The Woman’s Toolbox – The Power of “What If?”
By Guest Blogger Amy Rodgers
I am a big believer that every woman needs their own toolbox. I’m not talking about the metal kind that most men have in their garage. I’m talking about a skill tool box that we keep at our side to help us do our jobs and tackle challenges that we face in our careers and lives. Women need different tools than men to be successful, but once we recognize what these tools are and put them in our toolbox, the sky is the limit on what we can accomplish.
As a Human Resources Executive and business leader for over twenty years, I have had the unique experience to watch and help women navigate career decisions and personal challenges both in and out of the office. Through this great experience and my own journey of trial and error, I have learned what tools women need in their toolbox and when to use them.
One of the most important tools we can have in our tool box, but sometimes forget to use, is the Power of “What if?” It’s understandable, as life gets busy, and balancing careers, motherhood and families is a tough job that takes all, or most of our energy every week. But, what if we took a few minutes once in a while to ask ourselves “What if?” when we were navigating through career and personal decisions that have a direct impact on our success and happiness?
It’s a powerful question and powerful tool. Here’s why. When we ask ourselves “What if?” we are opening up the opportunity to explore possibilities that we may have thought couldn’t happen to us. “What if?” also leads to that next question, “What would it look like?” which helps us envision a plan that could get us to something greater for ourselves.
I hate to admit this, but sometimes as women, we can forget to channel our confidence to believe that we can get exactly what we want or need if we ask for it, and develop a plan to get there. We can sabotage ourselves by not giving permission to have what we need to be happy. That’s where the power of “What If?” kicks in to help.
Here are some examples of “What if?” in action:
“What if I gave myself permission to take time for myself every week so I feel more balanced. What would balance look like? Maybe two hours a week for a DIY hobby or yoga class would make me so much happier for myself and my family. “
“What if I could negotiate terms that would make that next job worth it to me? What would that offer look like? Perhaps getting that next job at a competitive salary and flexibility would give me the opportunity to thrive and make my next career move more rewarding.”
Using your “What if” tool can also be helpful to fix “No because.” While sometimes, we may conclude that it’s not possible to achieve career steps or balance for valid reasons, we have to be careful not to shut down real opportunities or real needs for the wrong reasons.
As women and mothers, we have a tendency to put all others first before us and shortchange ourselves. However, if we allow ourselves to explore the possibility first, that is truly half the battle. If we are open, we can build ourselves a wonderful toolbox and create amazing stories of success and satisfaction by harnessing the power of “What if?”
Amy Rodger’s career in Global Human Resources over the last twenty years has given her real experience on the front line of issues that affect women. First as a “Working Woman”, now as a “Working Mom” with two young girls, Amy sees the challenges, the roadblocks and the hard work it takes for us to thrive in our careers, strike balance within our personal lives, and to be our best.
Amy is passionate about figuring it out, helping others and connecting with other women who can relate. Her blog Chicago Working Women explores how we can put our determination to work and how to get “perfect” out of our vocabulary.
On this Friday heading into the weekend, I thought this short post, but powerful post could really open us up to possibility. The power of “What If?” is strong, and I hope you will examine that question in your own life, and see how you can make some more positive changes for yourself in 2016.
Have you ever thought, “What If?”