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9. Shifting from Competition to Collaboration

Caprino, Kathy Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

The true perfection of man lies not in
what man has, but in what man is ….
Nothing should be able to harm a man but
himself …. What is outside of him should
be a matter of no importance


* STEP BACK TO EXPLORE Feeling the need to prove your worth over and over.

* LET GO of feeling “not good enough.”

* SAY YES! to your innate worthiness and value.

* BREAKTHROUGH “I am enough.”

* Robin: I have a very competitive spirit that was developed early in my childhood. I was the youngest of four, and the only girl with three older brothers, so there was always a lot of competition. But growing up this way, I never felt different because I was a girl. I wanted to fit in with them—it wasn’t even a question. I had to scrap with my brothers in order to win—literally playing with the big boys. Crying or whining never got me anywhere with them. These guys were tough and in order to play (compete), I had to do so on their terms. As I look back, I realize that for me, losing was not an option.

When I left college and embarked on my career, I was fortunate to choose financial services as a field, because there was great opportunity then (and now). I have continually gravitated to companies with three key environmental factors: the first was a supportive leader and mentor who could guide me, the second was a well-communicated sense of direction and clear-cut vision of what was expected, and the third was the trust that I could get the job done and I could run on my own. Where these factors existed, I have always excelled.

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14. Balancing Life and Work

Caprino, Kathy Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Being responsible for my life,
my children, my choices sustains
me even in the darkest hours

Mommy Wars

* STEP BACK TO EXPLORE Overfunctioning and perfectionism to control your world.

* LET GO of your fears about not being in control.

* SAY YES! to being helped by others and your higher self.

* BREAKTHROUGH “I balance my life and work with joy.”

Because balancing life and work is one of the most prevalent crises for working women today, this chapter offers two compelling stories about real-life professionals who have achieved balance and harmony and inspire others to do the same.

* Karen: When I think about childhood, I realize now that I was deeply formed by my culture and upbringing. My mom was a traditional wife and mother—a corporate executive’s wife—and Dad was a high-powered successful executive. I grew up in suburbia, and somewhere I got the message that I needed to go it on my own, be independent, tough it out, go do it. I felt I needed to be successful monetarily or something was wrong with me. Either you married success, or you did it yourself—that’s what made you worthwhile. Looking back now, I see that it was huge ingrained fear—I felt as if I were going to die if I didn’t have money.

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8. Breaking Cycles of Mistreatment

Caprino, Kathy Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

As long as you think that the cause of your problem
is “out there”—as long as you think that anyone
or anything is responsible for your suffering—
the situation is hopeless. It means that you are forever
in the role of victim, that you’re suffering in paradise

Loving What Is

* STEP BACK TO EXPLORE Boundaries in need of strengthening.

* LET GO of your belief in your powerlessness.

* SAY YES! to developing healthy boundaries.

* BREAKTHROUGH “I am treated with love and respect.”

* Anne: My life has been a full and extraordinary one, with many blessings, including my four children and eight beloved grandchildren. But I’ve had a fair share of adversity, too. My father adored me, but he was an abusive man—physically, verbally, and emotionally—and he was particularly cruel to my mother. She resented me terribly because I was spared most of his abuse, and because he loved me. Mother was full of rage and jealousy and treated me like a hostile invader. My father had a violent temper, abused my mother physically, neglected her emotional needs, and cheated on and deceived her, yet she stayed and endured his treatment for sixty-five years.

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3. A New Model for Empowered Living

Caprino, Kathy Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

* * *

Courage is not the absence of despair;
it is, rather, the capacity to
move ahead in spite of despair


Building on Abraham Maslow’s model of the hierarchy of needs,1 I conceive of empowerment in life and work as a four-level continuum. Empowerment begins with the most basic human relationship—your relationship with yourself. If your self-concept and way of viewing yourself is secure and loving, you have the foundation for constructing positive, healthy relationships with others. As this is achieved, you gain strength and support to become effective in the world, using your abilities for your own good and for the good of the world around you. Finally, empowerment builds to the most expansive dimension—your relationship with your higher self. Empowerment at this level allows you to tap into a breadth of abilities, perspective, and knowledge that is otherwise not available.

Beginning with a look at full empowerment, this chapter demystifies the twelve common crises women face today by revealing what is missing or what needs to be revised for empowerment to grow. It identifies the potential root of each crisis and offers specific recommendations for shifts in thinking and behavior that will help you gain strength in the areas where you most need it. By the end of this chapter, you’ll know which crisis is most relevant to you at this time. You’ll also understand what is necessary to resolve it, in order to claim passion, power, and purpose in your life and work.

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Empowerment Guide

Caprino, Kathy Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub


CRISIS Resolving Chronic Health Problems (chapter 4)

* STEP BACK TO EXPLORE The body is communicating what the lips are not.

* LET GO of ignoring or resisting what is.

* SAY YES! to hearing your body, your intuition, and your heart.

* BREAKTHROUGH “I am healthy and strong.”

* BEST ADVICE Hear your body. Heed your intuition. Follow your heart.

CRISIS Overcoming Loss (chapter 5)

* STEP BACK TO EXPLORE Grieving lost parts of yourself.

* LET GO of overidentifying with one aspect.

* SAY YES! to healing lost parts of yourself.

* BREAKTHROUGH “I am integrated and whole.”

* BEST ADVICE Bring suppressed parts forward. Avoid overidentification. Find a “better way.”

CRISIS Achieving Self-Love (chapter 6)

* STEP BACK TO EXPLORE Needing to reclaim your power from a source outside of you.

* LET GO of giving up your power to others or things.

* SAY YES! to acting in alignment with the real you.

* BREAKTHROUGH “I love and accept myself.”

* BEST ADVICE Discover where you are being false. Find the power inside you. Disentagle from your struggle.

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