What’s Your F.I.E.?

Pic: The Leader Newspaper

Yesterday I was in a room with inspiring, smart, funny, motivational, beautiful, supportive, very human women. I wrote in a recent article about that elusive mouse of an idea that was nibbling at the edges of my mind, my core. Well, it did morph into the lioness. This group of women is the result of me reaching out to seven fantastic, amazing women leaders. Eight of us who each bring our own experiences, knowledge and empathy into the room and give generously to each other of support, advice and challenge. Most of these women have only met twice, and already the chemistry is there, the trust is building. This is what I was wanting to evoke. And it’s happening.

I’ll admit though, it was a largely selfish step – these are women I’ve worked with in different ways and just felt drawn to. Part of it was a complete professional-woman-crush which manifested in wanting just to hang out with them, learn from them and listen to their wisdom. The other part of it was that thing you get when you meet someone and you think “I’m pretty sure that if we knew each other outside of work, we would be friends” and want to get to know them better on a personal level.

Each of us in the room is in a different place and space in terms of our careers. What became clear last night though, is that many of us are hovering around a pivotal moment. Either just had it, currently in it, or waiting for it to happen.

One of these Amazing Women Leaders (AWL) has recently made a monumental change in her career and described the moment when she knew there was no choice but to go for it as the ‘F*ck it Event’ (F.I.E.). I loved that.

The FIE is the moment when the ‘thing’ that has been whispering at you in the background, is suddenly shouting and cannot be ignored.

The FIE can be small or large, and hit you when you least expect it. It is a force for good; for change; for taking a risk and believing in it. The trick is to notice it when it happens, be curious about it, and then act on it. Baby steps, but continual ones. Another AWL advised that once you’ve had your FIE, do something small, every day, towards making it happen. And she should know. Oh! The things she has achieved!

My FIE let to me convening the AWL. It was the week when I had several conversations, with several different women, doing so many amazing things, having real impact, and yet feeling like they needed to apologise for themselves, or justify their choices. If I sit with that memory, I can feel the physical knot tying in my stomach that I got then. That need to do something. The drive to figure out my role in making a difference. To even get a small number of women to own their space. To make bold choices without permission or apology.

And so what? What’s the takeaway? Well, if you’re approaching a pivotal moment, if that mouse is gnawing at you, watch out for your FIE. You’ll know it when it happens. You’ll feel it.

What’s your FIE? And what great things will it lead you to?

Embrace the F*ck It Event. It may be the making of you.

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