top of page

AUGUST 2023

AMBITION

Our theme this month is: AMBITION and we decided to run this monthly theme on purpose in August which is - at least in Europe - traditionally THE month where people take it a bit easier in the office. Why did we pick this seemingly contradictory monthly theme for this month? Well, we fundamentally believe, that in order for anyone to be successful in the long-term, it is important to manage ones energy wisely, to build in moments to reflect, to build in pauses to reset to come back stronger...

“Ambition, without self-awareness of when and

how to reset, is a shortcut to burnout.”

Don't let your ambition kill your performance

There is no one-size-fits-all to peek performance. We are all unique. Here a nice analogy I'd like to share with you that really resonated with one of my coaching client. 

 

Imagine you are a car, and you are embarking on a journey towards a beautiful and much desired destination. (Note: the destination is YOUR goal, whatever you want to achieve). When we are excited and eager to reach that destination, at times there is the urge to go super fast. We put all our energy into that journey. We go fast, we don't want to stop, we push ourselves further. However speed is not the only component - energy is. And the energy is your metaphorical fuel tank. 

Knowing how much energy you need in a particular section (an uphill battle does take a bit more energy right?) is key. 

 

At times of course we don't know when we start that it's going to be an energy-consuming rocky road, an energy-draining detour, or a steep include that eats our fuel fast. That's why a car has an indication that shows how much fuel is being used per 100 km/h. Cars are usually also equipped with a fuel level that lights up when the car goes into reserve tank mode, because the last thing you want is to run out of energy - stranded somewhere in the middle of nowhere - before you hit your destination.

 

So remember, we have different sizes of fuel tanks and perhaps we need a different type of fuel to operate at our peek performance. Perhaps we need more breaks than someone else, or perhaps we need to go slow and steady? Be aware that if you mis-manage your energy supply you risk running out of fuel before you hit your goal. Don't let your ambition kill your performance! Know yourself and what you need.

 

  • Being self-aware and in control is the first step to make sure your ambition can flourish.

  • Know that when you go uphill and dealing with lots of energy-draining elements, you'll burn energy faster. 

  • Know that if you work long hours without necessary time to pause, reflect, and crucially sleep you're going backwards, not forwards on your journey.

  • Know when the warning light for your reserve tank comes on. Know how to refuel before burning out.

  • Know when to take a pause, a nap, a rest, a re-set. Whatever you need. It's not the speed that matters or the hours spent 3/4 to the destination - rather it matters that you hit that goal of yours in a #gracefullyBOLD way.

 

Do you remember that infamous Duracell bunny commercial? The advertisement from 1979 with the bunny that keeps on drumming? If you don't know what I mean, check it out here

 

The moral of the story: If you are reading this editorial, you are probably not a Duracell bunny nor should you be one. Instead you are a #gracefullyBOLD woman with a career, perhaps your own business, friends, hobbies, family etc... 

 

There are many demands modern women are juggling, so remember that YOU are the most important person in your life and you actually are in control - you just have to claim it! I know it's not easy. At times it goes against our natural instinct, but remember you deserve to operate at peek performance so that you can fulfil your personal ambition(s). 

 

Take that bold pause, take that bold afternoon nap (I do it most days, it helps my brain!), take that bold long weekend away, splash out on a hobby that fuels your soul and imagination. Do whatever gives you energy; it may actually help you achieve your goals without burning out. At times taking one step back means you'll come back stronger...

IDEAS TO MANAGE YOUR ENERGY
 

Managing your energy effectively is crucial for achieving peak performance. Here are five best practice ideas to help you optimise your energy levels:

 

1. Prioritise Sleep:

Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night. Establish a consistent sleep schedule, create a relaxing bedtime routine, and ensure your sleep environment is comfortable and conducive to rest. Quality sleep rejuvenates both your body and mind, setting the foundation for peak performance. Take an afternoon nap if you need to - it is scientifically proven to positively impact cognitive ability here. And by the way, some of the world's brightest minds in history engaged in this afternoon napping ritual. Here is a list.

2. Nutrition and Hydration:

Maintain a balanced diet rich in whole foods, including fruit, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Stay hydrated throughout the day, as even mild dehydration can impact your energy and cognitive function. Avoid excessive caffeine and sugar intake, as they can lead to energy crashes later on. Ultimately, develop an awareness of what your body needs. The quality of food you consume will have a strong impact on your level of energy. Choose what's right for you!

3. Regular Physical Activity:

Engage in regular exercise to boost your energy levels, enhance mood, and improve overall health. Incorporate both cardiovascular activities and strength training into your routine. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week. Weight-lifting is actually particularly important and beneficial for women. So drive up that bone-density today to benefit in the long run by preventing osteoporosis. Read more about it here.

4. Strategic Breaks:

Avoid prolonged periods of continuous work. Instead, implement the Pomodoro Technique or a similar approach, working for focused intervals (e.g., 25 minutes) followed by a short break. During breaks, engage in activities that refresh your mind, such as stretching, deep breathing, or a brief walk. If you want to find out more about how to create a routine around the Pomodoro Technique, ask our London-based member Nina Benning. She's a big fan of it!

5. Stress Management and Mindfulness:

Chronic stress can drain your energy and hinder performance. Practice stress management techniques like meditation, deep breathing, yoga, or mindfulness. These practices help reduce stress hormones, improve focus, and promote a sense of calm.

Remember that individual needs vary, so it's essential to tailor these practices to suit your unique preferences and circumstances. Regularly assess your energy levels and make adjustments as needed to maintain consistent peak performance.

5 SELF-REFLECTIVE QUESTIONS TO ASSESS YOUR BURN-OUT RISK

  1. Am I Experiencing Physical and Emotional Exhaustion? Reflect on whether you're frequently feeling physically drained, emotionally depleted, or both. Are you finding it challenging to muster enthusiasm for activities you once enjoyed?

  2. Is There a Shift in my Performance and Productivity? Consider whether there has been a noticeable decline in your work performance, productivity, or the quality of your output. Are you struggling to concentrate or complete tasks efficiently?

  3. Do I Feel Detached or Cynical Towards my Work? Reflect on your attitude toward your job. Are you feeling increasingly detached, cynical, or indifferent? Do you find it hard to connect with the purpose of your work?

  4. Is Self-Care Taking a Back Seat? Evaluate how well you're taking care of yourself. Are you neglecting activities that used to bring you joy and relaxation? Are you skipping meals, exercise, or other self-care routines?

  5. Do I Notice Physical and Emotional Signs of Stress? Pay attention to physical symptoms like headaches, stomach issues, or sleep disturbances. Additionally, consider if you're feeling more irritable, anxious, or experiencing mood swings. 

 

Remember, these questions are meant to encourage self-awareness, not diagnosis. If you find that you're consistently answering in a way that indicates a high burnout risk, it's important to seek support from a healthcare professional, counselor, or a trusted individual in your life.

Unknown

"Self-management is the foundation of a successful and fulfilling life. It's the ability to guide your thoughts, emotions, and actions in a way that aligns with your aspirations."

Gabrielle Union

""If you prioritise yourself,

you are going to

save yourself."

Karen Leland

"Self-management is the key to balancing the demands of work, home, and personal life. It's about making choices that align with your goals and values."

bottom of page