Guest Blog: The Power of the Menopause by Katie Day
You may find yourself reacting to the above title. Menopause and power are rarely two words that women automatically put together in the same sentence! At our workshops I regularly see fabulous, strong, fierce and talented women who are doubting themselves. Women who doubt they have anything to offer. Women who assume they are now invisible to the people around them. Women who think the world doesn’t need them anymore. Women who have stopped believing in themselves.
However, with the right support and information, it can be one of the most potent times of our lives. The majority of women will reach menopause around 50 – 52. This is also the time most of us with come into our real strength in our careers. Once we find how to navigate this life transition and important ‘rite of passage’ it allows us to truly get in touch with our values, passions and vision. We are likely to have far less invested in the opinions of others when we reach our 50s, and this frees us up to live our lives with purpose and clarity. I have worked with women on their personal brand for over 30 years now, and I talk about how most people (women and men), for the first 40 odd years, are likely to live their lives fulfilling the expectations of other people (parents, teachers, partners, children, friends, employers, clients etc).
For women this can translate into the ‘good girl’ syndrome. I can remember when this re-evaluation of my life kicked in for me. I mentally retrieved the painting other people had painted for me when I was born, depicting my life. I examined the scene, decided which parts, if any, I wanted to keep and then repainted the picture. At the age of 59 (60 in November) I am just getting going! I see at least another three, possibly four, decades in front of me that are full of adventures, excitement and possibility. The only person who will get in my way is me, and I don’t intend to do that. This life transition presents a brilliant opportunity to reassess, re-evaluate, redefine and, if desired, re-invent. It is when we start to live our life congruently, in harmony with our values, meaning and purpose. It offers an opportunity to support other women coming up behind us, and share our wisdom and experience. At work we offer our employers, even if our employer is ourselves(!) a woman who is strong, independent, experienced, confident, wise and a real asset. We are not invisible. We are very visible, if we choose to be, and for the right reasons. Our grounded wisdom represents the foundations upon which companies, teams and people can grow. We provide the strong roots that support everyone around us, guiding the young saplings and encouraging them to grow and flourish. Give yourself permission to acknowledge your greatness and your magnificence. Accept willingly your power and potency. Be comfortable accepting this rite of passage and be clear in your communication that you are now offering even more to colleagues and clients.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it! Get yourself a notebook and write at the top of the page: If I were my employer, the ten top things I would employ myself to deliver would be: And then complete the list, also capturing the evidence to show how good you are at each thing you write down. Finish by writing yourself a personal statement. This is when you get full permission, and encouragement, to really step into your greatness, without embarrassment or censure. Start the statement with the words ‘I am …’ then complete, using as much space as you need. The reason you start with ‘I am …’ is that you are bringing everything you write into the present tense and telling yourself you are already there, already this person and already living what you write. Then breathe in the words and really own them. Accept your brilliance and live it!
Katie Day is a Director of RDP International Ltd (firstname.lastname@example.org) RDP International works with organisations on: leadership / communication / all matters ‘midlife’ www.rdp-int.com
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