Updated: Jul 14
In my line of work as a Career & Business Coach, it’s common to hear people talking about the lack of opportunities around or the obstacles stopping them from progressing in their lives, with their career or with their business idea. Then they surround themselves with people that confirm these beliefs; a mentality that says ‘oh sure there’s no point’ or ‘things will never improve around here’.
Obviously, it’s my job to question any limiting beliefs, negative patterns of thinking or assumptions that are holding back my clients, about themselves, their abilities or identity or a given industry/market/location. For some people adopting a growth mindset and a more optimistic lens is very difficult, for others, it comes naturally and once those people meet like-minded individuals – that sense of possibility grows and expands beyond their, already optimistic expectations.
Such is the power of a supportive network of people sharing an experience – through shared vision and shared challenges; mutual understanding and support – it is incredible how the perceived obstacles of location or glass ceilings or limitations dissolve away.
On Tuesday (Oct 1st 2019), I had the pleasure of attending the 20th anniversary of the Donegal Women in Business Network Conference – a gathering of 200+ women (and a few men) discussing and celebrating business, career, mindset, obstacles, supports and successes. The Looking Back, Moving Forward theme allowed for reflection on long-standing established businesses as well as current trends in business and current societal challenges and a vision for the future.
The shared respect and support and boundless optimism in the room was palpable.
The word confidence came up several times in discussion - it was mentioned that in general, men will go for a job they feel they are 60% qualified for, whereas women are waiting to be 100% ready, qualified and confident. This may be a fact that has become common knowledge, but yesterday was a testament to its redundancy. Women are becoming braver and standing taller in business, action is what drives equality.
Rosy Temple from Magees pointed out, and I fully agree with her, that we should not be focused on gender at all – we are