Everyone knows the saying “Feel the fear and do it anyway”.

You know it too. You know you need to be more visible– otherwise how will people know how good you are at what you do? You know need to speak up confidently at that important meeting, or present yourself differently in the interview for that promotion. You’d be perfect for the job, after all.

In your heart of hearts, you know that you’re more than capable and that you deserve to climb the ladder. So, you feel the fear and do it anyway. You pump yourself up and put yourself forward and go for these opportunities.

But it’s a different kettle of fish when you’re actually in the moment – panic runs through your body, your brain feels like it’s melting and when you start to speak it’s completely disconnected from what you intended to say. You don’t recognise this version of yourself: who are you and what’s coming out of your mouth?!

The reality is grim and harsh when you realise that you’ve made a total fool of yourself, and not for the first time. You just want to hide away, exhausted, and lick your wounds.

Pushing yourself to do these difficult things, but then coming away exhausted, and maybe a little sore, from it being such a horrible experience makes you pull away. You retreat and decide instead to keep a low profile – maybe you even decide its easier to sit back and be invisible.

But after a while you feel brave – because this is something you really, really want – and so again decide to step out from behind the parapet and go for the opportunities you’re so desperate to enjoy. But as soon as you go for that interview or give that presentation, the same feeling of brain melt-down happens and before you know it, you’re exhausted and beating a hasty retreat again.

I call this the Push-Pull Cycle. This approach is exhausting and doesn’t get you anywhere except a fast-track to burnout and frustration. It can leave you watching the years tick by, wondering where the time is going, and how others get ahead when you just can’t seem to? Maybe you’ve reached the point where you’ve decided it’s just not possible for you to achieve your career goals.

Being stuck in the Push-Pull Cycle isn’t your fault: your brain is stuck in fear mode. And you can’t take the blame when you’ve been told this is the only way to overcome the resistance to getting yourself out there, so you can get promoted.

But what if I was to tell you that this isn’t true? That “feel the fear and do it anyway” is a lie?

That it only works for a small minority of people (usually young and male), and that the female midlife brain needs a different way, a better way of managing your fear (and your brain) so you can stop being stuck in the Push-Pull Cycle and instead step into being the person you know you’re meant to be, and enjoy the success you deserve.

It’s time to understand that one size does not fit all, that you need an approach designed for you and the special requirements of the midlife, female brain. That’s how you become the person you want to become, how you get that promotion and fulfil your dreams.

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