Category Archives for "Confidence"

Nov 16

Why clarity is the key to success

By Yvette Ankrah | business , Confidence

Why clarity is the key to success

We all make plans - given unplanned and unprecedented experiences we've had during 2020 we might think that there's no space for plans. If you're looking at how you're going to shape, direct and change the next 12 months writing a plan will help you get there. However, before that process can begin, something that will help you make a difference is having clarity  

The Cambridge English dictionary defines clarity in the following ways:

  • The quality of being clear and easy to understand:
  • The quality of being easy to see or hear:
  • The ability to think clearly and not be confused:

Being able to be clear in your mind what you want to achieve, why you want to achieve this, how you are going to do this and what you are going to do - is an extremely important step.

There are several reasons why we might not feel we have that true clarity.

Owning your story

We all have stories that we tell ourselves and these are our beliefs - the problem is that not all of these stories are true and even worse they may not even be your own story. You may have told yourself that you are no good at public speaking - because of this story that you've told yourself you avoid doing this. If an opportunity arises that may benefit you, your business or your career that involves public speaking you avoid it.

Alternatively, you may have a belief that anyone rich is a bad person, even though financial wealth is important to you, you are conflicted because of your view of what that might mean to you become as a person.

Your mindset is truly powerful and that is what this collection of beliefs and stories are. These stories impact on your choices and your results. Consider what happens when we make plans from a space where we are running negative stories, beliefs and patterns. Getting that clarity on who you are and what is your story is a key step to success

What would happen if you owned your story and understood what it was and let go of stories that don't help you move forward?

Expressing your heart's desire

The first question I ask my clients is ‘what do really you want?’ It's a powerful question simply because so many times people have never actually thought about what they want. The majority of my clients are women and so often with women, the needs of others are put first. The act of permitting yourself to say what's in your heart is liberating, powerful and clarifying. Your current job, your career path or your business model may need to completely change or just might need a tweak in a new direction - however, the actions aren't possible if you haven't started with that clarity on what you truly want.

Freeing your mind

There are so many distractions around us that create mental clutter – this could be is physical clutter that disrupts your mind or devices that interrupt us. The constant bombardment of information into our brain stops us from being able to think clearly. Finding ways to still the mind to allow those thoughts space, helps you get back to clarity. Tools such as breathing techniques, and mindfulness enable you to quickly get rid of the noise and have calm and clarity in your mind.

Connecting

We are not able to achieve what we need in this world on our own. We need to connect with others whether that is colleagues, clients or peers. Once you have the clarity on what it is you want and how you're going to achieve it, finding support to help you and letting people know this is what you're doing, is also important. This is about finding the right people by talking about what it is you need and allowing people to help you and connect you to others. For example, deciding to do work in an industry where you can see how your skills can transfer but you have not yet got the experience. To get the experience you start connecting with people in the industry, finding out more and explaining what it is you're looking for and how you might fit.

Being visible

Alongside connecting with others, being visible means that the right people see and hear you and understand how you fit into the solution that they need. Thinking about your career, you understood now that you wish to move to a certain Department. You start speaking to the people in that Department, you look at how you can transfer there or work on a project so that you can connect and showcase what you can do. You find a way to network with the key people who can make decisions - this doesn't mean changing your personality it just means creating a strategy. However, without that clarity and knowing that you want to be seen and heard you would not make these moves.

Clarity is the first part of everything that I work with when I support my clients because it is the first step to creating change. Your planning from a place of power, of knowing, and of strength when you have clarity.

Do you have clarity?

If you would like your internal story to be different and you're ready to have clarity and calmness in your mind, get in touch if you are high achieving women and see how I can support you.

Nov 09

Want more clarity? Ditch the clutter

By Yvette Ankrah | business , Confidence , self-care

Photo by Wonderlane on Unsplash.

Want more clarity? Ditch the clutter

I have a confession to make. I'm not the tidiest of people. I often work on multiple projects and have a range of files around me all the time. I do this, so that I remember that something needs my attention – however, it turns out all those files are not helping my productivity after all!

As more and more of us are based at home, how we manage our environments becomes even more crucial especially as it can have a real impact on our wellbeing. Roster et al define clutter as “an overabundance of material possessions that collectively create disorderly and chaotic home environments”[1] In this article I outline the key reasons to ditch the clutter in your life and create calm instead of chaos.

Raises cortisol levels

Cortisol is the stress hormone and the alarm system for your body designed to help you in fight or flight mode. Having a lot of things around you can raise cortisol levels and cause you to feel more stressed. Items around you are reminders of things left undone, which can also contribute to high-stress levels. There is an impact on women as women, it seems, are more affected by clutter

Dust!

I'm not one for ornaments, as I have no fondness of dust or dusting. A good reason not to have so much stuff around is to avoid issues with dust. Dust can impact allergies and too many items around make it hard to clean!

Brain overload

We tend to overload our brains when there are lots of things around us. The brain is taking in all that information, all the time. There is an impact on how well you can think because of all the clutter as lots of items around you interrupt your flow.

Lack of wellbeing and weight gain

There are numerous studies that link clutter to feelings of wellbeing – clutter can impact your happiness![2] How you feel about your home and not wanting to be in that space has also been linked to weight gain and unhealthy eating. When a place is cluttered you eat more.

Stops us connecting

Too much clutter stops us connecting with others. As one study found, it's harder for us to read emotional expressions when we've got too many other stimuli around us.

Impacts your short-term memory

Clutter affects short-term memory as well as slows down our brains when processing information.

There are a wealth of reasons why we should ditch the clutter if we truly want to get clarity, improve our wellbeing, happiness and even our weight.

Read to ditch the clutter?

Clarity is the first module of my transformation programme as a key to help you change. If you are a high achieving women in corporate and want to create less stress and are ready to soar, get in touch.


[1]DarkSideofHome_JEP_Final2016.pdf

[2] The-Negative-Side-of-Office-Clutter-Impact-on-Work-Related-Well-Being-and-Job-Satisfaction.pdf

Aug 18

Work-life balance?

By Yvette Ankrah | business , Confidence , self-care

Work-life balance? Seven tips for success

Work-life balance is one of the biggest myths that has been created! Particularly for women in business, the female entrepreneurs building businesses around their families, the side hustlers finding a way to balance corporate life with their passion.

The reason I say this is because of the constant feeling of juggling, overwhelm, guilt and stress striving for balance produces. It is unrealistic to think you can completely separate parts of your life, particularly if you work from home, which so many of us find ourselves doing now.

There are a few reasons why you may be working for yourself (or want to do so if you are in transition) – passion and flexibility are two of mine. I love what I do, and I do it around my family. There is an intertwining of my work life and my personal life.

I’m calling out this myth as the mum who has asked her child to ‘wait a minute whilst mummy sends this important email’ instead of helping him build his Lego figure. The reality is, especially if you work for yourself, it is not always possible to keep work and your personal life separate.

This is why over the last few years more business magazines and coaches had been debunking the myths,  talking about either setting boundaries  or integrating your work and life, rather than trying to create an artificial divide. It is about the lifestyle that works for you and your family.

I work for myself so the success or failure of my business is on me, it doesn't mean that I shouldn't take care of myself or expect there to be no overlap of my business and my personal life. By setting boundaries and finding a way to merge your life and business you create your own version of what is acceptable to you. It is realistic and enables you to make better decisions about what you will do and how you will work. These can change daily, weekly or monthly depending on what is happening in your life.

Setting those boundaries and integrating work and life:

Your view of ‘work’

If you are doing something you are passionate about you may not see it as ‘work’. Work implies something hard, difficult and involves lots of labour. Your tasks may be hard and labour intensive but if love them, are skilled and motivated it doesn’t feel like a slog!

How do you view what you do? More importantly, are you doing what you love?

Got a plan?

You may need to put in more hours particularly when you are starting out. Know your plan and ensure you look after yourself at these times.

What’s your plan?

Office hours?

I like to have set office hours and always clearly state when I will get back to people. This manages expectations and enables me to manage my private time. The likelihood is if you call me during pickup and during my after-school cuddle I'm not going to answer the call! I will also work in the evenings however not every evening. I often work with a client or run a workshop between 7-9pm, but after 10pm I use for writing or admin tasks.

Are you clear on what times you are available?

Manage 'always on'

Modern technology is amazing and I could not survive without my mobile phone however there are certain functions that I switch off so I do not have work invading every minute of my life. This way I can focus on tasks when I am working and when I’m not, be away from work-related messages.

Can you look at how you use your mobile or have a work mobile which you can switch off at certain times?

Deadlines

There are times when you need to meet specific deadlines and you may have to forget about your boundaries during this time. However, be clear in your own mind that this is for a short time only. If you are so busy that you find yourself chasing your tail all the time you need to invest in support or hire some staff. This will stop overwhelm, stress and burnout as your boundaries can be maintained.

What support do you or your business need to thrive?

Do not neglect self-care

You need to be at your best to run your business. If you have taken the time to invest in a self-care regime you will know that missing your exercise or quiet time is not going to let you be your best. Whatever you have chosen to do - morning meditation, a run in the park, yoga - try to set a boundary around those things and limit missing them during busy times.

What is your self-care regime?

Creating boundaries, adopting a flexible approach and answering these questions will help you find a way to work that supports you.

Book a call to see how I can support you.

A verson of this article appeared on LinkedIn

May 09

The power of words & why you need positive affirmations

By Yvette Ankrah | Confidence

​​Positive affirmations are statements that you use to combat negative thoughts. They can be helpful to remove patterns that may be held in your subconscious that are not helpful to you.  You can use positive affirmation in a number of ways they can help to provide you with motivation or to improve your self-esteem.

Positive affirmations are not some new-age idea plucked out of the air but have been used in clinical practice in particular cognitive behaviour therapy as part of treatment to help anxiety and depression and help boost self-esteem. There have been a range of empirical studies which have shown the benefits of daily affirmations which range from:

  • helping to decrease stress,
  • improve resistance to negative situations to
  • actively changing physical behaviour e.g. stopping smoking

With regular practice you can create positive thoughts and make concrete change to how you think and behave. They do need to be practised regularly for you to see the impact and you can do this by saying them out loud several times a day or writing them in the journal.

Positive affirmations are designed to target a specific belief or fear you hold about yourself.

Creating your affirmations:

Decide what you would like to address and create some positive sentences e.g. I am loved, I am skilled, I have the knowledge to achieve my goal

  1. Write in the present tense.
  2. Repeat them regularly out loud.

How to succeed with affirmations

  1. Firstly, you have to want to make this change happen and you are affirming something that you know is true but sometimes you forget and think negatively about the situation.
  2. Pick three things you wish to affirm.
  3. Write them down.
  4. Put them somewhere you will see often
  5. Repeat regularly

You could choose to do them every morning and every evening or whenever you remember to throughout the day.

Try practising positive affirmations daily for 21 days and see what shifts occur in your life.

Yvette Ankrah – Transformational Coach

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