Ep #155: Whole Self Series: Becoming a Balanced Working Mom with Rebecca Olson
I am so thrilled to be kicking off the first episode of my Whole Self Series with working mom life coach, Rebecca Olson!
In each episode of this 5-part interview series, I’ll bring you an expert on some of the most important areas of your life and career, including:
✨ Motivation and Wellbeing
✨ Visual Branding
✨ Managing Your Finances
✨ Marriage and Relationships
✨ And Working Moms (which we are about to dive into right now!)
Rebecca is a phenomenal woman, mother, and life coach for ambitious working moms.
And in this episode of Women Changing Leadership with Stacy Mayer, Rebecca and I dive into practical strategies that will help ambitious working moms successfully balance a deeply fulfilling homelife with an amazing career (and all the good stuff in between).
(And, sidenote: even if you don’t have children of your own, the strategies and insights you’ll receive in this episode will absolutely help YOU have a beautifully balanced life and career, too.)
If you want to step into 2023 not only loving your career, but also loving and feeling fulfilled in every aspect of your life, then join us for each episode of this series!
Let’s get started.
Want to receive the recognition you deserve, step into a higher leadership position, get paid for your ideas instead of the hours you put in at work, and enjoy more time, freedom, energy, and joy? Then you need to get your hands on a copy of Promotions Made Easy. Get your copy here.
What You'll Learn:
- How you being your top priority benefits your children (and everyone else in your life)
- Why you need to do less and be more
- Why you need to give yourself less time to do something
- The ‘enough’ triad and how it will help you create a better work/life balance
- Why you need to adopt a work-to-home transition
Listen to the Full Episode:
Featured on the Show:
- Listen to Rebecca’s podcast, Ambitious and Balanced Working Moms Podcast
- Listen to my interview on Rebecca’s podcast, Episode 83: Advancing your career as a working mom
- Connect with Rebecca on LinkedIn
- Connect with me on LinkedIn
- Follow me on Instagram
- Join my group coaching intensive, Executive Ahead of Time
- Get your copy of my book, Promotions Made Easy: A Step-by-Step Guide to the Executive Suite
- Go to StacyMayer.com/Strategies to join my email list and receive my email series, Seven Promotion Strategies that Your Boss Won’t Tell You
Stacy Mayer: Hello, everyone. Welcome to another episode of Maximize Your Career. I'm your host, Stacy Mayer, and super giddy to be here with you this week. I have a very dear friend of mine. I have known her as long as I have had a business coaching women to get promoted. And she is just an absolutely phenomenal woman, mother, life coach, everything. All around woman.
And for the first time, for some reason, we decided to interview each other this week for our podcast. Which is so funny because she also lives down the street from me. So we talk about work, we talk about the women that we support all the time, and this is the first time we ever got it, quote unquote, in writing. We were like: Let's record our thoughts, let's get it down.
So we did an episode, which I'm not sure on the timing. We'll certainly link to all the podcasts and everything when these episodes come out. I did a interview for her Ambitious and Balanced Working Moms Podcast. And then now she's come on today, and that gives you a sense, I haven't even said what the fabulous Rebecca does in her day job, but she's a life coach for ambitious working moms and she is an amazing mother of two and an incredible coach. And I'm just so excited to finally have her on my podcast. Thank you so much, Rebecca.
Rebecca Olson: Yes, so fun. And it is true why this has never come up before. I don't really know. This is moment that God or the universe or whomever brought it together and said, our audiences need each other right now and we're changing the world.
Stacy Mayer: Yeah, exactly. It's so, so good. Yes. So let me give a more formal introduction to Rebecca.
Rebecca Olson is a life coach for ambitious working moms. In her coaching practice trainings and podcast (ding, ding, ding, that I already mentioned) she helps her clients into the tug of war between work and home by helping them successfully balance a fulfilling career with their life as a mom.
Oh, so good.
Rebecca Olson: Yeah.
Stacy Mayer: So one of the things I love about Rebecca is her vulnerability and how in so much of her work, it's also reflected on her life journey and what she's been through as an ambitious working mom, trying to find balance in her own life. So, Rebecca, let's just go straight to it. What do you feel like have been some of your personal secrets to success in your life to find balance?
Rebecca Olson: I love this question. And you told me you were going to ask this question. So I've had some time to really think about it. The secrets, that feels so getting down into it, the secrets of it.
There's a couple of things that I would say. It's interesting, because what I would say is the secret now, I'm not sure if I would have said it's the secret five, seven, nine years ago when the journey as a mom really started. My daughter is eight. So I was pregnant roughly around this time nine years ago. So that journey as a mom started then.
But one of the things that I know has been a through line, through all of it that I think contributes to that fulfilling and balanced life is an attitude or like a mindset that I'm not going to settle and. I hate the idea that: well, this is just the way it is as a working mom. It's just hard. It's just hard. These kind of statements that we make as women, as moms, ss if that's just the way it is. It's factual, right? It's just hard as a working mom. You know, there's just always going to be a tug of war between work and home. I just really can't have it all. I'm going to have to choose.
This kind of mentality that is sort of out there in our culture. It was remarkable to me how I just adopted it as I became a mom. But I would hear myself say that I'd be like, no it's not. I don't have to settle for that. It doesn't have to be hard. I don't have to, like, sacrifice myself or whatever. It was just this not settling attitude. And I say that is because, I believe every balance problem, really every problem, is solvable. There's a there is a solution to it. The solution isn't always cookie cutter. It doesn't look exactly the same. But when something doesn't feel right or you want something different, then there's a way to go about figuring it out.
And when we have that mentality, like everything is solvable? I'm in this really challenging job. It's super demanding. It takes all of my time and the whole culture is about overworking and they all spend their time overworking. Like it's a startup culture or it's like a law culture, right? These like very traditional overworking. And you're there and you're like, I don't want to do this anymore. This isn't the life, but I don't want to give up my career. What am I going to do? Like that's solvable? That's there isn't there's a solution to that. It might be difficult, but there's a solution. And so anyway, this idea of not settling is one, is just this very deep inside of me mindset that there's a solution to everything and and I can figure it out.
Another one is seeing myself as the top priority. As moms we often put our kids as the top priority. And then probably work or sometimes those things are flipped, right? If there's a balance problem, those things are flipped. But generally speaking, we want our family to be first and then we want our work and then maybe we want our marriage. And then maybe if we can squeeze something in there, like it might be me. Generally speaking it's some order of that. And I believe that we should always be at the top of the priority list. Because when we're at the top of the priority list, all of those other things are going to benefit from it.
Rebecca Olson: And we can understand that usually when it comes to work. But we have a hard time understanding that when it comes to our kids, right? Our kids, we feel like our kids should get everything from us on some level. And that they should have all of our time and all of our energy and all of our resources, and we want everything for them. And that is true. But we have to take a moment and stop and realize: what does it actually mean to give them everything? Because a big portion of giving them everything is you showing up as the best version of you. If you're if the time that if you spent oodles amounts of time with them and a good portion of it isn't quality time, then why does it matter in the first place? So it's learning to have to reprioritize so that you come up at the top and then you start to think about: well, what does that really mean? For me to show up as my best self, what do I need? What kind of time do I need, what kind of resources, what kind of investments of time? What what are the activities I need to do? And that way you start showing up as a better version of you.
And then obviously everybody else is benefits. I think a great example of this, when it comes to my kids at least. This doesn't happen as much anymore, but it happened when they were a little bit littler. They would ask me incessantly to play with them. I just feel like you should play with them because you work and you don't see them all the time. And so you feel bad about that and you're like: Yes, I should want to I should want to do this. And I would just do like a gut check. Do I want to play or do I not want right now? Am I doing this out of obligation or am I doing this out of desire? And if it wasn't out of desire, I just wouldn't do it. And usually I would have to stop and think about it. Why don't I desire that right now? What's going on now? What I really just need is like 20 minutes to myself, and I just need to sit. I need to read a magazine and they need to be occupied doing something else. And those moments I found to be super... I mean, my kids hated it, but I knew that it was for me, right? That was me putting myself up at the top. So anyway.
Stacy Mayer: Oh, my gosh, I love that so much. You know, as you were talking, you said something and I was like, really? You said at at work, we're able to kind of separate, but then at home, we kind of just focus all of our attention on our children. I'm like, Oh, and at work we focus all of our attention at work. So what I'm hearing is something about identity where we're redefining our identity as self, right? So people get so caught up in their identity at work, Who am I? This is the career that I built. You know, children come into the picture and then that whole identity gets flipped on its head and we're very confused. And then how do I identify as a mom? We spend a ton of energy and time on that, but how do I identify as the self as a person? Right? Maybe in our twenties we did a lot of that. But like now, as a working mom? No, that always gets put to the back burner, so I really appreciate that.
Rebecca Olson: Yeah, I'm so glad you said this because I actually just did a podcast on this too, but I've been thinking a lot about this concept of, I call it the motherhood identity crisis or the identity crisis in motherhood. Yeah, I don't know a working mom that has not experienced that on some level. And what I mean by it is that it's like this it's this internal confusion that happens within us where we're kind of like, who am I and what do I really want now in life? And motherhood is a great reset moment that a lot of us don't take the time to take and allow for a reset on some level. We might reset back into the same life that we have, which is great, and we might reset it to something different, which is great. It's all good, right? But it's done from a very conscious place. And it's true that we have these identities and like roles. I'm a mom. I do this for my job. So I'm this. I'm a wife or a partner of some kind. I'm a mom, I'm a friend. And we think of ourselves in these kind of bucket bucket ways.
But none of that actually defines us, right? We're defined at a much deeper level than that. And I think there's a lot of importance in taking time, particularly after motherhood, to define us at a deeper level, to see ourselves apart from just being a mom and to see ourselves apart from the work that we do or being an executive or whatever that is, so that we realize that there's we don't have to always do in order to to to to be right. It's like our doing or being are two very separate things. And when we talk about balance, that's really, really important because usually for almost everybody, what we're talking about is doing less and being more. It's deprioritizing the doings, and the doing more and the achieving, so that we can be, which usually involves resting and being present and being spontaneous or adventurous at times or like letting in more fun. And we can't do that unless our brain stops prioritizing our tasks and our achievements and our to do lists and everything associated with those things. Whether that's at work or home. The paid work or the unpaid work, it's all in there.
Stacy Mayer: So how do we achieve things if we're d prioritizing achievement? So I just think about the women that, you use the term ambitious working moms, that term is in there, right? This is ingrained in us that we want a higher title. Maybe we want more pay, maybe we want to have whatever we decide to be successful. And we also want to be a really amazing mom, like we want to achieve things. So how do we sort of "balance" that achievement and that desire for more?
Rebecca Olson: It's such a good question because because our brains are kind of wired to think that if I get more done, then I can rest. As if there's something really magical about the amount that we do or like the the shortened to do list, if you will. If we checked all of the boxes, then we can rest. And it feels like there's a direct correlation. And there is a correlation between them. I'm not I'm not denying that. When there is not a whole lot to do, then we give ourselves permission to rest. The problem is when we're ambitious and when we are executives and wanting to continue forward in our career and move up, that there's going to be more responsibility and more on our to do list all of the time, right? That's never going to lessen. Generally speaking, it's only going to increase. And so we can't really be dependent on having a low to do list or a shortened to do list or like getting everything done in order to experience balance, in order to experience rest and presence in the way that we want to.
And so ultimately, what happens is when you start de prioritizing the doings and increasing the rest and the presence and the being, what's going to happen? There's kind of a middle ground. There's something that happens in the middle. There's like a transition. Because your brain starts to freak out. It's like, I'm not doing everything I'm supposed to be doing, and then you start feeling like you're behind and then you start feeling like you're overwhelmed and then you start feeling inadequate and all of these things that come with it. But we can't really problem solve for how to achieve more in less time until you, in fact give yourself less time to do something right. We can think about it like on a mental state.
Stacy Mayer: Oh my God, I just thought of it. Yeah, I thought of 2020. Like I instantly gave myself less time to work, right? Because I was like: My kids are home, I have less time. And I got really good at prioritizing very fast.
Rebecca Olson: I remember those conversations,. Stacy I remember I would check in with you and you'd be like, Yeah, I'm working just like 20 hours, like half the time. And I'm doing and I'm like: What are you talking about, Stacy? You are putting out more content, you've got clients coming in everywhere. This is not less time. But you're right. We all know how to do this, right, Like if you have a deadline at 5:00 today and you have to do something that usually would take you like 2 hours to do it and you've got to get this thing done at 5:00. You can't give yourself more time. You can't delay it any longer. So what are you going to do? You're going to turn off your phone, you're going to turn off your email, you're going to go on, do not disturb. You're going to close your door, you're going to tell people you're not available, you're not going to take any sidebars. If you feel stuck in your head, you're just like: Well, I don't have time to figure this out. I just got to make a decision. I got to move forward. So you can't really perfect anything, right? You just have to keep going. And everybody knows how to get it done when we give ourselves a smaller window of time to do it. Now what we're doing is just doing it on demand. And we're creating a situation where we have to figure out how to achieve and be successful at a higher level in less amount of time. And I find that the easiest way to do that is to just simply give yourself less time to do things.
Stacy Mayer: Yeah, no, totally.
Rebecca Olson: And the way we get there, the easiest way to help ourselves get to that place is if we ease all of the discomfort that's going to come along with doing that because your brain will start freaking out and start telling you that you're doing it wrong and that you're letting everybody down and people are going to be disappointed in you. And all of that's going to feel really uncomfortable and real. And so which is why this is like coming full circle to like, you are not your job and you are not your you are not just a mom, you are a human being. Your value is not found in there. Like your brain has to see that this isn't the end all, be all. And when it does that, it's going to ease up a little bit and give you some of the flexibility and the ability that a problem solving muscle to like actually figure it out.
Stacy Mayer: Yeah. And that is so perfect that you ended on that note because one of the things when you were talking I was thinking about this, this triangle of identity, right. And having the self at the top in the forefront. So then if you are going after achievement per se, like a higher title or whatever that recognition might be for you, you get to the point where it's 100% for self, right? It's not because of something that your parents told you you should do or expectations at work. And I know that you do a lot of work with women on finding that clarity of purpose and really understanding what it is that they're meant to create in the world. And when you do that and you combine it with the self and achievement, there is literally nothing we can achieve and do, right? It's so amazing.
Rebecca Olson: 100% because it is for it's it's for it's not because we need to prove ourselves in any way, which is where a lot of it also comes from. Like this mentality that when we achieve at a certain level, when we get somewhere, then then right, we will have this sense of value and success in the world and we will have made the impact that is valuable and some way, right, that will feel good and adequate and we'll have made it right. This kind of strange thought that we have out there, particularly in America. And it's but when we can strip all of that away and we can just say, I want this, for me, it's a desire. It comes from a dream. I can see where it's coming from. I know the kind. I know why it's important to me. I know how it impacts myself and my family in the most amazing ways. And I can let it go and move on to something else and still know that I'm on the right path and that I'm amazing and that I'm doing great things and I'm making an impact. It allows that ability to shift and pivot, which is also another big part of balance, is not feeling like life has to be a certain way and it feels so structured in terms of like the trajectory of life. Oftentimes feels very we feel very close and we feel very boxed in. And we want in a balanced life, you don't feel boxed in. You feel like you have freedom, you feel like you have control, right? You feel like you can you could pivot and you could do this over here and you could do this over here. And it would all be right and it would all be good, right?
Stacy Mayer: And, you know, as you're talking to, if you're a listener and you don't have actual children, but you're a mother in different ways or a caretaker of somebody or just a an amazing woman or whoever you might be, if you're still listening, you know that all of this applies to you. And I'm almost hearing motherhood more as instead of this hindrance as a gift to open up that focused attention. Because it gives us that gift to say, okay, you know what? This is not the life that I was meant to live. And and you can't have that ego driving your success anymore. So, okay, I still want success for me. So how am I going to go after it instead?
Rebecca Olson: So good. Yeah. And when when less is on the line, we're more willing to fail. Right? And failure is such a big part of getting ahead, right? We fail. Failing forward is so much better. When we do that ten times, we get way further than taking one right one step that we didn't fail at. Right. Right. So the ability to to pivot and to fail and to try and to not succeed and to learn from it and to grow and to to take those kinds of risks, those are those could be risks in our career, like taking on certain projects or certain roles or doing things that are different, that are outside of our comfort zone, or they could be they could be risks like just figuring out, how to leave work at 5:00 every day and and prioritize differently. And you're going to probably fail at that the first several times that you try to figure out how to do that. None of that needs to be personal. None of it needs to mean anything about you as an individual, as a human being. You're still just as amazing as you were before. And there's still no need to prove yourself, because deep down, you already know that, you know that at your core, and that no matter what you do, no matter if you're successful or you fail at any of your endeavors, you will. You are still a human being with great value, right? Your stuff. Yeah.
Stacy Mayer: Yeah, absolutely. So I know that you work with ambitious working moms that work in the corporate world that are entrepreneurs, ambitious working moms that have decided to take a break from work for a little while, like you work with with women all across the board, but specifically in the corporate world, do you find that there is a mom tax, for lack of a better word? I mean, I see it all the time. So I just think, not to set you up, but I'd love to have a little frank conversation about that.
Rebecca Olson: Yeah, the mom tax, meaning like, is there a hindrance for you as a mom?
Stacy Mayer: 100%. Like gender bias, like everything, right? Like it's like we pay a tax, we get paid less money. There was recently, you know, moms equal pay day. It's like, why do we need this? Because moms statistically get paid less. As soon as you have a child, your income dips. So all of that kind of stuff, the tax that we pay.
Rebecca Olson: And the difference between a working dad and a working mom are wildly different. I was just reading some an article about...I think the study was done just earlier this year and they were interviewing both moms and dads about their perspectives of the care caregiving during COVID, after COVID, if things changed, did did you feel like you had to give up on your career in some way or you missed some opportunities because you were a parent? And all of these. And it was so interesting to see statistically what everybody as a group said. And then the difference between the men and the women. So different between all of our perspectives. Because statistically as a culture, it is still very true that women are traditionally the caregivers and they are the first to take care of the kids. They are thought of as being the best to take care of the kids from widely, widely believed that that's still true. If one of them is going to stay home, It is widely believed that the woman is the better one to stay home. Like all of that has been studied and it continues to be the case.
So there's no question that there is a bias against women in the workplace and then there's an added bias against us as as working parents. And that is the truth. That's truth that that's where we live in. And we can get all frustrated and upset about that. And at the same time, I have worked with women that have been in the most family friendly companies at the top of their career that have the greatest flexibility possible to them, that any kind of company you would hear of would give them at this point, and they still work 60 plus hours a week because they themselves haven't figured out that their value isn't found in their work and that it's okay to balance life. There is a problem in our corporate world and there's a problem in our in our employers. And we need to do a lot to help in that realm. And if we as individuals don't change our identity away from having to always achieve and do better and be successful in order to feel good about ourselves, then it's not going to matter.
Stacy Mayer: Yeah, absolutely. No, I love that you pointed that out because so much of it, you know, is internalized and our own personal belief system. And as you said, it's a you use the word truth. And I know that you work in your work a lot on your beliefs and what you think about the situation actually creates how you feel if you have that that balance or not. And it's like it's a truth. But is it true? You know, and that's what I heard when you said that. And it's like, well, yeah, we can have there can be situations where we have the odds stacked against us. Like you said at the very beginning of this episode, like our company culture is a certain way and the expectations are to work 60 hour weeks or whatever might be happening for us and all the way. On the other end of the spectrum, it might be a culture where they say, No, take time off, take time off. Like really, No, we're leading by example. Please take care of yourself. That's all we care about. But at the end of the day, it's how we handle it, how we look at the situation, how we feel about ourselves that makes all the difference, how we.
Rebecca Olson: Feel about ourselves, how good our work is, and how much we did. Those are the three that I always talk about.
Stacy Mayer: What does that mean? Let's talk about that.
Rebecca Olson: I call it the enough triad. It has to do with believing at all times, no matter if you're successful or you're failed or you where you want to be or you're not. If you're working today or you're home sick with your kid, it's believing that I am enough, I am good enough and I am doing enough. It's the three beliefs that I think are at the heart of creating work life balance. When those when those three are unquestioned, then balance is inevitable for you because you're not questioning yourself. You always believe that your work is amazing no matter what it is, no matter if it was the best thing you've ever put out or it's not, and you're always believing that what you achieve today was exactly what you needed to achieve and you didn't need to do anything more. And it's so core to a balanced life. And it's if you talk to somebody that you would perceive as having a very balanced life, that seems to like work a normal ish amount of hours and seems to take a lot of time for themselves, if you talk to them about how they do that in some of their mindsets, what they're going to tell you is like: Yeah, I just always feel like I'm right on top of it all of the time. It doesn't really matter how many things on my to do list I did today, I just always believed that it was exactly how much I was supposed to do today. And I and I gave everybody exactly what I'm supposed to give. And I showed up in the best possible way. And it's just never using external evidence against them.
Stacy Mayer: So we understand that there is a belief triad and I kind of see it outside of myself. So I have to believe that I'm enough. I'm sure you have something that you lead your clients through to actually work with this triad. I'd love to hear. So what is that?
Rebecca Olson: Oh, sorry.
Stacy Mayer: You can keep it all to yourself. Join her programs.
Rebecca Olson: Yes. So there's a there's a couple of things. There's a couple because these are mindsets. Right. And so we're talking about coming back full circle, back to your idea of like: it's the truth. What is the true truth of it? And it all is a matter of perspective, right?Is it helpful for you to believe that the odds are stacked against you?
Stacy Mayer: Yeah, exactly.
Rebecca Olson: Is it useful to you? When you think the odds are stacked against you, how do you show up at work? How do you how do you think about what's possible for you at there? How do you advocate for yourself with this like mindset?
I was so ignorant during the 2008 recession, total ignorant. I was in my mid twenties. But I applied for a job that had 550 applicants to it because it's one of the highest unemployment's we've had in a really long time. It was like 12 or 13% at the time I was applying. I had none of that in my mind, didn't even know. It was like I didn't even occur to me in my ignorance that this was a tough job market. I just applied, right? I got that job. Probably, partially, because I didn't put that pressure on on myself, like: this is my only opportunity. There's not a lot out there. I got to show him whatever. Like I just showed up as me and I knew I was the best person for the job, and so I showed up in that way. Like that mindset was what was helpful to me.
And so when we come back to thinking about ourselves as being enough and good enough and doing enough, these are these are belief systems that we can have about ourselves and we get to decide what evidence points us to that. You can decide that getting two things done on your to do list when it was only when it was supposed to be ten is not enough and that you didn't do enough today. I mean, there's an argument for that, right? Is that a useful argument? Probably not if you want to come home and turn off your work brain and be present with your family. Or you could decide those two things were absolutely essential and it was the best use of your time and you'll figure out how to get the rest of it done at another time. And that kind of mentality like those two things and nail them, they were exactly what I needed to do had you leaving work feeling like you did everything you were supposed to do today and you don't need to log back on to do more because those were the two things you were 100% supposed to do, and you're so glad you spent your time doing them and you feel really good about it, right? Both are true. One mindset makes you feel like you did enough and one mindset makes you feel like you didn't write and will lead and consequently lead to behaviors that will either let you rest or not let you rest.
So similarly with I am Enough and I'm good enough, these are these are perspectives ultimately of you. You could look at the evidence that you have to show that the work that you did, maybe you didn't get the client that you went out to get or you didn't nail that project or that presentation that you wanted to nail, right? You could walk away from those presentations and those projects or those meetings or those conversations that you have with your allies. I know you talk a lot about allies, you walk away from some of these conversations feeling like you could have done something better or different and that it wasn't good enough and that you could have crafted that a little bit differently, you could have eked out a little bit more, you know, pizzazz out of it in some way and maybe gotten into a different result. And maybe that's true. It's probably not a useful way to think about it, because then you're thinking about all the things that you did wrong and you're shaming yourself and you're feeling bad and there's all this guilt, and then that emotion is going to stick with you when you go home tonight. You're going to have a really hard time letting it go and you're going to replay it in your head over and over again, and you're not going to be able to be present. So it's probably not useful for you to think about versus like I prepared with everything I possibly could in the amount of time that I had to prepare it while managing all of my other priorities was the exact amount right amount of time that I had to prepare for it. I walked in as prepared as I possibly could be in that moment. I nailed the parts that I could nail. Of course, I could get better at other parts because I'm a human being and growth is always possible and I welcome that growth. Like you could start thinking about it in a different way and thinking about how it was actually good and how that meeting, actually the parts of it that were really good and how you nailed it, and you could walk away feeling like: yeah, of course maybe things could have gone better. But I mean, that's life. There isn't a perfect life, right? And so you could have that perspective if you want. And that is going to be more useful. It's going to help you be in the right headspace and the right energy in order to have the life outside of work ultimately that you want to have.
Stacy Mayer: Yes, absolutely. And as you were talking, I was thinking about the person who is so completely overwhelmed and they're like listening and they're like, okay, Rebecca, thanks so much. That all sounds great for you. You do this work every day, and here I am still stuck in the crappy job trying to pay my bills. Maybe I'm a single mom trying to figure it out, and I still want to be ambitious at my job. So what I really love about your work is you give such like, simple, actionable steps that I can take like yesterday and just put it into practice, kind of get me out of that funk, right? So as I'm building towards this, like, you know, ability to work with my thoughts and my beliefs, what's like something simple that I could do right away that will help pull me out of that funk?
Rebecca Olson: Thank you for coming back to that, because you did ask me how, and I didn't give you a lot of how. I explained it a little bit more. But I want to I do want to come back to the how, the very actionable things.
With each of these, yes, we're talking about mindsets. And so in in having to work through your thought, I mean, your mindset is a thought. It's a perspective, right? It's the words that go through your head is the simplest way I like to say it. And we you can you can work on your thoughts in the moment and you can work on your kind of overall belief systems. And when we when we're talking about some of our earlier conversation around like identity and like who you are, that's important work to be doing on a meta scale. Like with my clients, we work through their core values and we work through their core priorities and we work through with their purpose and we talk about their identity at a more meta level, not just in their roles, because I want them to have all of this language to like to describe themselves and to understand themselves. So they have like almost like data points to describe themselves not just through the lens of all of their achievements, but just through the lens of like a human. And that's that kind of work is what is gets at the core of like believing that I am enough as a human being. I don't have to do anything to prove it to anyone. I just am. And that kind of core work can, can help that.
When you start talking about like particularly the doing enough because that's, that's one that gets in in the middle of balance all of the time. Because you can't shut down your work brain and you log back on later to get more done because you didn't get it done during the work day or you feel the need to work on the weekends. All of these like behaviors that we don't want to be doing in a balanced life. A lot of it stems from the belief that you didn't get enough done, that you're behind and that you should be doing more right and you should be checking more off your list.
I think one of the most actionable and helpful practices that you can adopt is what I call a work to home transition. And it's literally what you do between work and between home. Now, I know since COVID, a lot of people work at home. So it's 10 minutes before you walk out of your office door and you enter in with your time with your family. Or if you're in an office, it's like your commute home or it's 10 minutes in your office before you get on your commute and come home. But it's literally like the last thing you do before as you leave your office and before you before you get to your to your family. And what you're focusing on is, you're intentionally directing your thoughts to: what have I achieved today? How do I know it was enough? These are questions that I walk my clients to ask. I actually have like a whole worksheet for them to develop this practice for themselves. What did I do today that was amazing. How how was it enough? How how did I show up uniquely and impact my company today? How did I know that my work was valuable today? How do I know it was? These are the right things to focus on. They might not answer all of these questions, but these are like the flavors of questions that they're answering because their brain has a negative bias already. It's already going to tell them all of the things that they didn't do and shouldn't have done and the ways that they did it wrong. That happens for all of our human. Our human brains are wired that way. So all we're doing is we're taking some intentional questions and we're we're forcing it to think of the other side of the equation. How could we look at what we accomplished today and how much we accomplished today and think of it from a really amazing, valuable state.
And you do that right before you leave. And then in addition to that, you take a moment to think about what you're going to accomplish tomorrow, because that's another thing that tends to run through our head a lot when we get home. And it has a hard time shutting down. It's like, Well, I've got to do X, Y and Z. And I didn't get to that email today and I really got to get to that. And you start thinking about all these things. And one of the ways you can shut that down is like: get it all down on paper right before you leave and decide which of these three things are top priority tomorrow. Stick that on your desk and like walk away. We know to-do lists are super overwhelming for our brain. So just having like three things that you decided when you come in versus like getting in there with your coffee and looking at it and going: what should I work on today? This feels really overwhelming. I have so many things to do. It's like: No, no, no. You decided yesterday what you're going to do. You're going to just do those three things. And if you get them done, great. Pull out your list. Decide what else you're going to do.
But those are some of the ways that I help my clients come up with this transition, which is such a key moment for all of us because we don't see our kids all that long, Right? We don't see your family all that long. And we want that time. We want to be present in that time. We want to feel like that time with our family at the end of a workday is enough and that we're connecting with them and that we want to feel like we have a life outside of work, which means we have to learn how to shut down our brain and feel all the good feels from work instead of all the negative feels from work.
Stacy Mayer: Oh my God, this is such a game changer. My husband asked me one day why I always leave as soon as the meeting is over. So since we're both working from home, he sees what I do. And so he knows that as soon as the call is over, I like shut my computer and walk out the door. And he specifically was telling me he's like, take 10 minutes after. And as you're saying this: I'm just like, my mind is blown on how beneficial that would be to just take the 10 minutes at the end of your day. Because when you're talking about not rushing from one thing to another, like hurrying up, like giving yourself that space to say: I am enough, I did enough. Just go through the belief triad at the end of your workday for 10 minutes. I could just see that as literally changing everything. We talk about the morning routine. I think this is the closing routine and this is like frickin brilliant. I am in awe right now. I'm like, Oh my God, I'm going to do this today.
Rebecca Olson: It's amazingly effective. And it's strangely really hard for us to do.
Stacy Mayer: Oh yeah. Of course we want to do.
Rebecca Olson: It feels better for us to check one more thing off of our list than it does to take 10 minutes to reflect.
Stacy Mayer: Or to get to the kids as fast as possible. Like, why would we wait? Right? That's our goal, is to get out of work. But then that's the cycle that we're repeating cycle.
Rebecca Olson: Because we think that being with our kids more is better than showing up as our best self less, right? Yeah, that's where that's it all comes back to like this, the time and the achieving and that self. It's like, no, no, no, no. This is about you being the best version of you. And when you do that, it will feel like enough and you will feel like enough as a mom and you're going to feel better at yourself, at work and your energy. You just show up so differently when you feel like you're nailing it at work and you feel like you're nailing it as a mom and you've done everything you're supposed to do and you're highly valuable all over the place, like you're amazing. You show up and you advocate differently. You move your you you move through key conversations around moving your career ahead very differently when you're in that mindspace instead of like: I should be doing more. I hope they recognize me. I've been head down in the weeds.
Stacy Mayer: And don't take our word for it. Try it. I love what you're saying. It's like you can just see: Do you feel better? Are you more connected? Did that end your day better? I just love that so much.
So corporate badasses do the ten minute closing routine. Let us know how it goes.
Speaking of letting us know, Rebecca. How can people find you? I really do want you guys to reach out to us and let us know if you've tried it and how it felt for you.
Rebecca Olson: Yeah, I would love that. I would love that. You can find me on LinkedIn is one way. And I'm Rebecca Olsen coaching right there on LinkedIn and you're going to find me. But I also have my podcast is a great way to continue to get these kinds of tips and to keep the conversation going around how do you not settle for the imbalanced state that you're at, but get yourself into that balanced state? And you've already said it, but it's the Ambitious and Balanced Working Moms. And I would love for you to follow me there. And of course, you can go to my website and connect with me there. There's a way to send me an email and that's just RebeccaOlsonCoaching.com.
Stacy Mayer: Awesome. Absolutely. So any final words as we head out today for corporate badasses looking to advance their career? Find that balance also be an amazing mom do all the things. Anything else you want to share with us before we go today?
Rebecca Olson: I mean, I'm going to bring it full circle back to my very first statement about not settling, because I think that's really where it's at. It doesn't have to be hard and it doesn't have to feel impossible. LIf you don't have the working mom life that you want, meaning that you you're not advancing in your career in the way you want and and or you're not showing up as the mom that you want to be and you feel like you're sacrificing one for the other, you don't have to do that. There are ways to not do that. This is the moment where you decide and you go all in to figuring out how to make a working mom life happen for you that you absolutely love. There's tons of resources out there for you. People like me, that coach on this, free resources if that's what you need for now. But it's taking that thought away from you like: this is just the way it is and deciding it doesn't have to be. And if it doesn't have to be, what do I need to get myself to the place where I am in a working mom life that I just love and I can I adore and that I wake up every day excited to be living.
Stacy Mayer: Oh, yes, Rebecca, you've gotten me so fired up. I always get fired up after our conversations. I'm just grateful that we finally recorded one of them so people can get inspired as well. So thank you so, so much for being here. I really appreciate it.
Rebecca Olson: Yep, absolutely. Thanks for having me, Stacy.
About Your Host
Hi! I'm Stacy Mayer, a Certified Executive Coach and Promotion Strategist on a mission to bring more diversity to the leadership table by getting 1000 underrepresented corporate managers promoted into senior executive positions each year worldwide.
I help undervalued executives scale to the C-Suite using repositioning strategies that build your confidence and visibility, so you can earn the recognition and support you need from key stakeholders while embodying your unique leadership style.
My podcast “Maximize Your Career with Stacy Mayer” tackles topics like executive communication, getting more respect in the workplace from challenging bosses and team members, and avoiding the common mistakes that sabotage career advancement.