies allowing that nowadays like this whole more of a deep. Varied very I would say varied. I do share some of my stories, certainly because I think, you know, as you well know, storytelling is is a way more engaging way to learn than just rattling off, you know, PowerPoint data points. But it definitely depends on the audience and it definitely depends, I think, on the on the organization for sure. But I think you’re right. But they are they are starting to understand more. We don’t just take our skin off when we walk through the door
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00 in the morning, then put it back on when we leave. We are who we are. And the more we can embrace that and encourage people to be that, the better for the bottom line of organizations. Absolutely. That’s another topic for another day. Yeah, well, I was I was going to ask, do you prefer to work with organization that are a bit more open minded in regards to that? Are they easier to work with? Yes. Yeah, I bet you easier to work with. And organizations that genuinely want to drive change as well as opposed to you know, just taking the box. But I think that’s true of every level, whether you’re an individual or an organization, Do you really want to grow and learn and drive change in yourself or your organization or your team? Or are you just just showing up, taking your work book and going home? Yeah. If someone’s listening and they work for a company that perhaps is a bit more backwards thinking and they’re more forward thinking in this regard. What can they do. To talk to their manager, GM, CEO, whatever, to try to change your mind and say like, Look, the data is here that shows that workplaces that do support the in-depth work of their employees and teams are more productive, are more, you know, proficient, are, you know, innovate more and so forth. How can they make that case? Yeah, I mean, I think it’s like anything is in it. You try to find the influencers inside the organization, get them on board, develop a business. And when I say business case, I don’t just mean a glossy slide deck, but I mean a a business case around, you know, what’s in it for the organization and what do they need to hear to get on the bus. But this and so that probably would be a mixture of case studies and data and maybe even frontline people from inside that organization who could say, you know, this is what I’m saying, this is how I’m feeling. Here’s the impact of what I think we could achieve inside the organization if we did X, Y, and Z and and have a crack that way. I think I mean, I know if I was the CEO of an organization, I had people come to me with that. I would want to understand more. And yeah, perhaps where there are organizations that don’t for those individuals, I think that’s been where you have to ask the tougher question around Will, what is my, what are my values and what is my career criteria? What am I prepared to tolerate and what am I not listening to? This I believe it was the CFO talk or I can’t remember the details, but the point being is one of the audience members was talking about the fact that he was in a group and there was not a lot of communication, not a lot of cohesiveness. It was a lot of like whispers and don’t talk about personal life and so forth. And as a speaker, the CFO like, what should I do? You know, we want to bring these these people in to help us, help us see the forest for the trees. And so she gave him, he, the CFO, gave him some tips and this and that. And he was like, well, I tried that, I tried that, I tried that. And she finally said, Well, you have two feet walk. And I thought, that’s really interesting if you can. Of course that’s wonderful. But if you have mouths to feed and you know a mortgage to pay or your sick family member, then you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. And it’s so hard. And I really feel for those people because these are people that actually know the benefit of working on themselves. But they’re stuck in this prison. Yeah, that they have to go 9 to 5 likely every day. It’s so hard. It’s so hard, I guess. I guess I was saying that sort of rhetorically to the people out there. I see you. I understand you keep going. Just look for that light and perhaps one day you’ll have that freedom to make that step. But it’s got to be hard. You must hear some stories in the organizations that do allow you to explore. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, look, full disclosure, like I hear I still hear these kinds of conversations, even inside organizations that are open to driving the change because it does take time. Yeah. And it is a journey that you have to continue pushing on. It doesn’t just because an organization decides we want to focus on this now, we’re going to bring it into the law. It doesn’t mean the problem is solved. Right. There is there is a real lag effect between where the decision is made to where it actually starts to permeate through an organization. And the people on the front line feel it, believe it can see it, and then start to trust it. So absolute like I hear stories from organizations who are who I really do believe want to drive the change. But the people on the frontline are not feeling that change. It takes time. Do you think some organizations do it just a tick a box? Absolutely. Yeah. Absolutely. What do you think? I do think the people I guess what I’m asking is, do they not know that people know that they’re just taking a box? I don’t I don’t know the answer to that question. I’ve had the rose colored glasses personally. They would like to think that if you if you thought you had people in your organization who knew or believed that you were just taking a box, that if it was me, I would want to do everything in my power to prove them. Otherwise. But yeah, I absolutely believe there are organizations that are just ticking the box and it all it starts at the top. It’s usually not the people at the middle management layers of the organization that are just ticking a box. They are busting their asses doing everything they can to try to drive change. But you know, what’s that saying? The fish rots from the head, never heard of that one The fish rots from the head. Like if we can’t get true buying in at the top, then it is lip service, isn’t it? Yeah, but. But what I would say to that too is that that doesn’t mean we stop trying and that doesn’t mean that we cannot still have a positive impact in the mean time, even whilst we get the top layer fully invested. Uh. Sometimes I say, you know, there’s top down, there’s bottom up. But then what we can also say is there’s also inside out change. Yeah. And that’s, you know, obviously that’s what I’m passionate. You’re passionate now, why do you like do you have a background in this work? Like, why you not. You must have a bit of a pass. I think in corporate life. I think you told me a story about brushing the teeth, being on a phone and doing your hair at the same time, which I don’t know because I don’t know if you have three arms, but tell me about that. I can brush my teeth with my foot. That was a real talent of mine. No, not really. Stay tuned for that episode. What can you imagine, though? What a skill to have. I definitely have a past corporate life for sure I have. My background traditionally is communications. I’ve worked in resources, so mining, oil and gas. I’ve done fly in, fly out, done the steel capped boots and worked up in the Pilbara. I have worked over eastern Melbourne for quite a number of years. I was the head of h.R. For a very large retailer over there with about 1500 people, 300 plus stores, a warehouse designers, product developers, salespeople, you know it. That is probably where I had my greatest learnings of my life, I think, and certainly my largest to going back to my secret, certainly my largest people pleasing imposter. You do not deserve to be here moments, but I also believe that that those 15 years of work and those 15 plus years of experiences in that space before I then started my own company were pivotal to where I’m at now because they taught me about what I believe, but they also taught me that you can, whether you work in mining or oil and gas or tech or medicine or retail or anything in the industry might be different. The products and services that we sell might be different, but human beings at their core are the same. They want to feel heard, seen and valued. And so I always love when people try to pull this on, you know, you know, I haven’t been in our industry before, so you don’t really know. You can learn that stuff. Yeah, you can learn it. But do you know people and are you invested in understand your people? Because that’s not a skill. That is a choice that you have to make. I get on my soapbox can you know, I love. A total microsoft. And I mean, you’re preaching to the choir right here. I mean, I wish people just for one day, you know, the managers, the CEOs, the GMD could just somehow like those movies where you switch bodies, you know, for a second that they hear you. They the one person going to be the CEO and vice versa just to walk a mile or a day in someone else’s shoes. Imagine the effect on organizations when you actually feel in your gut, in your heart, what it’s like to not be seen, not be heard, even just for a second. Imagine the change that that would make. Yeah, absolutely. And I think, you know, never forget where you came from. I think there’s a lot of, you know, again, and we’re talking at the very senior levels, but there are certainly many examples of role models that that live by that. But I do think there can be a tendency to for a number of reasons. Right. Your priorities change you, your busy. You are drawn into different things. But I really I it was actually it was actually a participant in one of the workshops that I ran a few weeks ago who said two things and she said never forget where you have come from. And the second thing that she said was we all played the same blood. And that is a is simple statements. But I just think they capture the essence of everything, right? Like our titles might change our salaries, our paychecks might change. My office where I sit might change my team, might change, my organization might change. But humans are humans. At the end of the day, if we choose to see them all that way. But when our own world view changes and usually it’s not conscious body, but we know that it does. Yep, that is when we need to probably step back and just take some time to reflect again on, you know, where am I and and am I living into the values that I claim to stand for. That’s a thing. Actions speak louder than words. And I think just like you can get power, you can lose power. Yeah. And I think power magnifies character, which can be a good thing. You know, when we see the Michelle Obama’s of the world, Malcolm X and so forth and so on, the list is long. But we also see the other side of that that as well. And I was listening to I can’t remember who it was, but the the summary. Was this. Amazing American army like Colonel or if you will, was asked to speak at this conference and limo amazing hotels and, you know, had people serving him and. Oh, did you want espresso? Do you want a long cap, this and that? Like basically just people drooling over him came back the next year. He was no longer serving for for the government and no hotel was booked. He had to take a taxi. He had to book his own flights when he got there. Yes. Is there some coffee? And they said, oh, you can. There’s some Styrofoam cups over there. Same person. Same talk. Treated totally different. Yeah. the moral of the story was, remember that people don’t treat you for you. They treat you for who you as in your label. And that’s a very sad place to be that we’re in that world. You know, fame, same thing. You know, people talk about fame being the biggest drug of all, but what if that theme gets taken away from you? What if that CEO role gets taken away from you? Yeah, you’re going to be at the bottom. And how are you going to be want to be treated? Yeah, absolutely. I think one of the hardest questions to answer and I often ask it to people is is, is who are you? And the, the response you usually get is, oh well I am, you know, I’m a doctor, I am a mother, I’m a wife. And that is some of that. And and I’ll often say, no, no, those are roles that you play. That’s not who you are. And I was having a conversation with with a client probably a month or so go now and you know, loved and she loves the work that she does similar to you and I was talking about the before loves the work that she does but acknowledges that therefore she struggles with boundaries and struggles with, you know, the ability to say no to things, prioritize other aspects of her life, health, wellbeing, relationships, etc.. And so I asked her the question of, well, who are you without your job? And she burst into tears by saying, Yeah, I mean, it’s a big question. And she said to me, I, I’ve never thought about that before. I don’t know who I am without my work. And, you know, but we actually then had a really beautiful conversation about exactly that. Like, you are so much more than your job title. You are so much more than the organization that you work in or the brand that you work for, or whatever it might be. Who you are is how you make people feel and the impact that you have on, one or many, and who all of your beautiful traits and characteristics and experiences that make you you thus who you are. And I’m loving this because this, as I said, it’s been very cathartic for me to say, Cut. Your bell will be in the. Mail. You’ve got to remind yourself of these things from time to time too, don’t you? You do. And I think that, you know, we’re both in positions that sometimes we teach because we want to learn and, you know, like I’m learning here, you’re learning and cetera. One of the exercises that I often do is get people to I call it the self-esteem pie, where you draw a circle. And especially when I was working with individuals with body image issues, I would say, you know, what makes you feel fantastic? I like when I get on the scale and the weight is going down or when my pants fit or someone gives me intention. I said, okay, what if you’re in an accident and you become and you lose leg, you lose an arm, what else? And it’s usually cricket. I do that exercise because I was in that position and I didn’t appreciate all the other things that that I had. But, you know, sometimes when you talk about these things, you’re like, God, I sound so conceited. Have you ever had that experience yourself or even working with people. All the time. All the time, I think. I mean, one of the biggest one of the biggest one of the conversations that I often have in the public, particularly the women in leadership or the career development programs I run for women, is around how to sell yourself and your achievements without feeling braggy. Okay, can I just get my notepad out? Let’s go. Let’s go through this right now. This next part of the podcast is just for me. We got to. Spend some time here because I’m Jonesing and for this information, I hate this stuff. I hear it all the time. And I mean, truth be told, I do it for a really long time too, and still do it. It’s like we have this. I think where we where we get stuck is that we don’t see the middle ground between not talking about my skills, my strengths, my accomplishments, my achievements at all, all the way through to the other end of the spectrum, which is arrogance or bragging so and so that I hear two phrases like, I don’t want to seem arrogant or braggy, so therefore I won’t talk about my experience or my experiences, my skills, etc. Then when I ask people to describe what, what does it mean to you? What does arrogance mean to you? What does it look like? That’s always really interesting because then the commentary is usually like, Oh, it’s people who constantly talk over people. It’s people in meetings that take credit for other people. It’s people who are constantly pushing themselves into the limelight and taking away, you know, the ability for others to have a voice. And so then my question is usually, well, do you do any of those things? And they’re like, well, no, not at all. And I’m like, well, not how could you? Because you’re not talking about this at all. But then we start to explore this whole piece in the middle that’s like them. The whole between zero and ten is 1 to 9, and we can operate in that space. But I think there is I mean, there’s so many layers to this stuff. That’s the real, I guess, you know, just talk about them piece. But the mindset piece, I think that gets in the way as well right now, firstly, our our ability to know our strengths in the first place. Like what even are they, what am I achievements which require as you to step back and work that out? That’s the first part. The second part is when can I actually own them confidenlty and say these are strengths of mine? We’re all pretty good at saying, Oh, there’s all of my weaknesses, but can I also flip the coin and say these too, are my strengths and that is where I observe the two collide , knowing them and owning them. And so then a lot of the work that I do in that space is again excavating them to find it out, but then also working out. What are some of the other things that get in the way of our ability to own our strengths, our achievements, our accomplishments? And I remember asking myself this question probably pretty regularly actually, when I, beat up on myself around how much it I will actually say, how many times do you need to hear this feedback Claire before you own it? And since I started forcing myself to do that a little bit more, I have definitely noticed I’m more able to own it. Like, for example, I can pretty confidently say now that I know my strengths are warmth and reliability for the most part, people find me pretty relatable and down to earth. Let’s cut the crap. Can do corporate but would prefer to just be a real person and talk real talk. I bring humor and heart into everything that I do, and I’m a curious person who loves just hearing other people’s stories. And I can say that now with confidence, but that has taken me some time to do for a number of reasons. The first is working out what they were. The second was how much data do I feel I have to have before it’s okay to own them, right? And then the third was getting on top of, well, if I say these are my strengths with confidence, what will say and will they judge me as being arrogant? But then I just go back to the examples that I just gave you of when you actually ask people what arrogance is, none of those things are in line with what I’ve just done. Uh, one thing that. Helps me is just understanding that it actually isn’t about me. Like I put myself is how can I help people? Because if I could just help people and hug people and buy shoes, my life would be complete. Like, that’s literally that’s all I want to do. So sometimes that helps me that the reason why I’m telling someone about me is because I actually I truly, honestly, from the bottom of my heart, actually know that I can help them. Yeah. And that’s that’s helped me a lot because my partner and I are yin yang. He wants to buy the world. I want to save it. And I don’t value money. I just don’t value money. I value when someone messages me after I do a post and they say, You have no idea, you’ve actually changed my day and I’m done. I’m like, My work is done here. Let’s go shopping. Yeah, you know, that’s all I need. And I think. Would you say that’s helpful for people? Because I guess what I’m getting at is oftentimes as women belittle how much of an effect they can have on people. And I’m not even just talking about careers and work. I’m just talking about the fact that when you’re in a shopping center, when you’re at Cole’s and you just pass by someone, you know, maybe a mom that has a crying baby and just, you know, pat on the back is like, oh, my God, I’ve been there, done that. It is hard. You probably change that woman’s day. But we just think, oh, now she would have gotten then anyways. I absolutely think that people under appreciate the power that you can have at an individual level and the positive impact you can have on someone’s day through something that you might do and then you don’t even think about again. Rather to your point, walking past somebody in the shops and smiling at them or going for a walk in the morning and smiling at them, you know, it’s interesting, actually, I went for a walk a few weeks ago and listening to this podcast. It was the Mel Robbins podcast and she was talking about You’ve heard it, heard it, love it And I’m going to forget the the university that the study was done in, but it was talking about the fact that we know that acts of kindness are important, but we undervalue the impact that they can actually have. So therefore we don’t do them enough for you to your level. I just thought that was so interesting. It is. My my partner was recently has been hospitalized twice in emergency and he you know, he was on drugs. There was no way he was going to be hungry. I was like starving. I was starving. And, you know, this emergency nurse is everywhere. The long and the short of it. This nurse went out of her way to get me crackers and cheese. And I swear to God, these were the best crackers and cheese. Like, they literally were made by Virgin’s virgin tears like they were so good. And she probably just said, you know, Oh, here’s crackers and cheese, Just that act of kindness that I didn’t have to go home and like, you know, eat the fridge, like, so meaningful. And I still I remember her. I know what she looks like. Yeah. It totally made my day. Yeah, totally made my day. So what I. Want to do is finish off. How can people work with you? When should they work with you? If they’re reluctant, if they think, Oh God, she’s going to think I’m stupid, which I’m sure. Oh yeah, I’m getting the hell yeah. Look, I would No, no, I would never say no, no, sorry. Sorry is in as in you’ve had. That before that women might think like, oh God I don’t want to contact her because she might think like I can be helped or something like that. I think so. I think I’ve definitely had women reach out to me before thinking, You must think I’m stupid or whatever. And actually this morning I had it. I had a call with somebody and they said, You must think I’m your most difficult client. And I said, Not, not at all. And I just said, I see you. I see you. And a lot of what you’re experiencing. You’re not alone. Like I’ve been there. We’ve all we’ve all been there might look different, feel different, smell different, but we’ve all had those feelings of anxiety or not big enough or whatever it is before. So yes, I have heard it, but never, ever. I don’t I’m in no position to judge anyone else. So I never. Oh yeah, Yeah. We never can. Right. Like, No, no. And I, perhaps I, we will clarify that on the podcast in the sense that I just know that sometimes when I reach out for help, the first thing I think of is why would they help me? Like, for example, when it has to do with branding or website or, you know, anything to do with business? Something like the first thing I think of is shouldn’t I already know this already? Totally. Like, I must be stupid because I should know this already. And that’s perhaps the explanation of what I meant by that is I think as a perfect, you know, there’s different kinds of perfectionist, but one of them is that any sign of having to work hard to gain information and equates to I’m stupid. Yeah. So we should know everything about every everything on earth from astrophysicists to like how to raise children, like everything know, if we don’t, we’re stupid. Yeah, I resonate with that so deeply and to the point where these last few weeks I’ve been doing quite a bit of work, even with my accountant and stuff. And I swear every time I email with a question, I am like, this person must think I’m an absolute tool like absolutely. I absolutely resonate with that. But I, I then again try to flip the narrative and just think when it’s asked of me in return to, I have to think that no. And then sometimes I even add to it too. If they do think that, I think that’s more them issue than a may issue, Hell yeah. And are these people that I really want to work with? Yeah, in that sense. So yeah. So let’s say, you know, people are in a stage of their life where they just feel like something is missing. They feel like there’s something in regards to their career or let’s just be honest, blended life, career work. It’s at home and something just doesn’t feel like it’s sitting right. They feel like they can achieve more. They reach out to you. What’s the next step? Yeah, there’s a few ways to work with me. The first is private, 1 to 1 coaching, and that’s where we focus on really everything and anything about that individual curated for them. So it’s time and space, a container for them just really to focus on where am I and what do I want to go and how do we get there. I work three, three key prongs, strategy, mindset and action. No point building a strategy, taking action on it. If we haven’t dealt with the mindset stuff, it will always then get in the way. So private coaching is the first way for organizations. I come in and I run workshops, still a bit of speaking or a couple. I do do some multi-month women in leadership or career development type programs, which I do love, but I’m also very excited because I’m just about to launch my first self-paced online six week Transform Your Career accelerator, which was beta tested last year. The feedback was awesome, so I’ve now set it up with all the tutorial videos and that is for busy women who just want to cut the crap and get the information needed on how do I get heard, seen, noticed at work using kind of my five key career pillars to help them do that. Oh my goodness. I can just hear the sign ups right now spread across the land. My God, congratulations first of all because that’s that’s quite the feat, you know, to put all that into six weeks. Yes. Very difficult in there. There’s a lot in there for sure. Well, we. Will put all the links in your Instagrams, your socials, your, everything that is publicly. Sharable. Into the show notes. But we always end with a bit of a speed round. Are you ready? Yes, absolutely. Okay. If you were on death row, what would be your final meal? Lobster and champagne. That was really easy and very accurate answers. I love them. Both. I think about and I like food. I think about it often. Wow, We’re. Going to have to have you over because I love champagne. Oh, do you like it? Seafood, too? I do love it, but I like the champagne more, that is for sure. What is the best advice you’ve ever received. Best advice I ever received. Kicked me in the stomach when it was first said to me, but it was hugely powerful. And that was if you keep giving, people will keep taking. And that is your fault, not theirs. Wow. And that really upset me when someone said it to me, but there was a lot of truth in it. People pleasing. Yeah. Wow. Yeah. So it almost felt like the worst advice. But then it was the best advice. Yes. Yeah. Yeah. At the time I was like, That’s so mean. Yeah, but it was the best and I’ve carried it. It was some time ago and I’ve still carried it with me today. Wow. Yeah. So what is the worst advice you’ve ever received or ever heard? Oh, gosh, so many. The worst advice I hear is around being early, and I get it. We’re coming off the back of it now, which is great. But thinking you need to act like a man to succeed inside your career. And don’t get me wrong when I say that I fully acknowledge where we’ve been and the survival mode that comes with that. Look, I get it. I’ve lived it, been in those career pathways like I get it. But I think that it is the worst advice ever. And just makes for a world that’s missing half of its strengths. Yeah, absolutely. And Women’s Day is coming up and you’re events as sold out, so I can’t even promote it but they can join the long lunch club. I will put all that and. Join the waitlist, further. Waitlist and so forth. Put that because I think it’s going to be sensational. If you could go back and change one thing, would you? And if so, what would it be? Look, I probably wouldn’t have got that tattoo on my butt. I got. Are you mean serious? Yeah, yeah, yeah. But. But I honestly don’t. I don’t believe. I really don’t believe in regrets. I do think, though, this is probably a bit of a top line thing to say, but I if there’s one thing I could go back and I wish that I did, it was when I was in high school. I really wish I had of gone on one of those like six months overseas exchange programs then and gone and learned in another country, in another culture. And that’s just something that I often think about. But no, I believe that all our experiences are just building blocks. The good, the bad, the ugly. Yeah. Might not feel it at the time. I often don’t actually know, but I really do think they’re there. They lead us down the right path. They are. And I’m sure someone listening is thinking I’m in the cesspool of life right now. And I always say, you know, even if you’re down in that dark cave, there is still going to be that tiny glimmer of light and just focus on that and focus on that next day and next day. Yeah. And feelings like I think my therapist said this to me a few weeks ago and she was like, their feelings are like clouds. They do pass. And, you know, admittedly at the time I probably wasn’t in the space to fully receive that. But she was right because I think about how I felt then and how I felt now. And the two are very different. So it does pass. It will pass. It’s one of my favorite favorite sayings as This Too, Shall Pass, which is my last question. Which what is your favorite quote or saying? So this one I will read to it is actually a couple of sentences just from a book that I recently finished reading. It’s called The Girl Who Fell the Sky by Emma Carey, and I highly recommend it to anyone. She’s just got such a beautiful story and I underlined this in it and she says, Staying soft when the world could have made you hard and keeping your heart open when it wants to close as some of the bravest things that humans can do. And every time I read it, it just gives me goose bumps and it reminds me of staying true to the strengths that I believe I have and the characteristics that make me me. And don’t change that for the world that wants you to be something else. What a way to finish, Claire. You know, we’re going to press like stop record and I’m still going to want to talk to you. So thank you so much for your time today, everyone. This has been I hope you think this was as incredible as I thought. I have loved this conversation. Oh, good, good, good. Well, on that note, guys, remember that every day is your chance to shine, so why not make that today? Thanks for listening. and she says, Staying soft when the world could have made you hard and keeping your heart open when it wants to close as some of the bravest things that humans can do. And every time I read it, it just gives me goose bumps and it reminds me of staying true to the strengths that I believe I have and the characteristics that make me me. And don’t change that for the world that wants you to be something else. What a way to finish, Claire. You know, we’re going to press like stop record and I’m still going to want to talk to you. So thank you so much for your time today, everyone.