Michelle Mras

INSIGHT OF THE WEEK

“Creating stability is about being at peace with where you are in that moment and not feeling guilty, not thinking you should be somewhere else and not concerning yourself with what other people think.” -Kim Ades

Being Bold While Finding Stability with Edwina Kulego

Is it possible to find the perfect work/life balance? Does “having it all” mean missing major opportunities? Does creating stability in your life seem totally unattainable?

Listen as Edwina Kulego, Founder of Essentials by Edwina, and host Kim Ades, President and Founder of Frame of Mind Coaching™, discuss how taking bold action is key to your success and how striving for balance may be tripping you up.

In this episode of Resilience Radio, we explore:

  • How to turn your current job into your dream job.

  • How to handle feeling overlooked at work.

  • Balancing parenthood with running a business.

  • How missing major opportunities can actually be beneficial.

  • How your parenting skills impact your leadership style.

Take a Listen!

Transcription: Being Bold While Finding Stability with Edwina Kulego

Here is a super interesting snippet of our conversation! See transcription (21:16 – 32:26)

Kim: When you look at your life, what challenges are you facing?

Edwina: On top of being a busy career woman with a huge corporate job and a new business of my own, I have a bigger responsibility which is being a mother to my daughter. I’m trying to balance it all while being my best for all three things.

And I think that as a new mom, you really don’t know what you’re getting yourself into. You can read all the books and all the articles in the world and have all the conversations with your friends who have kids, but your child has unique needs and you have to tailor things to them and work muscles that you’ve never worked before.

So that’s the stage that I’m in now, and I know it’s going to get better, but I worry, how is this going to work out? Am I going to be able to go to Tokyo every six months and work that show?  How do I figure out childcare and trusting people? There are a lot of different things happening at once.

Kim: I got remarried and I have five kids. My kids are a lot older at this point, but parenting is a topic I’m very, very passionate about. At first, it was a bit challenging after I got divorced to figure out if I had to be there all the time, how to share custody and so on.

One of my personal guiding principles to this day, and it comes to me with a lot of ease, is that my kids come first. Period. End of story. I manage around them and I have always managed around them. So if they had a big event, that came before my speaking event. If it was their graduation and there was also an amazing conference I wanted to go to, I wouldn’t go to the conference or I’d send someone else, and I would be OK with letting things go.

Edwina: Right, because you had established that that was your number one rule.

Kim: Because it was my number one priority, it became very easy for me to make decisions. At the same time, I wasn’t a full-time mother. I had a very thriving, active and engaging career and I travelled, but only when I was at peace with that arrangement. If I wasn’t at peace with it, I’d pass on it.

The idea is to look forward and ask yourself, “Is this the decision I’m going to regret down the road?” I’ve also learned along the way that there are a million opportunities ahead of us. Just because I missed this one doesn’t mean that there won’t be another one five minutes later.

Edwina: You’re so right. That’s what I get so worked up about. I tell myself things like, “I’m going to miss this conference and it’s on this cruise and I look up to so many of the people who are going to be speaking there and I’d love to meet them,” but it just can’t happen right now, so I need to trust and believe that there are more things along the line.

Kim: Exactly. I also learned to get creative about my caretaking arrangements. Sometimes I’d bring my kids, sometimes I’d bring someone to take care of my kids and sometimes I’d go for two days instead of a whole week. You work around it, and you do it in such a way that you are completely at peace with what you’re doing. You never ever sacrifice yourself.  

In other words, you don’t say, “Well, I’m stuck. Poor me.” Never. You always say, “I have the privilege of raising these kids, I have the privilege to make these decisions and these are decisions that are aligned with my values.” So you never feel bad about “missing out” because you never even feel like you’re missing anything. You feel like you’re exactly where you need to be at that moment and it’s truly an honor and a blessing to be where you are when you are there. So it’s also a mentality. It’s a way of thinking.

Edwina: Do you have any books on this that you could recommend?

Kim: There is a book that I read years ago that had a huge influence on me and my coaching approach. It’s called “Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline: The 7 Basic Skills for Turning Conflict into Cooperation” by Becky A Bailey.

Edwina: That’s a hot topic.

Kim: I highly recommend it. It’s very interesting because I coach a lot of executives and they typically want to achieve something in their business or something professionally but they’re struggling. And if they’re parents, there is no question that we deal with the topic of parenting because the way they parent will dramatically impact the way they lead. They’re connected.

Edwina: Right. Interesting.

Kim: So in your case, you’re wondering how to set priorities, who determines them and what influences them. Because you’re juggling a lot of balls, right?

Edwina: Yes.

Kim: You also need to look at how you’ve made decisions historically and what the influencer was in those decisions. You may want to ask yourself if it’s hard for you to say “No”.

Edwina: Right.

Kim: Right? Because the very beginning of this call, you said that you needed to prove yourself.

Edwina: Right.

Kim: So that’s in your DNA, that’s in your way of life, that’s in your approach.

Edwina: That is true.

Kim: If you’re constantly needing to prove yourself, it’s hard to say “No”, isn’t it?

Edwina: Yeah, it is.

Kim: And then you feel at odds with yourself with respect to the decisions you’re making around being a parent, right?

Edwina: Right.

Kim: So we want to eliminate that. Don’t feel at odds. Do what’s right for you and you’re done.  You don’t need to prove yourself.

Edwina: Yeah, you’re right.

Kim: One last question. You have a coach on the line. Is there a specific question you have for this coach?

Edwina: I definitely do. As you know, I’ve been super career-driven and I am now tackling motherhood and I’m looking for ways to create balance. I kind of feel like you set yourself up for failure when you think you can have the perfect balance as a parent because things come up and things change. But I’d like to create more stability in my life right now. What are some of the tools I could use to attain that?

Kim: Let’s talk about the word “balance” for a minute. Did you ever go on a seesaw at the park when you were a kid?

Edwina: Yes.

Kim: What would happen when the seesaw was in perfect balance?

Edwina: It would sit still.

Kim: Right. Nothing would happen. Is it fun when nothing happens?

Edwina: No, it’s not.

Kim: Is it OK to have moments of nothingness? Sure, but it’s not OK to have a life of nothingness. Right?

Edwina: Yeah.

Kim: It’s good to come back, calibrate, catch your breath and then go on your merry way and continue the ride.

Edwina: Very true.

Kim: So I am never one to advocate for the goal of attaining balance. I am always one to advocate for the goal of being present and living passionately exactly where you are. So for you, it’s not about creating stability, it’s about being present.

What I mean by that is being OK with the fact that you’re not going to go to every event. And that might slow things down just a tad and that’s OK too, right? Your mind can be OK with loving the journey of exactly where you are. When you’re with your daughter, you’re not thinking about the 10 emails you need to respond to. You’re focused on where you are in the moment that you’re there. Your head isn’t elsewhere. That’s how you create stability.

The other way to create stability is to freakin’ love everything you do.

Edwina: Right.

Kim: And I think you do.

Edwina: Yeah, I really do.

Kim: Understand that you’re in a place where you have all the gifts in the world coming at you and just cherish every moment of every one of them. Creating stability is about being at peace with where you are in that moment and not feeling guilty, not thinking you should be somewhere else, not feeling like you’re missing out, not concerning yourself with what other people think and not thinking that this is going to cause a major slowdown. Be at peace and say, “I’m here right now and this is exactly where I need to be.”

Edwina: Beautiful advice. Wow, I really needed to hear that.

Kim: Amazing. I can’t tell you how happy I am to have this time with you, to catch up with you and to be blown away by how much you’ve achieved in these past few years.  

Edwina: Thank you so much. And thank you for being part of the journey at such an early stage.

 

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