17 Chapters
Medium 9781576755594

12. Helping Others and the World

Caprino, Kathy Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

I get up every morning determined both
to change the world and to have one
hell of a good time. Sometimes, this
makes planning the day difficult
.

E. B. WHITE

* STEP BACK TO EXPLORE Resisting the fact that you can make a difference.

* LET GO of believing you don’t have what it takes.

* SAY YES! to changing the world.

* BREAKTHROUGH “I help others and the world.”

* Laurie: I suppose you could call my professional experience of several years ago a “crisis,” but truthfully, I’ve been through such personal traumas that I don’t use the word lightly. I’m a mother of two, Luke (16 years old now) and Dylan (14), who are the loves of my life, along with my husband, Grayle. Luke is a surviving twin, and we lost our son Jason at 6 days old. That was a true medical and personal crisis, and it was unspeakably painful. My newborn babies were terribly ill, and Luke survived with significant special needs. After that experience, everything pales in comparison. This life experience, of losing Jason, and now having two precious children—one of whom has extensive special needs—has given me so much that is a blessing, and I’ve received real perspective from it.

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1. Breakdown in Professional Women—Why Now?

Caprino, Kathy Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

* * *

We shall not escape our dangers
by recoiling from them
.

WINSTON CHURCHILL

“Everything I’ve worked for has just lost its importance to me. I really have no idea what to do or where to go next. I desperately want to do something different, something more meaningful to me, but I can’t figure out what that is.”

“I feel so mistreated and unappreciated at work. What I really want to do is tell them all off, but I end up coming back each day, and stuffing down my anger and resentment.”

“I can’t keep up this pace. I want some time off, and I need more flexibility and space to be with my daughter. But how can I ask for that when I’ve just been promoted?”

“I feel sick and exhausted all the time, and I just can’t beat this illness. I can barely function, at work or at home. I need a break!”

“If I really get honest with myself, I realize I’m just not performing at my peak anymore at this job. I’m not at my best anymore and it’s scary to me.”

“A friend of mine has her own small business, loves it, and makes great money without killing herself each day. I wish I could figure out how to do that, but I don’t think I have what it takes to make it on my own.”

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2. Recognizing When You’re in Professional Crisis

Caprino, Kathy Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

* * *

You gain strength, courage, and confidence
by every experience in which you really
stop to look fear in the face. You must do the
thing which you think you cannot do
.

ELEANOR ROOSEVELT
You Learn by Living, 1960

In my work with clients, I have been amazed at women’s depth of denial when things are bad. Women have said to me as we begin our work together that the term “crisis” doesn’t fit their experience, or they feel “uncomfortable” using the word. Then they go on to describe deep pain, fear, a sense of isolation, hopelessness, and a host of other agonizing emotions. Women might say, “I’m just going through a bad patch” or “I’m having a hard time right now,” but when they feel safe, they begin to expose the depth of their unhappiness. This acknowledgment paves the way for a probing new line of self-questioning to emerge. They begin to ask themselves, “You mean I may not have to live like this forever?” This chapter will help you determine if you are in fact experiencing a true professional crisis or simply going through “a tough time.” You’ll learn about the four levels of disempowerment women typically experience and identify which, if any, are problematic for you.

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Medium 9781576755594

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
.

LESLIE MORGAN STEINER
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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Contents

Caprino, Kathy Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

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