May 10, 2023

The Courage to Change

I'm Melissa
I'm a Career and Leadership Coach for Women in Pharma/Biotech. I've been where you are, and I help you create the career you want without working more hours or settling for good enough.
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On this week’s episode I am talking about developing the courage to change. This is a skill you can learn that will change how you view yourself and what is possible for you. Whether you want a new role, to have a difficult conversation with your partner, or to speak up at your next meeting, it all takes courage. But there are real reasons why it’s hard to be courageous. In this episode I’m breaking down why it’s hard to be courageous and why it’s important to work through the discomfort to build the courage to change.

What you’ll learn:

  • How building courage will lead you to the life you want
  • The secret to being naturally confident
  • The reason it’s hard for women to be courageous and what to do about it

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Welcome to Your Worthy Career, a podcast with me, Melissa Lawrence. I’m a career and life coach with all the corporate credit and talent development and organizational psychology. I help women like you get extraordinary results by being more you, not less. I won’t just help you have a career experience worthy of you, but I will help you build your self worth to shift what you think is possible and take the action that will create the career you’ve always wanted. Whether it’s more meaningful work you’re passionate about, making more money, getting to your next level, or being more effective as a leader, we are shattering the glass ceiling here. The one that exists for women at work and the one we put on ourselves with our doubt and inner critic. Each week you will get practical teachings grounded in neuroscience and effective career development strategies. You’ll experience deep mindset shifts and the perfect amount of woo so you can run your career with ease rather than your career running you. You were born for more and I’m going to help you get there with maybe a few dance parties along the way. Your up level begins now.

Hello and welcome to this week’s episode of the podcast, How Are You? It has been a season of fun and new things over here at your worthy career. At the time that you are listening to this, it is in May, but I am actually recording this at the end of April. I had just facilitated the workshop how to Make the right career decisions earlier today, and it was so fun. It’s just such a rewarding experience to pour this value into all of you to see the realizations, the shifts, the change that this workshop provided. It’s like this podcast, but so much bigger because we get to connect on Zoom and you get to actually do some hands on exercises and activities with me. And if you were there, you know that impact is a really important value for me. And so to see just the feedback from this session already just a couple of hours after it ended is just so rewarding for me, and it just warms my heart so much. And you know I like a good dance party, so I had the You’re Worthy Career playlist pumping, and it was just a big dose of fun.

So if you missed the workshop, definitely keep your ears open for the next one. I do plan on offering some more later this year. And don’t say I didn’t warn you that this was going to be amazing, so don’t hold back and make sure that you jump in on the next one. All right, if you missed it and you’re like, What did you workshop on? What were these exercises? I do have a guide that you can download that is fresh off the press, just added to my website that walks you through the exercises that I facilitated. So the workshop isn’t there on my website, but you can get the guide. So to know your values and how to use them to lead your career, you can download it right now at yourworthy career. Com values. Go grab it after you give this episode a listen. All right. So in addition to the workshop, I also just had my daughter participate and bring your kid to work day for the first time with me as a business owner. She participated in my corporate career, but not since I’ve had my business. So this was really special.

She had a choice of parents, and I’m proud to say that she wanted to see what she said as the behind the scenes of a successful coaching business and CEO. That melt my heart. Imagine just what it’s like for me to have my daughter see me go after what I really want out of my career and then build my own successful business. I just have so much pride about that. And it just meant so much to me that she sees me that way because I’m going to tell you what she learned that surprised her, which will tell you why I thought maybe she didn’t see me that way. So I’m going to share with you the things I had asked her. I said, What did you learn today that really surprised you that you didn’t really know about? And so I’m going to share that with you because I think this is really relevant to what we’re going to talk about today. So what she said is that I come up with creative stories and things to say on social media on the fly. So she was impressed that I can open up a Google Doc and just start writing and add stories and add creativity and things that are engaging to the story and be able to just do that right when I open the document and do it relatively quickly.

So it was really fun for her to see how my brain works. She also learned and was surprised that I don’t use scripts when I coach people and that I can help them without knowing what they’re going to say. So this one is really fun because how would I ever know she thought this unless she actually saw the behind the scenes? But I had asked one of my clients if she would be okay with my daughter sitting in and not being on camera, but being in the room and being able to listen to her coaching session, and she gracfully agreed to allow her to do that. And so she got to really see what it was like to experience coaching, which is a really cool experience that she had. And she really liked the person that got coached, too. She’s like, Wow, she’s so positive and she’s so nice. So if you’re listening, then just know that my daughter is a fan. She also learned that I make fun workshops. So she actually went through and did the exercises that I taught in the workshop today and the how to make the right career decisions workshop.

She went through and got to listen to me teach, and she also got to go through the exercises herself. And she was surprised that I make fun workshops. She thought that I just talked to you, or just lecture. So that was eye opening for her. Now, this next one is, she was surprised that I don’t take a lot of breaks during the day and that I don’t play with a puppy all day, and she was disappointed. So this speaks to why I was a little bit surprised that she chose to come to work with me and gave the reason that she did because I am home all the time in my business, I have a home office, and so when my family goes off to work and school, I am here. And when they come home, I have dinner pretty much ready for them. So they don’t really know what I’m doing during the day other than what I share. And so I thought they had this impression that I’m just hanging out with my puppy Brooklyn and watching Real Housewives and then maybe doing some coaching calls. But she got a awakening that I’m actually busy all day long.

She was disappointed that I actually don’t have breaks. We didn’t have a lunch until 1 o’clock that day. And then we took a little bit of a break for lunch, and then we picked back up with work that had to be done, and she was a little disappointed. So I don’t know, maybe she was just buttering me up when she said she wanted to do the stay at home work day with me, and she really just thought it was going to be an opportunity to stay away from school and play with puppies. I don’t know. But this last one now, this last one is so relevant to what we’re going to talk about. This is what she said. She said change can be a good thing, and it is okay to change something to be better even when it’s already good. Wow, let’s talk about that. When she said that, it was so profound for me to hear my 13 year old. She explained further that she thought when something was working, when it’s not broken, that you don’t mess with it, that you change or make changes when things aren’t going well or you’re not happy, but the concept of taking something that is going well and changing it to make it better was beyond her.

She learned this from two examples that she had that day. First was when I coached the client that she got to witness, she saw a wonderfully talented and happy scientist who was doing well but still getting coaching, who wanted to achieve more and be even better. I think she had an idea that the people that I was coaching, maybe were struggling at a level that these sessions would be downers almost, really negative, and that maybe the people weren’t already super successful and already had a great career and they just were working toward something better, being the next best version of themselves. So that was really fun for her to see. And then she also heard me get coached by a coach of mine. So I was on the phone with a coach of mine, and I was talking through some of the exciting things that I’m working on in my business and how it’s really going to change things for the better for my clients and for me. And she asked me, Why? Why am I making these changes when my business is so successful? She thought I would change things only if it wasn’t working.

So I explained to her how this change is actually helping more people and helping me grow as a coach and business owner. So just imagine having this lesson at the age of 13. If I go back to me being 13, if I, one, didn’t really have the courage to think about going after something that I wanted to be different, I would still, although I think that compare and despair, the overthinking, all of that started at a young age for me to some extent. But then also, if you have the mindset going into your adolescence, going into becoming an adult, that you can grow and change just to be better. It doesn’t have to be because something’s wrong with you or something’s broken. That not just when things aren’t good, you can still change them. And that is so empowering. But that when things are good, you can still change them. That’s amazing. You can take something good and make it great. You can take something great and make it exceptional. You can do whatever you want to have the time of your life. And that is what I want to talk to you about. So the exciting new things I’m doing, it takes courage.

And when you want to make a change, it is going to take courage on your part. Courage. We talk a lot about confidence. Confidence to stand up for yourself, to speak up to your boss, to ask for a raise, to go after, whatever it is that you want to be different. But confidence comes from courage. Having what you want in your career isn’t as simple as doing a good job and getting good performance reviews. It’s not as simple as just saying you want something. You have to be the person who knows what she wants and has the courage to make it happen, who knows her worth, and so she doesn’t shy away from networking or speaking up, taking risks, and being more visible. Courage is to be and own all of who you are. This is who you become when we work together. When I work with my clients, it’s not just getting the job, the pay raise, or knowing exactly what you want. Of course, you get those things. It’s not just leadership development and running effective one on ones or team meetings. It’s who you become in the process. It’s the courage you build when you take new steps, when you try new things, when you stop hiding, when you know exactly who you are and you aren’t afraid to be her.

And you’re not trying to be a separate person at work and a separate person at home. When you stop playing small and you take up space and you don’t apologize for it. It takes courage to look at yourself, to say you don’t know it all, that you don’t want to settle, that you’re open to something new. That shit is hard. Not apologizing for just existing is hard. This is ingrained in us as women our whole lives, to know our place, not to be too much of anything, but also never enough. Our mere existence is an inconvenience to some. I want to tell you this whole story. A few weeks ago, I found myself apologizing for things that I didn’t need to apologize for. And it caught me by surprise. I was in the grocery store and someone ran into me. They ran into me and I said, Oh, I’m sorry. Where the heck did that come from? But that happened again later that week. I was just standing in my own space and then I apologized for it. And it really made me pause and question it. Why is my knee jerk response to apologize for simply existing?

It was like, I wish I could remember the other situation too, because it was like two or three times that I was not in anyone’s way. I was not the wrong in any way, shape, or form. I was just literally existing in a space and I apologized to someone else. I think I apologized to a door. I think that was the third one. It was like an inadequate object that hit me when I was doing something, and I was like, Oh, I’m sorry. And it just made me pause. Why am I doing that? And it’s ingrained to be polite, to not take up too much space. It’s something I’ve been overcoming for a while, especially as I’ve grown my business, and it’s important for me to take up space to be visible, not just from a business perspective, but for my own growth and to go first for all of you. There isn’t anything I help my clients with that I haven’t gone through myself. I think that contributes to why I’m so good at what I do. It’s not just the organizational psychology or the years in pharma or the coaching certifications. It’s that the problems I help you with are the same problems I have had to overcome.

From working in the industry surrounded by broskeys who talk over me, to having to fight for promotions, to figuring out what it is I wanted, and taking scary steps to make it happen, to stop overthinking, to leading a team effectively dealing with difficult employees and stakeholders, all of it I’ve done and experienced on top of the education and corporate credibility. So it just makes the coaching experience so much better and relatable. So take it from me. I know what it’s like, and I know it’s hard. It’s hard to stand out. It’s hard not to stand out. But if you can learn to be more courageous, you will achieve what you want in this life. You will build confidence. You will become a naturally confident person because at the end of the day, it is like a Vortex of courage and consistency that spins out confidence. If you just imagine a circle with courage and consistency spinning and spinning and spinning, the output of that is confidence. When you practice courage, you build this skill to be okay with discomfort. You have to be able to hold both at the same time. You have to hold the discomfort and hold the courage at the same time.

When you can take action consistently, courageous action, whether it’s speaking up at the meeting today, asking for what you want, telling your partner you need help, figuring out what is truly going to make you happy. No matter what it is, it is going to take you being uncomfortable and stepping into courage. But the good news is on the other side of that is more than you have ever dreamed of. More achievement, more fun and joy, more happiness. I promise I’m not selling you a fairy tale that’s not possible. I’m selling you on your own potential on what is really available for you. And I know because I’ve done it for me and I help women like you do it every day, it’s not just me that’s a special snowflake story. It’s all of the women that I meet all of the time. It’s the women that I work with and some of the women that I don’t. It’s just people that are taking these courageous actions every day. And at the end, my clients, they always say they can’t believe the growth they’ve had. They can’t believe they don’t question themselves anymore, that they don’t think there’s something wrong with them, that they know exactly what to do, that they can be in an environment and it doesn’t matter who is with them, they can still be authentic.

They can be themselves and thrive. That is power. That is leadership. And it doesn’t matter what your level is. You are a leader. You are leading yourself. You are role modeling for others. Just showing up takes courage. Playing this podcast and being open to new ways of thinking takes courage. Now it’s your time to step out and go bigger, to stop playing small. Knowing that it will be uncomfortable, you will take one step courageously toward what you want, like the cheeta. It’s why it’s a symbol in my work. And if you’ve seen my office, it takes up a whole wall. I have a beautiful cheeta wallpaper in my office. Cheeta’s represent strength and courage. They also represent resilience and overcoming challenging situations. So if you struggle with embodying courage on your own, if it feels like a lot for you right now, think of the cheeta. The visual and the symbolization can be just what you need to take that step. Your very best life is on the other side with all serves as courage. Have an amazing week, my cheeta family. I have something special for you. Episode is over, but that doesn’t mean your development ends here.

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No longer settles for “good enough”

Hi, I’m Melissa.

Career & Leadership Coach for Women in Pharma/Biotech

I'm a former Talent & Development leader in Pharma/Biotech turned CEO and Certified Professional Career & Life Coach. I also host the podcast, Your Worthy Career.

I've been where you are, and I help you create the career you want without working more hours or settling for good enough.

I'm leading a movement of women in the industry who are figuring out exactly what they want and shattering the glass ceiling. The very real ceiling in the industry, but also the one that we impose on ourselves. 

So long, imposter syndrome and overthinking. It's time to step into the impact and life you're worthy of having.

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