Are you practicing hope-strategy?

This morning I got back from my personal kickboxing training, full of energy and inspiration and I felt like I wanted to share something with you.

The thing was: I actually didn’t feel like it before the training (even though I love doing sports)
My bed was warm, it’s suddenly 10 degrees colder here in the Netherlands and it was raining outside. But I decided to go anyway; first of all because I am paying my personal trainer so that gives me accountability and secondly and more importantly: because I know what it brings me.
I feel more energetic afterwards, it helps me to stay fit and I also know that when I am there I even like doing it.

And you might be wondering: but what does that have to do with me, Esther?

I am sharing this with you because there are a lot of parallels with your career.

  • Where are you currently sabotaging yourself?
  • What would be possible for you if you start showing up as an actual female leader?
  • What would happen if you start taking 100% responsibility for your own career?
  • What does not investing in yourself cost you?

This month it is 20 years ago that I officially started working in the sports industry. In 2000 I volunteered at UEFA EURO 2000 and there I made the decision that this was what I wanted to do myself as well after finishing my studies.
And that is what I did. In the meantime I have worked on countless events such as FIFA World Cups, UEFA Euros and the Olympic Games; and besides having my own coaching & training business, I also work as an UEFA Venue Director.

To celebrate this, I am sharing one valuable insight or learning I wish I had known earlier in my career on social media. Today’s advice is: start with personal development, it’s invaluable.

The reason I am at the position where I am today is because I invested in myself. Yes, I definitely had certain skills and I thought I knew myself, but I had a lot of blind spots that stopped me from becoming the female leader I currently am.
And I invested in myself: over and over again, ten thousands of euros, a lot of time and energy.

Because first of all: I am worth it. I am worth it to invest in myself.
And also: because I saw which steps I started taking when working with a coach or mentor. Like the steps I am making with my personal trainer.
How these mentors saw and see me bigger than I do; how they saw my potential. And they mirrored me on how I was actually still sabotaging and limiting myself.

In the last week I got approached by a couple of women who wanted to take the next step in their career but wrote that they don’t have the options to invest.
My question to them is: is that true? Don’t you have these options or don’t you want to invest in yourself?
Don’t you believe you’re worth the investment? What is your career worth to you?
Because if you don’t even find yourself worth an investment in yourself, how do you think others will value you?
What has it already cost you not to take action? And then I am not even speaking about what staying in the same position will cost you in the future?

Yes, you can choose for “hope strategy” and hope that you will get success in the long run; hope that ‘they’ will see you because of all your hard work. Hope that one day you will get this promotion or dream job.
But what if you would take 100% responsibility and take control in your own hands?
Because that is what actual female leaders do.

Talking about that, another woman recently approached me with the following challenge:

It seems I encounter challenges to change my current job as I lack tangible experience within the international sport and the Olympic movement.
I want to understand what external and internal barriers stop me from further career development. How to change the internal barriers (within me). When interviewing for ‘dream jobs’ I think I am too eager and it is hard to maintain an equal partners position.

She actually already applied for some leading jobs in the sports industry; was sometimes also invited for an interview and made it to the last ones, but never got the job.
She took control in her own hands and decided to approach me to see what was stopping her from getting the job she wanted.

I created a one-month 1-to-1 programme for her because of this specific request and because I knew how I could help her.
And…she got her dream job (and that after just one session together)!🎉

Yes, I definitely helped her; I made her aware about how she was sabotaging herself and we prepared her interview together.
But: she did it, she showed up. She wasn’t afraid to invest in herself, to get herself a mentor to see how she could improve; she realised that she was making the same mistake over and over again ánd decided she wanted change. She went for it, she found herself worthy to invest in herself and she succeeded.
That is what female leaders do.

Do you feel it is time to take control in your own hands and do you feel that I am the one that can help you with this?

Then fill in this form to see how I can help you best.
It might be with my upcoming Feminine Leadership group programme; but I decided to also make a limited amount of this one-month 1-to-1 programmes available.
If you fill in the form, I can see which programme would be best for you.

Yes, I’m ready to take my career to the next level🚀

To conclude, please remember: I’m ready to dive in with you, but my eagerness shouldn’t surpass yours. Real leadership, after all, is about taking the lead, taking full responsibility; about investing in yourself.

About taking actual steps. Steps that might feel uncomfortable but that will bring you to the position where you want to be (and even far beyond….✨).

Esther Huijsmans

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