“Thank you so much for today, honestly Wonder Woman, you are truly incredible.”
“Honestly Caroline, I’ve felt so energised since i paid your invoice on the weekend. It’s like the simple act of doing that was me showing myself that I believe enough in myself to make that investment. I already feel like I’ve made changes and I haven’t even started yet! x”
“Working with Caroline was brilliant in so many respects. Not only is she an incredibly intuitive and emotional intelligent individual her approach to business solutions is both refreshing and incredible valuable. She has given me clarity on how to map out my future success and growth plans whilst also giving me new tools in which to deliver them. I cannot recommend Caroline and her services highly enough.”
“Thank you for the clarity you bring me. I love our sessions. You are so good at what you do. Thank you.”
“Thank you!! It has been an amazing journey with you and the take away is immense. You are a shining star. Thank you so much for everything.”
“Caroline is the marvel I was looking for – I was at a stalling point in my career and contacted her in the hope she may be able to help. Right from the off she’s understood my muddled worries and has been brilliant at identifying the causes behind that and helping me focus on how to make positive changes for the future. What I love about her is how engaging she is and how just ‘gets’ what I am talking about – no waffling nonsense or hard-sell, just honest experience and advice. Plus the homework I do keeps me motivated and on track.
I’ve been able to seize control of and feel confident enough to ask for what I want. I couldn’t recommend her more highly.”
“I have gained so much from my sessions with Caroline. Initially I was looking for some general business guidance but it has developed into something much more worthwhile with many areas of my life benefitting greatly. With Caroline’s support my self confidence and self worth is growing every day and I am already beginning to reap the rewards in my business from the greater focus I now have. What is so great about Caroline’s approach is that she gets the daily challenges you face and equips you with the tools to meet them head on, cope with the overwhelm and come out the other side on top.”
“With baby no.3 on the way I felt at a cross roads in my life. While still enjoying my job in Adland I felt I was missing out on time with the kids, that I was being stretched in numerous ways (time, finance, focus, family…) and that I’d also lost myself somewhere along the way. I knew I wanted a radical overhaul and to try and tap into some of the creativity I knew I once had. Her intuitive nature and realism meant she totally empathised and felt my frustrations. Working with Caroline helped get this all out in the open. A truly cathartic experience. Without really realising it my whole mindset has completely shifted. I feel more in tune with myself, have developed my (severely lacking) self belief and I am now embarking on a business venture of my own which I’m determined to make a success of during my maternity leave. A few months ago this would have been inconceivable but with Caroline’s support and understanding I truly believe I can do it. I’m still a work in progress but the shift has been transformational.”
Emerald Street publication on Winging It Workshops
WHY SOMETIMES IT’S OK TO NOT KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING
A new series of workshops is encouraging women to trust themselves and practise bravery.
Take a look at your life now. Your home, your career, your friendships, even your nail colour. How did you get here? At any point, did you feel like you were just… winging it? Yes. Resoundingly, overwhelmingly, yes.
Sometimes we’ve all just had to dive in and hope for the best. To trust gut feelings, to trust that things will fall into place. And there’s something to be said for that.
This is not in praise of frivolity, or recklessness. But it is in praise of bravery, in trusting in your own abilities, in believing that you are an adaptable, quick-thinking, fast-learning human being and that it’s ok to – excuse the cliché – follow your dreams.
Studies have shown that women are less confident about themselves than men. Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In stated that women often wait to apply for a job until they meet 100 percent of the hiring criteria – men apply when they meet just 60 percent. We’re less impulsive (which can be a good thing – it makes us safer drivers, and much more law-abiding) and tend to think of all possible outcomes.
All this is something Ceriann Smith has first-hand experience of, and it led to her leaving her PR consultancy job to found the Winging It Club. “Perfectionism and high standards are traits that have plagued me throughout my life,” she says. “Ever since I’ve held my hands up to winging it – trying to do the best I can but not necessarily knowing what I’m doing all of the time – I’ve felt more of a sense of freedom than I ever have done before. It’s about escaping the shackles of perfection and giving ourselves permission to just go for it.”
The Winging it workshops, which Ceriann co-founded with Caroline Britton, gather together panels of interesting women (the next few are in Hale, Greater Manchester, but they’re heading to London, too, soon), with the aim of helping attendees realise their full potential and leave feeling motivated, inspired and emboldened.
At their most recent event, this panel included a nurse who was signed off work with depression and anxiety and decided to become a yoga teacher (“All I knew was I liked yoga and it made me feel good!”), a secondary school teacher who wanted to launch a children’s boutique (“I just wished there were more traditional handcrafted toys available”) and a hobby inventor who, sick of the mess her children were making, developed a new kind of bib.
All of them had valuable lessons to share:
Use a break – whether that’s through illness, maternity leave, redundancy, whatever – to your advantage
Use it to re-evaluate where you are now and where you want to be
If you decide to make a drastic career change, be practical about it – see a financial advisor, get a pension sorted
Tackle one obstacle at a time
Find the people who will offer you support
Work out how you define your own happiness – is money really the most important part of work?
Really, genuinely, can’t do something? Get someone else to do it! Don’t be afraid to outsource some tasks (but be wary of delegating too much, or you’ll take away your chance to learn)
Lucy Estherby, the above-mentioned secondary teacher who founded that children’s boutique – Acorn & Pip – said at the workshop, “I’ve never done this before, but I’m good at it now! My dad always said ‘If you jump, a net will fall,’ and he’s right, it has”.
Denzel Washington’s commencement speech for the University of Pennsylvania back in 2011 also taught a valuable lesson, advocating ‘falling forward’ when we fall: “You will fail at some point in your life. Accept it. Sometimes it’s the best way to figure out where you’re going.”
The general consensus about the first few months of these new ventures was that they felt exciting, inspiring, creative… and intensely scary. But as Caroline said, “Sometimes you have to accept that you’re going to feel fear”.
Practise bravery, not perfection. Stop trying to work to impossibly high standards. Liberate yourself from your own perfectionism. Just wing it.