Reflections on our virtual masterclass from September 2022
Written by Tracey Herald, volunteer organiser for our Autumn Series
For the first event in our Autumn Masterclass series, we were delighted to be joined by Claire Osborne, a specialist sustainability coach. Claire uses the latest in neuroscience and behavioural psychology to help those she works with to establish regenerative working habits, build influencing skills and take an active, hopeful approach to climate change.
I think we can all agree that working in sustainability is tough right now. Responses from the She is Sustainable community to our short pre-session survey showed that many of you are struggling with feelings of overwhelm, taking longer to get things done, feeling cynical or experiencing self-doubt. And what we want more of is a sense of confidence, greater focus, influence and clarity of direction.
Claire’s a big proponent of developing mental fitness – finding ways to increase our capacity to handle life’s challenges, without being drained by negative emotions. In the same way that we might train our bodies to participate in physical challenges, Claire’s work is about helping us to mentally ‘limber up’ for the climate fight.
To help us understand this better, Claire introduced us to the ‘survive and thrive’ parts of the brain – otherwise known as the ‘saboteur’ and the ‘inner sage,’ and explained how each of these parts of the brain compete for resources. Claire introduced us to nine different ‘personas’ including controller, hyper-achiever, pleaser, stickler, restless, hyper-vigilant, avoider, victim and hyper-rational, and we were invited to identify and discuss the different ways that these personas can show up and hijack or sabotage us in our daily lives.
The campfire discussions provided a great opportunity to explore the impact of our saboteurs – but also to consider creative ways to ‘catch’ our saboteurs in action and engage our ‘inner sage’ to help consider alternative responses – from setting clearer boundaries, to developing a daily practice like meditation and of course, tapping into the wisdom and peer support of communities like She is Sustainable.
Instead of being driven by stress, fear, anger, guilt and insecurity which actually weaken the parts of brain that over-react to fear, Claire invited us to explore ways to build our mental muscles, engaging our inner sage and training ourselves to embed habits for a powerful mind.
Now, more than ever, we need brilliant people with sustainability expertise to stay on the pitch, helping to support our transition to a low carbon future. By tackling our saboteurs and nurturing the inner sage, we can find new ways to build our mental fitness for the challenges ahead.
Follow Claire on LinkedIn.
Get the research: Download the Change Culture, Act on Climate Report for the research & recommendations on the skills needed to influence climate action
Register now: Mastering your career: Wednesday 19th October, 09:30am
For the next session in our Autumn masterclass series, we’re delighted to be joined by Emily Goetsch from Acre, the sustainability talent solutions agency. Emily will share more about how the ESG and sustainability careers landscape is evolving and share insights and top tips to help you strategise your career. Registration is now open here.
As ever, please do share details of the She is Sustainable community with other women in your network. And if you have ideas or suggestions for future masterclass topics, please join and share your thoughts in our LinkedIn group.