I must tell you – I love being a woman!  And I have long felt blessed to have been born in a time when women have so many opportunities and choices that even my own mother never had.  Yet of all the barriers women still face, one of the biggest is a lack of self-confidence and belief in our own worth.

Yes, we are women. Hear us roar. Some days. But there’s are plenty of others we women spend second guessing our decisions, questioning our value, beating ourselves up, talking ourselves down and apologising for our opinion.

We work hard to do a great job, to keep all the plates spinning and scale the high bars we often set for ourselves. Yet still, we continually feel like we’re falling short on some measure; that we’re just not ‘enough’ in some way. Not…

Accomplished enough.

Organised enough.

Strong enough.

Disciplined enough.

Assertive enough.

Strategic enough.

Smart enough.

That little voice in our heads just doesn’t let up, continually critiquing what we haven’t yet done or didn’t do… not ‘well enough’ anyway. Do your own survey and you’ll find that women tend to doubt themselves too much and back themselves too little.  It’s why courage is so imperative. We simply can’t wait until we feel brave to put our hand up for a bigger role, to ask for a promotion or voice an opinion other may disagree with. We have to take action amid our fears that doing so may result in disapproval, rejection or outright failure.

Of course not only women struggle with doubt but it’s my experience that we tend to doubt ourselves ore and back ourselves less than the men we live and work with.

It’s why we must decide to #BeBoldForChange not just on International Women’s Day, but every day. Why? Because changing the world around us begins with changing the world within us. Daring to do more and be more even though we fear we’ll fall short in the process.

Closing the gender gap will require stepping up, leaning into discomfort and acting with the confidence we women often wish we had (or had more of!)  So if you’re wondering what you can do to make the world a better place for everyone, look first within and then do whatever is the first thing that comes to mind when you ask yourself this question:

What would I do today if I were being really brave?

Below are ten to get you started!

1. Ask for what you want

That’s right, it’s simple enough but let’s face it, too often we dilute what we ask for or don’t ask at all for fear of seeming needy or being rejected. But as I’ve written before, how can you expect to get what you want if you’re not willing to ask for it.

2. Say no

It’s a short little word but it’s one may women struggle to say because we know the person who’s extended the invitation or offer doesn’t want to hear it. But if you’re ever going to do what you really want to do you’ll often have to say no to good things to create space for great ones. Here’s a free video course I made for you to help you along.

3. Push back

Yes, you’re a nice person and you’re loathe to appear difficult but the truth is that if all you ever do is agree and go along to get along’ then sometimes you’re selling yourself short. Way short. Pushing back isn’t about being pushy. It’s just owning your right to see things differently to others. Sure women can get called bossy or bitchy for simply speaking their truth but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t! Being bold for change is all about risking a little push back for a cause that’s bigger than your own comfort.

4. Own your worth

Next time you’re talking about what you do, talk about it in a powerful way that lets people know you see the value in what you do (even if they have yet to realize it). Too often our fear of seeming like we are bragging keeps us from talking about what we’re up to. Time to own it!

5. Risk rejection

It’s not rejection you’re afraid of, it’s how you will feel because of what you make it mean… a personal inadequacy on your part; evidence that you are ‘less than worthy’ in some way. It doesn’t mean that at all. The truth is you need to risk a lot of rejections if you want to get ahead in your business, career and life. If you’re still licking a wound from a previous rejection, watch this.

6. Own your difference

We all like to belong to a group but too often we let our fear of disapproval keep us from expressing who we really are and owning what makes us different. So don’t dial yourself down for fear of standing out. Just be 100% of whoever it is you truly are. As I wrote in this recent Forbes column, “When all you do is try to fit in and conform, all you offer is conformity. It’s what sets you apart from others that makes you interesting.”

7. Take a risk

Women are naturally more cautious than men. It’s why women are far less likely to engage in high risks sports or suffer spinal injuries. We don’t get the same buzz from going fast as men. Yet we can often be more reticent to take the very risks that would enable us to get ahead. As I wrote in Brave, if there’s something you’d really love to do or change, embrace the discomfort of risk taking and just do it.

8. Ditch all guilt

Some guilt is healthy. Like if you haven’t paid your taxes or you’ve done something that’s violated a core value and leaves you out of integrity with yourself. More often though our guilt is driven by social norms and rules that we’ve unwittingly bought into. If you’re a working mother, you’ll know all about that. But here’s the deal, how can you teach your kids to go out and pursue their dreams if you aren’t pursuing yours? You can’t! Or not with any credibility anyway.

So lay all the ‘shoulds’ to the side and ask yourself, what is it that you would love to do so much that you know even if it pulls you away from your kids more often than you’d like, you know that they (as well as you) will ultimately be better off because you’ve done it? If you’re still struggling.

9. Expand your tribe

The more people who know who you are, what you can do and what you’d love to do more of, the more people who can help you get there. So think about who it is that you’d love to build a relationship with and find a way to connect with them.

10. Challenge your story

You live in an intricate web of stories about who you are, about what you can do and, just as importantly, what you can’t. Your stories are the truth but they have the power to shape your life. So if you’ve been telling yourself a story that you’re too old, too young or that you’re not ‘enough of something’ try telling yourself another one and see what possibilities open up for you.

 

MargieWarrell-670HighResolutionMargie Warrell is a bestselling author, women’s leadership coach and international speaker. Watch her videos at www.MargieWarrell.com 


As useful as rules can be, there are times we need to have the courage to break them.

It’s a well-worn saying that rules are meant to be broken. Not all the time and not every time. Rules do, of course, serve a purpose. They bring structure to our lives and order to our society. However, like all things in life, blindly doing something because we’re told we ‘should’ and not because we can see how it genuinely makes sense or truly serves us, is never a good reason to do it. Which is why, as useful as rules can be, there are times we need to have the courage to break them.

Sometimes bravery calls for rebellion.

Too often we let the ‘rules’— both explicit and unwritten — dictate what we do, how we do it and who we become in the process. Blindly and compliantly living by rules that keep us from fulfilling our deepest needs and desires (assuming we aren’t narcissists or psychopaths) doesn’t serve anyone. Here are some of the rules people have shared with me which, at the time, were not serving them, but which they were following anyway for fear of violating a social, organisational or family norm:

  • You must do what your boss says, no matter what.
  • You must attend regular networking events.
  • You must send your children to the best schools you can afford.
  • You must also get said kids a tutor.
  • You must respect religious traditions.
  • You must spend at least two years in a job before moving on.
  • You must find a secure career and avoid risk.
  • You must stay in your marriage, no matter what.

To all of these, you must respond ‘Says who?!”

When people tell me I ‘simply must’ do something (like sign my kids up for some class, join an association or buy some new software program), it tells me more about them than whatever they’re pushing. As Tina Fey wrote in her book Bossypants, ‘No one says “You must give birth to a baby when you go into labour”, because when you really must do something, you don’t need to say it!’

Game changers are rule breakers

“Heck, there are no rules here. We’re trying to accomplish something.” – Thomas Edison

The people who change the world are those who refuse to play by the rules. If you look at the companies today that are breaking new ground, you’ll find they’re the ones being steered by leaders who refuse to follow the old rules of business management, marketing or anything else. YouTube broke the rule that videos are meant for the television screen. Amazon broke the rule that people only want books they can hold in their hand. Dell broke the rule that people only wanted to buy their electronics in stores. And Apple? They totally rewrote the rule books. As Steve Jobs once said, “The people [rule breakers] who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

We must regularly question the rules that govern our lives, lest they rule us.

Rules should ultimately expand your freedom to live the life you want, not restrict it. So whether it’s how you’re launching your products, managing your team, raising your kids or structuring your life, be mindful that in order to pursue the biggest life you truly want to live, you’ll have to break the rules that govern how others live theirs. Of course that may lead to a falling out in relations with some, but don’t kid yourself about the cost of compliance. All that truly matters is that you don’t become an unwitting victim of the ‘musts, rules and shoulds’ of those around you.

You know it’s time to break your own rules when your desire to make yourself happy grows larger than your desire to keep others happy.

So before you renew the contract, spend the money or make one more big decision, take a moment to check in with your inner sage and ask yourself, ‘Is this what I truly want to do, or am I simply afraid of the consequences of choosing something else?’
“You are remembered by the rules you break,” said General Douglas MacArthur. It takes courage to live life on your own terms, to resist the pressure to comply with the rules others want you to live by and to meet the expectations they have for you.

So start by breaking some small rules and build from there.

  • Make your own plans.
  • Chart your own course.
  • Express your own style.
  • Speak your own thoughts.
  • Build your own life.

Life’s too short to be lived by anyone’s rules but your own. Sometimes bravery calls for rebellion!
Margie Warrell is a bestselling author, women’s leadership coach and international speaker. Check out her Live Brave Women’s Weekend and watch her videos at www.MargieWarrell.com 


Most of us have been there at some point in our working lives. Really excited about a new job or career opportunity only to find, after learning the ropes and building the skills required to traverse them blindfolded, that we’ve fallen into a rut.

What once seemed exciting no longer is.

Like that overused ‘boiling frog’ analogy, a quiet sense of indifference, dissatisfaction or desperation can creep upon us in increments. It’s often not that we are completely miserable; we’re just not pumped. Sure no-one goes to work every day about to set the world on fire, but if you’d prefer to stay home in your PTs most days then it’s probably a sign that something needs to change and you need to change it!

Your job.

Your career.

Or perhaps just your outlook.

Too often we underestimate the price we pay when we stay on in a role that we’ve outgrown or with an organisation or industry that no longer aligns with our passion and vision.  We tell ourselves that we’re lucky to be where we are. That we’ve worked hard for it. That the money is good. That it’s secure. That nobody loves their job all the time.

All perfectly ‘fine’ reasons, assuming you’re content to settle for ‘fine.’

But if you’ve been feeding yourself those reasons for quite some time then perhaps you haven’t considered their flip side. Rather than focusing on the risks you’d be taking on if you left the familiarity of where you are, consider the risks you are taking on if you stay.

As Kathy Calvin, President of the United Nations Foundation shared with me during our recent interview, “When people aren’t happy in their jobs it’s not just obvious to them, it’s obvious to everyone around them.”

Staying in a job that isn’t bringing out your best not only does you a disservice, it does all those around you a disservice while simultaneously depriving someone else the valuable opportunity to step into the role you’re languishing in.

Getting out of a ‘job funk’ doesn’t necessarily mean leaving the place you are in, but leaving the spot you’re in and moving to a different place on the ‘career lattice.’  It could also mean deciding to be more proactive in stretching yourself and doing things that set you up for future roles – joining a board, expanding your network or learning a new skillset. Then again, sometimes you just need to bite the bullet and take a brave leap of faith in an entirely new direction.

In my late 20s, and a little (okay, a lot) disillusioned with my marketing career, I decided to head back to university to study psychology. I wasn’t sure where it would lead. At the time I knew nothing of the world of coaching (beyond the sporting arena) and had no clear idea where this new path would take me. I just knew I wasn’t okay staying on the old one, despite the security and salary it provided.

Over the years I’ve met hundreds of women (and a few men) who’ve made similar moves to extract themselves out of a career rut. While they’ve all faced road bumps, not once has anyone ever expressed regret.  The only regrets have been not doing it sooner! Needless to say, all have taken courage.

Courage to say no to something good to create space for something better.

Courage to take a risk.

Courage to trust that when you start moving toward whatever ignites your ambition, interest or passion, you’ll discover new opportunities, make new connections and unlock new possibilities for yourself that you never would otherwise.

And I have no doubt that there are many, many, women in the Leaders in Heels community who would be testament to that.

So, as Kathy shared with me, make a decision to take ownership of your career before someone else makes a decision for you.

Paint a vision for your career and life that inspires you then decide to put yourself ‘out there’ (that is, outside your comfort zone!) and do whatever you can to start building your own brand of luck. Just don’t kid yourself that playing it safe and staying where you are, however ‘fine’ it is for now, doesn’t exact its own risks.

To quote Gloria Steinman: “Dream big, If you don’t dream big you’ll never have the ability to get ahead!”

Watch Margie Warrell’s full interview with Kathy Calvin at this link

https://rawcourage.tv/unf-president-kathy-calvin-women-equality-bold-full-interview/


Sir Richard Branson is a man I’ve admired as long as I remember. His books – jammed with stories of his entrepreneurial exploits and intrepid adventures on earth, sky and space – sit atop my bookshelves, their pages underlined with insights on taking risks, managing setbacks and living bravely.

So when given the opportunity to spend a week with him on his private Caribbean island of Necker, I was curious as to what else I could glean from the man behind the larger-than-life media persona.  As it turned out, plenty. It just wasn’t what I’d expected. In fact what impacted me most was not his brilliance as a businessman (clearly that’s a given!); it was his “way of being” and how that infused energy, passion and creativity into our group, the conversations we had and the possibilities that emerged from them.

Be Approachable

Before I arrived in Necker Island I was asked if I’d facilitate a Q&A session with him.  I was delighted and honored by the opportunity but, admittedly, a little nervous too.  A few times I had to sit myself down and remind myself of the advice I give to others; that no matter wealthy, clever or accomplished someone is, they was ultimately no more human than anyone else.

Turns out I give good advice, because, for all of Richard Branson’s fame, fortune and larger than life media persona, he’s actually a very relatable and approachable person.

From our first interaction as I was making my morning cup of tea, he was warm, friendly and easy to be with.

The lesson: Be someone others find it easy to be around

Many people are quite out of touch with how others perceive them and some even get a kick from being intimidating (a sure sign of an insecure ego.) But it’s worth taking a moment to put yourself in the shoes of the people you interact with to consider how they may see you.  Often, as people grow more successful professionally, others grow more reticent to approach them, share information and speak candidly.  As a result, successful people can become increasingly isolated and out of touch in their ivory tower.  Regardless of whether you’re at the ivory tower level or not, making people feel comfortable around you is vital to staying tuned in to what is on people’s minds and forging genuinely rewarding relationships.  Richard Branson does just that.  (Oh and by the way, our interview went great!)

Be Real

Sir Richard Branson may have had a Knighthood bestowed upon him by her Majesty the Queen, but he was clearly not one for titles, nor the pomp and formality that can accompanies such titles.

Often barefoot on his island paradise, Branson is completely and refreshingly unaffected by his status and has no need to prove himself to anyone – a hallmark of every genuinely inspiring human being I’ve ever encountered.   Of course that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a healthy sense of self-worth, but he isn’t driven by a need to prop it up.  Needless to say, it was refreshing to meet someone of his fame and fortune who cares so little about it except to use it for good.

The lesson: Give up pretense and ditch the ego

Not only do you not have anything to prove to anyone, but when you try to do so, it doesn’t enhance how others perceive you; instead, it diminishes their perception.

Be Playful

Watch the business news and you can’t miss a bunch of suited men (and the occasional woman!) talking very seriously about very serious things because, let’s face it, managing a business-economy-country is serious business.  But too much seriousness can suck the joy out of life.

While Richard Branson was not the loud larger-than-life larrikin I had somehow expected, he brought a light-hearted, lets-not-take-ourselves-too-seriously playfulness into our gathering, as he does everywhere. When we gathered at his home one evening to listen to Estelle perform for our group, he was the first to jump up on the bar and start dancing.  I quickly threw off my heels and followed suit. Dancing on that bar, I decided I must do it more often. I mean, who needs a dance floor?

The lesson: Laugh more, stress less and stop taking everything so seriously (yourself included)

It’s not only good for your health, but it makes you much more fun to be around. So if you think you’ll one day look back and laugh, don’t wait. In the seriousness of life, a little play can make all the difference.

Be curious

Each morning on Necker revolved around a “think tank” session where we heard insights from a host of people on business, leadership and life.  One of them was former NASA Astronaut Captain Mark Kelly who talked about good decision-making. He said, “None of us are as dumb as all of us.”

It was a great insight on the perils of “group-think” and the importance of challenging the consensus thinking.  As Kelly spoke, Branson scribbled notes in his small note pad that he takes wherever he goes.

Sure, he may have built over 100 companies operating in 50 countries around the world, but he was open to new ideas and eager to find better ways of doing things. While being open minded may sound like sheer common sense, I’ve observed that as people grow older, they can easily slip into a fixed view of the world. They become complacent in their approach and closed to new (and better) ways of meeting their challenges.

The lesson: Be open to unlearning what you think you know so you can re-learn what you need to know

Keep asking questions and never assume you have all the answers. Because, no matter how successful you may be, there will always, always, be ways of doing things better.

Be Passionate

At an age when many would retire to the golf course (or in Branson’s case, to a tropical island), Branson has no interest in putting his feet up and sipping martinis.   There are still so many things he’s passionate about, including the various initiatives of his foundation Virgin Unite.

Of course it’s easy to be cynical and say “All fine for Richard Branson to do what he likes; he’s loaded!” But the truth is that he got to where he is because of the passion he’s bought to everything he’s done and his willingness to lay it all on the line to turn his audaciously bold dreams into reality.

Passion is contagious. It rubs off on everyone around you and attracts enthusiastic passionate people to you like moths to the flame. From meeting Branson’s team at Virgin Unite, he’s clearly done just that.

The lesson: Find what you’re passionate about and then find a way to do more of it

If you’re passionate about what you’re doing, then you’ll not only do it better but you’ll be more successful at it.  Branson is a great example of someone who has done just that. Again and again and again.
photo credit: Virgin Hot Air Balloon

Margie Warrell is an international speaker, thought leader and the best-selling author of three books: Brave, Stop Playing Safe, and Find Your Courage. She’s also the host of RawCourage.TV – helping women be braver in work, love and life. Learn more at margiewarrell.com


It’s an old rule of life that we teach people how to treat us. Yet often we women, highly attuned to building relationships but reticent to say anything to ruffle them, can struggle when it comes to managing accountability and calling people on broken promises – our friends most of all. It just feels like less stress to say nothing; even to just do it ourselves.

At least in the short term.

But here’s the deal: when you decide not to call someone on their broken promise and ill-managed commitment, you’re, albeit inadvertently, being part of the problem.  The one thing you can count on is to expect more of it. More broken promises. More turning up late. More cut corners. More well worn excuses. More missed deadlines. And more of the stress, frustration and resentment you’d much rather avoid.

If you’ve ever found yourself frustrated at someone who’s perpetually slack, or late, or unreliable then you’ll relate to some of the comments above. Many people value their promises cheaply or simply manage their commitments poorly. Others have a hard time holding people to account. It’s easier to just let it go and hope they’ll be more reliable next time.

The problem is, they rarely are.

” When you decide not to call someone on their broken promise and ill-managed commitment, you’re, albeit inadvertently, being part of the problem.

Turning the tide begins with renewing your commitment to manage every area of your life with integrity. When it comes to your commitments, it’s about honoring your word and then refusing to tolerate any less from others. Having coached many people working in cultures with poor accountability, failing to hold people to account can set off a ripple effect that is far-reaching and costly. It doesn’t just undermine your own integrity, reputation and influence, it impacts all those around you.

If you happen to be working in an organization where promises are treated cheaply, accountability low and punctuality near non-existent, either choose to be the change you want to see in those around or, if that feels totally futile, choose to make an exit plan! Either way, own your choice to stay or go and don’t complain about its trade-offs.

If you are overdue a conversation about accountability, here are 7 keys to help you on your way.

Managing accountability

1. Decide what you want upfront

I’ve lost count of times executives have expressed frustration with what was delivered to them only to find that they were never really sure what they wanted to begin with.  So before you enter into a commitment, or even consider holding someone accountable, be sure you are really clear in your own mind about what it is you want and how you would define success. How can others know what you want if you don’t?!

2. Be specific in clarifying expectations

Sometimes you can clear up a simple misunderstanding at the outset just by clarifying what it was you expected in the first place. To ensure against the same thing happening again, always make sure people are clear about both what you expect to be done and when you expect it to be done. Ambiguity is a recipe for frustration and unmet expectation.

Simply asking, “Do you understand?” is not enough. Get them to paraphrase, summarize, or reflect back their understanding so you are sure you are on the same page.

Simply asking, “Do you understand?” is not enough. Get them to paraphrase, summarize, or reflect back their understanding so you are sure you are on the same page.

3.  Ask for what you do want, rather than what you don’t

Many people have a tendency to complain about the actions and behaviors they don’t like, when in reality, they haven’t explained the actions and behaviors they want to see.

4. Seek for an explanation before making an accusation

If someone has let you down, it’s always important to give someone the benefit of the doubt to begin with. Maybe they’ve just been really busy and thought other priorities were more important. Maybe they needed more guidance. Maybe something came up out of the blue and they just forgot to tell you. Hear them out and give them a chance to explain themselves.

5. Share the impact of them not keeping their word

People aren’t always conscious of how their behaviour impacts other people, or even themselves. So you need to be straight with them about how their failure to manage their commitments has impacted you, others and them! Maybe you had to work back late to finish what they didn’t. Maybe it affected your entire team and you had to manage the fallout. Maybe you’re just disappointed with them. Maybe you’ll have to think twice before relying on them again. Maybe others will. This isn’t about making them feel bad; it’s just being upfront about the impact so you can make things better in the future.

This isn’t about making them feel bad; it’s just being upfront about the impact so you can make things better in the future.

6. Reset expectations

Likewise, if someone has let you down, it’s important to renegotiate exactly what it is you want, when you want it and what they are able to deliver. By having the courage to have the conversation, rather than tiptoeing around, you set the stage for greater accountability and less disappointment.

If you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it.  So, as uncomfortable as you may feel, just know that when you do what you know is right and hold people accountable to their word, albeit uncomfortable, everyone—including them— ultimately comes out better off. (Just don’t expect a thank-you card.)

7.   Reward the positive and coach the negative

If you operate out of the mindset that keeping one’s promises shouldn’t be rewarded because it should just be done, you are missing an opportunity to reinforce good behavior. Publicly thank and acknowledge those who consistently manage their commitments with integrity, show punctuality and meet or exceed expectations. Sure, they should just do that anyway, but you will be highlighting for those who don’t that this is what you want to see more of.  And for those who aren’t so good in how they manage promises and juggle commitments, take the time to coach them to competency.  Everyone wants to do a good job – they just may need some more support and skill in doing it.

Publicly thank and acknowledge those who consistently manage their commitments with integrity, show punctuality and meet or exceed expectations.

Whatever you do, don’t shy away from having the tough conversations As I wrote in my new book Brave, like so many of the things you know are good for you to do, holding people accountable requires exiting your comfort zone and engaging in the uncomfortable work of a tough conversation. Emotions can run high and sensitivities deep. It’s why it takes an ounce or three of courage. Sometimes more.

MargieWarrell-670HighResolutionMargie Warrell is a bestselling author, women’s leadership coach and international speaker. Watch her videos at www.MargieWarrell.com 


You may spend a lot of time on your physical flexibility, but emotional flexibility is just as crucial in order to achieve the success you want in your career. 

When I went to the Australian Open this year, I found it inspiring to see top seeded players like Victoria Azarenka and Andy Murray move about the court. Their strength, their speed, their agility, their determination, their sheer endurance… particularly in the blazing heat that has enveloped Melbourne during this year’s Open.

One thing that has always struck me about the world’s top tennis players (and frankly, all top athletes) is their masterful repertoire of strokes and manoeuvres. Not only do they serve brilliantly, but they must also slice, smash, lob and volley brilliantly. Sure, they each still have their favourite shots, those they can execute better than any other player – Serena Williams’s power serve or Roger Federer’s one-handed backhand, for instance – but they know that a brilliant backhand or killer serve isn’t enough. To be competitive on centre court against their top-ranked opponents, they have to be strong across the board.

While most of us don’t aspire to being professional tennis player (I decided after last year’s Open to cross it off my list), the same principle applies to winning in the bigger game of life. The more options you can draw from in how you respond to the curve balls that come your way, the better outcomes you will ultimately create.

Indulge me for a moment if you will. Try crossing your arms right now as you read these words. Then try crossing them the opposite way. Harder than you thought, isn’t it? We’re all wired with automatic reflexes, responses and decision-making strategies when faced with seemingly familiar information or stimuli. This enables us to be more efficient. However, you can become too reliant on the same ways of responding.Responding with flexibility and agility in our rapidly changing world requires an ongoing trade-off between your naturally preferred way of responding to a challenge and a way that isn’t as easy or comfortable

We all have our default style and approach of getting things done, solving problems and adapting to new circumstances. Responding with flexibility and agility in our rapidly changing world requires an ongoing trade-off between your naturally preferred way of responding to a challenge and a way that isn’t as easy or comfortable. As I wrote in Stop Playing Safe, “For every strength you possess, there’s an opposite strength or trait that balances it out. But if you always approach your problems and challenges in the same default way, you won’t always approach them in the best way.” Sometimes you will respond to them outright ineffectively. Agility and flexibility is the name of the game.

Read through the list below and take note of the way you tend to respond to the changes and challenges in your life. What is your default preference? Consider how responding with its counter opposite may, on occasion, be more helpful to you, enabling you to be far more effective in achieving the result you want. Just because one way of approaching things has generally worked for you in the past, doesn’t mean it will work for you now. Responding well to change requires pulling from the full spectrum of emotional and mental alternatives.

• self-starting—self-stopping
• critical—accepting
• nice – firm
• sensitive—tough
• initiating—following
• forceful—gentle
• cautious—bold
• structured—unstructured
• task oriented—relationship oriented
• outgoing—introspective
• planned—spontaneous
• impulsive—thorough
• compliant—non-compliant
• serious—playful
• creative—analytical.

Just as there is not just one way for Li Na to respond to the serve of Serena Williams , there is not just one way for you to respond to your challenges and opportunities alike. There are many. It’s just that some will produce far better results than others. So the greater number of options you can draw from, the better your chances of producing an optimal outcome versus an ordinary one.

Look at the most successful women you know and you’ll notice that when it comes to change and challenges, they aren’t stuck with a single default way of handing it. So, if you’re feeling some grief right now, while it’s comfortable to approach your challenges in the same way you have done so many times in the past, if you’re finding yourself with a recurring challenge, consider how approaching it in a different (albeit less comfortable and familiar way) way may produce a better outcome, open better up opportunities and ultimately, help you get ahead with less angst and more fulfilment.

To check out Margie’s short video about how to handle change better, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dK_z-Wsrhw

photo credit: Len Radin via photopin cc

Margie Warrell
MargieWarrell-670HighResolutionMargie is an internationally bestselling author of Find Your Courage (McGraw-Hill) and Stop Playing Safe (Wiley) who draws on her background in business, psychology and coaching to help people live with greater clarity, confidence and courage. A mother of four, Margie specializes in helping women own their power to affect change – in work, love and life. Sign up for her free Live Boldly newsletter or learn more at http://margiewarrell.com