How do I scale back on too many commitments and get clear on my direction?

"I’m in a negative spiral of over-commitment to underpaid and unpaid work. I feel stuck, undervalued and overstretched. And it’s not serving my best career interests. I feel guilty of letting people down if I say no."

The coaching work removed the emotional entanglement and provided a way to get a new perspective and make decisions more objectively. Exploration into personal strengths and preferences enabled better evaluation of the various projects and opportunities. This provided clarity as to which role was really important for the client to pave the path towards in the longer-term.

This happened to be the role that had been neglected the most, due to over-commitments in the other less well-aligned areas. Once the client realised that there was a risk of closing the door to this opportunity,it made the decision-making easier. Coming up with a plan to transition out of the other lesser roles that weren’t serving the longer-term vision without letting anyone down made it easier. The guilt was removed by reframing the handover as empowering someone to step up and grow, rather than as burdening them.

Added benefits: Increased confidence around value of skills and services and ability to communicate this to negotiate a higher salary. Clarity on the conversations that needed to be had to communicate future growth aspirations. Increased confidence in being able to say no without guilt. Increased awareness of strengths and weaknesses and the pitfalls of overplaying strengths so she could ask for help early.