heart in hands

Living in our current Covid context is compounding the stressors of career uncertainty – or worse, if yours is one of the many millions of jobs already obliterated. 

Having work matters so much more than financials and the turbulence of careering in a crisis is leaving many of us without important familiars – a sense of purpose, a connectedness to others, a role in society and rhythm to life. Add to that the threat to our very sense of self if we can longer do what we do for work, and it’s fair to say our mental fitness is being well and truly tested.

How positive do you feel about careering in a crisis? Or excited about starting a new job search? Probably not a lot – because we’re in the middle of a crisis. 

It’s because we take a long time to stop punishing ourselves when we fall short. Or get rejected.  Or make a mistake.  Or recover from the shame of a rejection whether that’s in a relationship, redundancy or our business. We reel. And grieve.  With a tendency to hide – which shuts out support that might otherwise be available to us. If we didn’t feel so far from perfect and opened up. 

It’s not lost on me that’s harder than ever at this time. 

A great deal of my coaching clients have been furloughed or fired this last year and came to me feeling fractured. With those effects of job loss or career stress rippling outwards, I have found it important to calm their inner critics before we build towards a career redesign.

Here’s 3 tools to help you love yourself just enough to quiet your inner critic this Valentine’s – so you can concentrate on succeeding instead. 

  1. Why you’re such a B**** in your most important relationship (And how to handle that so you can be successful). A short article of mine first to help you understand the psychology around why we’re overly harsh with ourselves and what to do to fix that. 
  2. QUIZ: Do You Have A Pathological Addiction to Perfectionism?This diagnostic survey is a first step to finding out! Created for my online course cohort and based on questions often asked of 1:1 clients when I suspect a powerful inner perfectionist is in play.  Why? The poison of perfectionism: Insecurities. Doubts. Inner-critics. Negative self-talk. Sanity-checks. If you’re human, you collect these voices.  Which are poison to progress.  Because, like a toxic lover, we let them move in when we weren’t ourselves, along with their toxic whispering. If we let them stay close, floundering can become our default mode, triggered by successes and set-backs alike.  Your quiz results will help you recognise in minutes if you have a pathological addiction to perfectionism or just hear whispers from time to time.  The antidote to perfectionism is knowing how to love yourself just the right amount – the next resource will give you that undeniable advantage. 
  3. Chatter. This book is a first from award-winning psychologist (Ethan Kross) – one of the world’s leading experts on controlling the conscious mind. Chatter, gives everyone a chance to understand the voice in our head, why it matters and just how to change some of the most important conversations in your life – those you have with yourself. Click the link to listen to a sample and read the book to learn how to turn your inner voice from critic to coach.  

What unkind things does your inner critic says to you.  And because it’s Valentine’s, please answer them – saying what someone who loves you would say about these same things.


  • Helen Hanison

    I'm a leadership coach helping seasoned professionals who are at a crossroads, with a growing need to redesign their career but feeling blocked. And worried about that. Together we make a plan realigning work they love with what matters most so they can finally make aligned, confident transformation instead.

    If you'd like to receive actionable advice about redesigning your career, I'd love you to sign up:http://bit.ly/ambitionstothrive

    My story could be called 'from career to motherhood and back again'! With a 20 year 'tour of duty' in the worlds' largest PR firms, I came to a career crossroads after I transitioned from woman to mother. I got lost for some years and having moved country (and back again), and tried a bunch of different ideas both sides of The Pond, I went back to University for a second time - to do psychology. My efforts were well rewarded with first-class honours, an energy ‘reset’ and clarity about the fresh career ladder I wanted so badly. I had found Leadership Coaching and subsequently completed a (rigorous!) programme of training with the world’s largest coach training institute – CTi and have since become a narrative therapist too. Now I love that my commercial edges and marketing savvy work alongside my brand of positive psychology coaching, and know the integration is a powerful one for my clients. I passionately believe we only get to feel as alive and aligned as I do today, if we shape work we love around what matters most and that has synergy with the life we want to be living. In some ways my story represents the hard way to figure what work-life synergy looks like. And that's what I help others with now. If you feel stuck and wish you knew how to make a plan to change that, I'm happy to offer a complimentary clarity conversation. Just email me - [email protected] - and we'll organise that.