by Jessica J. Williams
Last year I spoke to hundreds of professional women from all across the globe who are inspired to find more fulfilling work, up-level their leadership skills and become a strong female leader. As a result, I’ve heard a lot about what’s plaguing the modern day woman when it comes to work and here are the three most common challenges facing professional women:
Desiring More Creativity
If you desire the opportunity to be more creative in your work, you aren’t alone. Unfortunately our economic system places more value in things that affect the bottom line (profit margins, for example) than it does in creative acts. Many women feel underwhelmed by opportunities to be creative in their job.
Creativity isn’t just about art, it’s about using your mind, body and spirit in ways that make you feel connected to source, and a greater sense of flow and boundlessness (having no limits). In fact, my favorite definition of creativity was coined by the late Steve Jobs, “Creativity is just connecting things.”
If you take Steve Jobs’ definition of creativity and apply it to your work, there is still plenty of room for you to feel creative by making new connections in everything around you.
To experience more creativity and make new connections in your work, use your curiosity to follow what feels good, what feels like joy and what makes you light up from the inside out. Savor that moment of creativity when you lose track of time because the thing you are doing feels just challenging enough and right in your sweet spot of ingenuity, flow and spirit. Build on that to find more creativity at work.
Feeling uncomfortable with uncertainty plagues everyone, especially high performing professional women who are used to experiencing success and controlling outcomes. In fact, in uncertain times these women often get more controlling about the small things as a way to feel more in control (cleaning house and exercise, as an example).
I believe the discomfort with uncertainty is a human being’s greatest source of suffering and pain. And your ability to be comfortable in uncertain times is the key to experiencing unlimited joy and happiness.
So how do you manage your career in times of blinding uncertainty — Will my business ever make enough to support me? Is this the right job or degree for me? What if I make the wrong choice?
Questions like this can paralyze, sabotage, and panic you to tears, and your ability to get comfortable with the fact that you will never know the “right” answer is the secret to your success.
There are no right or wrong choices in life — only the consequences to the choices you make. Can you manage the consequences if you take a wrong a turn? I suspect you can.
Treat your life as if you’re walking through the woods in the dark with a flashlight. The roots in the dirt might trip you, the leaves might hit you in the face, you could stumble and you might even fall, but you won’t know until you take one step forward, and another, and another.
Make the best decision you can with the information you have in this moment using all the tools available to you — your guiding intuition, your rational mind, your generous heart, your creative impulses, your curious nature, your connection to spirit, your loving community of support and your abundant resources — until you see the next turn, and the next and the next. And when the leaves hit you in the face, when you stumble, and even when you fall — get back up and keep going — fall in love with the struggle, love it with your whole heart.
Feeling Paralyzed by Circumstance
Many of the women I spoke with feel paralyzed by their circumstances — “I can’t earn money doing what I love, but I hate what I’m doing; I can’t walk away from this career I’ve worked so hard to build even though it’s killing my soul; I don’t have enough time to find a new job because I’m so busy at this one that I hate; If I go back to school, I’m going to be in a lot of debt, but I need more education to do what I want to do.”
When you feel trapped by your situation, the first step is to connect with the possibilities available to you. In order to do that you need to get out of your fear-based mind and into your higher self. How can you best connect to spirit and your higher self? What can you do to feel more connected to source? Follow the signs, tune into your intuition, and act on your inner guidance and insight.
These tools are also available to you, right now exactly where you are. Even when everything feels frozen, you always have a choice and action is the antidote to fear.
The Future is Bright
As you peel back the layers of your discontent, might you see that this is all practice for waking up, feeling more alive, and experiencing the richness that is your life.
Let it all be practice. Allow it to unfold. Trust in the laws of flow and abundance. Follow your curiosity. Indulge your creative impulses. And love your life.
Jessica J. Williams is a change agent, coach, facilitator, speaker and author whose mission is to usher the divine feminine into our way of doing work in the world.
She is a transformative and sought-after leader for the empowerment of women on a global scale working with individuals, nonprofits and corporations to advance the professional development of strong, powerful female leadership.
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