Yes I can hardly believe it - two years ago I left full time academic senior leadership in pursuit of 'doing meaningful work'.
That was it - the only criteria I had, was that everything I said yes to had to make a difference in some way.
And oh what a two years it has been.
There have been many downs, but some glorious ups too, and I have to say that at the end of year two I have so much more self belief and clarity than I did two years ago.
And what excites me most is the clarity I have gained thanks to the awesome Susanna Reay, about my coaching model.
Every time people asked me 'what do you do, who do you coach?' I would use the phrase - helping female leaders to put their needs first so they can lead with courage, create impact and thrive'.
Reconciling ambition, leadership and well-being is so important to me, after my personal experience of burnout.
I'm also passionate about helping women 'Play big' in the words of Tara Mohr (fabulous book and course, by the way), and in doing so moving beyond the social narratives that exist about how women SHOULD live.
And all it took for me to really nail my approach was to use a simple but hugely powerful set of frameworks, and hey presto, the Lady Rebel Leader ABC model of sustainable self-leadership was born..
Well that's all very pretty, but what the hell does it mean? I hear you ask.
The ABC model of self-leadership explained.
So from my experience of working with the brilliant women I have coached over the past two years, there are three keys to being able to sustain impact-driven ambition:
First: You need self awareness. As a psychologist, self awareness means awareness of your past, who you are today, and clarity on your preferred future self.
Second: You need to have a constructive belief system that fuels your courage, that keeps you connected to your ambition, that provides you with grit and does not tear you down each time things get tough.
Third: you need to be able to communicate effectively and not just with other people, but with yourself. You need to be able to listen to what your body and intuition are telling you, and communicate your needs from a place of self-love rather than apology.
What does this mean in reality?
When we have self awareness and constructive beliefs but difficulties communicating we can feel inadequate in our leadership and influence.
When we have constructive beliefs and good communication but poor self awareness this can lead us to feel overwhelmed as we are constantly oriented towards the needs of other people.
When we have high levels of self awareness and effective communication but a destructive belief system we can feel powerless.
When all three elements are working well for you, you will feel courageous, boundaried, focused, impactful and in balance.
If you want to know which of these areas you may need to work on take my How Sustainable is your Self-Leadership? quiz. The quiz leads to a personalised report with links to amazing FREE resources.
If you want to know more about the model then I'd love for you to attend one of my FREE 90 minute workshops.