Season Finale: What we learned about being fulfilled.
SEASON FIVE – BEING FULFILLED
Looking back on Season Five, and reflecting on the stories and experiences shared by each of my guests, the word that stands out this season is fulfilment. Our external search for ‘more’ and our internal search for meaning.
Whether it’s a quest to give and be more so that we can be the difference that matters for others, or a deep personal need to achieve our own potential, there really is something for everyone in this season:
As I look back over the season, there really was something for every woman on a mission:
In the sharing of our stories and experiences, we encourage other women on a mission to do and BE more when all is going well, and we inspire others in those moments where we simply need to keep going too. Whether you are short on time, new to the podcast, or would simply enjoy a recap on the rich learning we have heard from each guest, this summary of Season Five is for you!
ABOUT YOUR HOST: SUE REVELL
Sue is on a mission to STOP women playing small so that they can create the legacy they want to leave in the world. With over 30 years coaching and leadership experience, Sue loves nothing more than disrupting the unhelpful thinking that often holds women back, so that they can think, dream and BE bigger in leading the change they want to see. Coaching internationally, Sue’s clients are primarily world-changing women who want to lead with confidence, increase their impact and live a life that matters.
TO CONNECT WITH / HEAR MORE FROM SUE:
Sign up for news & updates: Mission Mojo Sign-Up
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Book a Possibility Call: Book here
RESOURCES REFERENCED IN THIS EPISODE:
All episodes available at the Women on a Mission website
Book a “Mission Possible” exploration call with Personal Leadership Coach, Sue Revell
Welcome back to the Women on a Mission show – and, in particular, our Season Finale! Another season that has sped past and I am so pleased that you and I still have this shared point in our week, where we create a little space to think about what it means to change our world, and how we can be better at it. I genuinely believe that our skills and experience have never been more needed in the world than right now.
Before we get into today’s episode I want to take a moment to say thank you to every guest who has joined me on the show this season. I’m so grateful to those who have the courage to step up and share the story of the woman behind the mission. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to everyone who found the courage to say yes!
I also promised that I would share with you what I’ve been up to with all my volunteer training recently – thank you for your patience while we’ve had a little disruption to our usual schedule. Squeezing in four days training out of the last ten days (unplanned!) has been a bit of a challenge. I’m recording this at the end of our final day of initial training…. drum roll please…. to be a birth partner for sanctuary seeking women!
The Birth Partner Project here in Cardiff, supports women who would otherwise be on their own in the final stages of pregnancy, child birth and the early days of being a new mum. The training alone has been an incredible privilege and I’m really looking forward to this new adventure.
It seems fitting that I should share this with you on the Heartbeats episode because I genuinely believe that the podcast has played a large part in this decision. It’s not like I’m not already very busy! But I’ve had one of those internal nudges about this for a little while now, and I think that’s down to some of the conversations we’ve had on the show this season (and last) about contribution and volunteering. There’s also something about asking people deep personal questions that means you have to give of yourself in the conversation too, and that’s left me very aware of areas of life that I’d like to feel more aware and informed and engaged – in helping others to feel supported and find their own voice and influence too. I feel I have a lot to learn, but also a lot to give too, so hang around and I’ll share some of my new learning as we go.
Now, without further ado, here are the Heartbeats from Season Five. This is for you, whether you are new to the podcast and need some signposts to where to start on your listening journey, or whether you’ve been an avid listener and are looking for some high level reminders of what we’ve covered over the last few months.
Let’s get started!
This Season Five finale lands as we greet February 2023. As ever, I’ve been looking for the defining word that describes our conversations this season. So far we’ve had Being True in Season One, then Being More, Being Bold and Being Brave. This season I’ve chosen Being Fulfilled which, given my introduction, is probably no surprise! I’d love to hear whether you agree, or whether something else stands out for you. Do let me know!
Our launch guest for this season was body therapist and award winning author, Olukemi Ogunyemi, in episodes 65 & 66.
The moment where George Floyd died, and the Black Lives Matter movement was born, changed the trajectory of a lifetime for Olukemi. Racism, violence and abuse, further complicated by the trauma of living with anorexia, were layers of a life that she consigns to not knowing any different; until international condemnation gave permission for a completely different conversation. We often talk on the show about our mission being the thing we can’t not do – and that was exactly how Olukemi described the need to tell her story.
Spurred on by the permission suddenly created by white people taking responsibility and initiating action to create change, Olukemi started writing. Hearing other people saying ‘it’s not ok’ compelled her to share her life experience, determined to challenge racism and create a world that would be different for her children and grandchildren.
“Brown Girl in the Ring” tells the story of her upbringing in Scotland as a mixed-race child and our conversation brought the book to life. We talked about the trauma of experiencing racial abuse and the responsibilities of individuals, communities and organisations to raise awareness of racism (personal and institutional), create impactful change and build a better future.
In the Insights episode I explored the meaning of grace, and how showing more grace toward each other would create a better world for future generations. I began by reflecting honestly on my own early journey of awakening in relation to privilege in general, and anti-racism in particular. And I went on to look at what we can learn from Olukemi’s approach to tackling racism through compassion, exploring the meaning of grace as a spiritual gift or human virtue.
If we are to build a safe, tolerant and compassionate future, anti-racism can and must be everyone’s agenda. Olukemi’s story helps us to learn more about how to do this while developing our own understanding of personal identity and how knowing who we are reduces the risk of violence and harm in our communities. If you’re looking to deepen your understanding of who you are being in your mission, or you are looking to commit more deeply to being the difference you want to see in the world, check out Episodes 65 & 66.
Next up, in Episode 67, I talked to CEO of Manufacturing Wales and Interim Chief Executive of Business News Wales, Heather Anstey-Myers.
This episode was all about expectations – what we settle for and what we don’t. Carrying the weight of family expectation can be an enormous load to carry, for any child. Expectations lead to assumptions that determine our early behaviours, beliefs and values - particularly if we perceive those expectations to be of limitation rather than ambition.
At the moment where everything changed for Heather, she was watching the renowned movie of the road trip taken by Thelma and Louise. As she listened, she became aware of six words that were to influence her own beliefs and values for the next thirty plus years: You get what you settle for. That phrase quickly gave Heather the permission, that she didn’t even know she needed, to check in with herself about what was acceptable in her life, and what had to change. It was a deeply honest and personal conversation, where Heather generously shared her story of navigating a challenging childhood, and how the lessons she learned have impacted her leadership career, since discovering she alone had the power to change.
In the Insights episode, I explored what it really means to settle - and how do we navigate our way out of stuckness in order to live and lead a life with more impact and greater fulfilment. Looking back on our conversation, I began by considering what it really means to compromise living our best lives, by settling for less than we deserve. I also looked at the importance of values-based leadership if we are to find fulfilment in our mission.
If you’re tired of settling for less than you really want, and you’re looking to create more personal impact and experience a deeper level of fulfilment in your mission, check out episodes 67 & 68.
My next guest was servant leader, Honor Wilson-Fletcher, Chief Executive of the British Exploring Society.
I was keen to talk to Honor because I think she has one of the most amazing jobs in the UK – leading an organisation that exists to take young explorers to extraordinary destinations - in the world AND in their own lives. Their very raison d’être is to explore possibility, take young people out of their comfort zone and change their lives for the better. What an opportunity to make a difference and it’s an opportunity made all the more exceptional when you’re a woman, leading in a highly male-dominated sector, and the first female CEO in the 90 year history of the organisation.
Honor is driven by her mission of fairness. Fairness in the workplace. Fairness for girls and women. And fairness of opportunity to know who you really are. Her story began on a farm in Dorset, trying to make sense of life as an unhappy child grappling with mixed expectations. It was another conversation that I felt really privileged to host, as she shared how her exploration to find who she really is began with a move to London, becoming self-sufficient, and learning to see the world through the eyes of those who saw possibility very differently to her own experience. Her raging determination to find places that were fair drove her ambition to take up her space in the world and become the boss, so that she could shape the future and create fairness of opportunity for herself and others.
And in the Insights episode, I consider what it means to take up our own space in the world – and - what it means when we diminish our presence through our physical movement and positioning, or the language we choose or the thoughts we allow to occupy prime space in our mind. There were 3 themes that stood out for me: the value of safe space in enabling brave thinking and the exploration of opportunity and possibility; the power of servant leadership; and the importance of taking up your own space in the world.
If you’re looking to think, dream & BE more creative and brave in the change you are leading, episodes 69 & 70 are for you.
Next up was Chief Fire Officer for Cornwall Fire & Rescue, Kathryn Billing in Episode 71. She’s a high performing woman with a heart for service and community, blending ambition & achievement with a deep desire to really make a difference, while having fun along the way.
For me, the joy in this episode was in that sense that when you’re truly brought up to believe that women can do anything, anything really is possible – including becoming the Chief Fire Officer. Driven by a heart for service, a love of community, and a deep desire to make a difference, Kathryn built a varied and interesting career, until her pursuit of improvement led her to discover that not all women in the fire service shared the same experience. Something had to change, and she shared her story of stepping up and confronting institutional sexism and committing to being part of the solution. And that wasn’t all – there were further challenges ahead.
Making a difference and serving others had been the cornerstone of Kathryn’s career, but it was embarking on the journey of self-discovery that opened her eyes to the most important impact she had yet to make… finding how to make the shift from living her life in service of others, to loving herself enough to live her own best life.
And living your best life was the major theme of the Insights episode too. For some people that’s about power, money or status and all that they dream that will bring. For other people it’s about the quest for fulfilment, answering their calling and realising their full potential. I looked back at how Kathryn’s life of service to her community had become a personal search for deepening fulfilment, and her true sense of self, as she navigated the career path and stepped into leadership. There were three key themes that stood out for me: the pursuit of self-discovery, the power of language to create influence & impact, and the desire for self-actualisation and to be our best self.
If you’re looking to find fulfilment and deepen your understanding of who you need to be to realise your full potential, take a listen to Episodes 71 & 72.
A 60 SECOND INTERLUDE:
I’d love to know what brings you here today? What are you really looking for as you listen, and how can I help you be the best version of you in your mission?
I was once introduced, by one of my clients, as “the coach who helps you get over yourself”.
And I’m wondering, as you’re here, how can I help you get over you?!
I love nothing more than disrupting the thinking that holds us back, so that you can get out of your zone of comfort and into your zone of genius.
Working together to help you make and keep your mission bigger than your fears, will enable you to lead with confidence, create more impact and live a life that really matters.
It all starts with booking a Mission Possible call to explore what we might create by working together. Book now at at suerevell.com
Ok… Three more guests to go….
Episode 73 was mostly about the importance of tackling the stigma around infertility, but there was also a strong message about helping others to find their voice.
I talked to ITV presenter and podcast host, Andrea Byrne, who is on a mission to normalise conversation around infertility in order to reduce isolation. That’s a tall order around any taboo topic, but when it’s something you have deeply personal experience of, it takes the challenge to a whole new level.
It's an intense experience that changes lives and challenges relationships - with partners, family, friends and (especially) ourselves. It’s not just emotionally and physically exhausting, it can leave us questioning who we are at the deepest level of our own personal identity. It’s not surprising that infertility can leave us feeling isolated on many levels. There is so much to make sense of, and Andrea posed a really difficult question for us to reflect on - how do you share a story that may not be yours alone to share?
Andrea has spent her professional life giving voice to other people’s stories and as we talked together she shared how, during the period where she was simply unable to give voice to her own story, she was inspired by the people who were sharing when she couldn’t. Powerful stuff.
And in the insights episode I stay with the power of sharing when the time is right, and reflect on the three simple strategies that Andrea used to resist the pressure, stay safe and prepare for the time when it was her turn to speak out and lead her mission.
If you’re looking for permission to pause and reset, or you’re in need of some inspiration that you just can’t find inside yourself right now, take a listen to Episodes 73 & 74.
My penultimate guest in this season was business coach and growth strategist, Rachel Flower, in episode 75. She’s something of a multiple-missionista!
Her compelling mission to rectify injustice is written through Rachel like words through a stick of rock. She has survived some of the darkest times as a daughter, sister and parent navigating grief , loss and pain. She grew up in the working classes and built a professional career as a lawyer, strategist and entrepreneur. And she has the most incredible heart for people and fighting injustice – put that all together and I saw in Rachel an incredible blend of wisdom, empathy and compassion in this rather extraordinary woman on a mission.
In the Insights episode I considered how we will often ask ‘how much can one person take’ and turned the question around to think about how much resilience one person should need. When you have survived some of the toughest times as a loving human; challenged inequity in and through the legal system, and taken on politicians on major issues of injustice during a global pandemic, you might be forgiven for taking a well earned rest or pivoting into a less fraught career for your next life chapter.
Instead, we learned how, in building resilience, Rachel looks for the gift in the hard times and carries her learning into the next opportunity to make a difference and become an even better version of yourself. And so, I reflected on the importance of disrupting our thinking in challenging times and having strategies in place to build our mental resilience.
If you’re a woman on a mission who is looking to feel more resilient in times of challenge or uncertainty, check out episodes 75 & 76. \
And closing out this season, I talked to leadership consultant and coach, Sherry Bevan, who is on a mission to get more women into leadership roles in the technology sector.
One of the most passionate action takers I know, Sherry can’t NOT take action when something needs fixing, particularly if it relates to her big picture mission to get women to rule the world. We explore Sherry’s many roles, as a business owner, as a trustee, and as a volunteer (amongst others!) and we discover a new characteristic that we have in common – that neither of us feel we have really experienced imposter syndrome – which really stands out at a time where it’s suggested that over 70% of people have felt like an imposter at some point. I can’t help but wonder what would be possible if we could all say that, and I return to this theme in the Insights episode having done a little more research.
If you’ve ever experienced thoughts or feelings that make you feel like a fraud, you’ll know how much even a little self-doubt can hold you back. And when you’ve got a big mission to fulfil, the last thing you need is your mental monkeys running amok, asking who DO you think you are to do this! Building on my conversation with Sherry about the power of authenticity, and the difference it makes when you use different strategies to manage those moments where you feel really challenged in your mission, I highlight 3 important questions that can help us disrupt the thinking that holds us back when doubt creeps in.
If you’re tired of doubting yourself and holding back from being all that you can be, do check out Episodes 77 & 78.
That, my friend, is a whistle stop tour of the stories we’ve heard in Season Five and some of the things I think that we can learn from my guests in our pursuit of being our best more fulfilled in our mission, whatever that may be.
As ever, there are some compelling stories and a wealth of strategies in these Interview and Insights episodes… and we have many more to come in Season Six.
But I’ll save that, for another day!
And so, dear listener, those are the heartbeats of Season Five. I wish you joy and peace in your journey with fulfilment and I hope that this summary has been either a helpful reminder or introduction, depending on at which point you joined us this season.
I am hugely grateful for your support, and hope you will stay tuned for Season Six which launches next week! If you want to make sure that you don’t miss a beat, hit follow right now, wherever you are listening, to make sure the next episode lands in your download list.
Thank you for being part of the Women on a Mission journey and I truly hope that the wisdom that is shared on the show is inspiring you in the mission that you are compelled to lead.
Have a great week! See you next time.
Season Five was again produced by James Ede. Thank you James, as ever I am so grateful that you were recommended to me all those episodes ago! Listeners, I cannot recommend James highly enough if you are looking to launch a podcast too. You can reach him via BeHeard.org.uk
Body Therapist & Author
Olukemi Ogunyemi is a highly successful body therapist who also speaks and blogs on racism and transgender issues.
In her book, Brown Girl in the Ring, she tells of her momentous struggle growing up as a mixed race child in Scotland.
"She describes in horrific, gut-wrenching detail, the treatment she received at the hands of the so-called ‘good people’ of Scotland; acts of racism that continued into adulthood and wreaked havoc for her as a wife and mother of four children.
Her captivating story calls out unconscious racial bias – even in her own family – but through the obvious pain and suffering, she still allows her sense of humour and her deep love for her husband and children to shine through.
Not content with just telling her story, Olukemi spells out her quest to tackle racism head on, but not with a call to arms. Forget anger and finger-pointing and think more sit down chat with someone who understands. She lives and breathes compassion not blame. Brown Girl in the Ring is a beautifully crafted, deeply personal memoir; not only is it the ultimate message on how to put an end to racism, it is a true story for our times."
Heather Anstey-Myers is the CEO of Manufacturing Wales. This is an industry-led collaborative consortium is at the heart of efforts to support Welsh manufacturers in creating supply chain resilience, maximising procurement opportunities, promoting the world-class credentials of the country’s manufacturing sector and connecting industry to academia.
Heather is also the Interim CEO of Business News Wales, Wales’ fastest growing publisher. An unique digital solution covering 12 industry sectors. A dedicated business news channel with no political views or editorial agenda, just a genuine passion to support the Welsh economy.
Heather is an active member of the Board of Pitch ands Co, a Welsh company built on years of experience of making proposals and pitch’s for contracts and investments compelling and convincing. Bringing her experience of the Welsh SME community to help them scale and grow by gaining new contracts and winning investment.
In 2021, Heather stepped down as CEO of Chambers Wales (British Chambers of Commerce). At Chambers Wales, she led an enormous transformation to inject a commercial culture and refocus on customer-led market demand and provided expert international trade services to better support Welsh SMEs. She also ensured industry had a voice that could influence the most senior decision-makers on economic, business and international trade policy.
She was previously CEO of the widely acclaimed Abergavenny Food Festival - one of the biggest food events in the UK - where she delivered an award-winning showcase for the Welsh food and drink sector.
She has also worked as a senior local authority public servant, leading organisational change, scrutinising decision-making and, being a Chartered Town Planner by trade, delivering a range of building restoration and civil engineering projects.
Named as being one of most influential business voices in Wales, Heather is one of the leading commentators and a strong articulate business voice who speaks up for the needs of SME's in Wales.
CEO - British Exploring Society
Honor-Wilson-Fletcher MBE joined British Exploring Society as CEO in February 2016. Previous roles working with young people include 6 years as CEO of schools’ charity the Aldridge Foundation and two years at the National Literacy Trust, where she worked on behalf of the Department for Education as Director of the 2008 National Year of Reading.
Prior to working in ‘relaunch’ or transformational roles as a Director at Southbank Centre and the British Museum, she worked as Head of PR at Waterstone’s, as Associate publisher at Transworld, Sales and Marketing Director at Hodder Children’s Books and in various roles at Penguin and in online editorial with BOL.com. She started two businesses of her own in her twenties.
She has worked as a trustee or adviser for charitable boards and as a school governor since her twenties, including for the National Literacy Trust, Edinburgh International Literature Festival, Arts Council England, Catch-22 and Enabling Enterprise.
She is currently an Advisor to SkillsBuilder.
Chief Fire Officer
Kathryn is the Chief Fire Officer for Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service beginning her role as a retained firefighter at Redruth in 1999.
Kathryn joined Cornwall County Fire Brigade in 1999 as a retained firefighter and was successful in the wholetime recruitment in 2001. Since then she has operated across most functions and locations, including training which she loved very much. Her key roles included temporary Station Manager serving in the East of Cornwall in 2014, promotion to Group Manager People and Training in April 2017, Area Manager Service Delivery in August 2017, Assistant Chief Fire Officer in September 2019.
Kathryn was appointed to Chief Fire Officer in March 2021 and is exceptionally proud to hold this role in one of the most beautiful places in the world. Work is of course a balance and “away from work” Kathryn enjoys very much going to the gym (lots of burpees), she loves spending time at the beach or anywhere as its stunning in Cornwall!! She is very lucky to share her life with friends and her cat Bob, who keeps her grounded and is fab for her wellbeing!
ITV Newscaster, Presenter & Podcaster
Andrea Byrne is one of the faces of ITV News. She anchors the BAFTA award-winning daily
news programme Wales at Six, as well as ITV’s national bulletins.
This has included ITV Weekend News, Lunchtime News, Evening News and
News at Ten. Securing one of the first solo interviews with Prince Harry is amongst her broadcast highlights.
Andrea also presents the current affairs programme Wales This Week and presents her own fertility podcast ‘Making Babies’.
She is an ambassador for ‘The Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme’; a Trustee for the organ donation charity ‘Believe’ and a Non-Executive Director for Hockey Wales.
Andrea is married to Wales and Lions legend Lee Byrne. She is passionate about wellbeing and pioneered the introduction of Mental Health First Aiders in ITV’s newsrooms.
Away from the newsroom, she is a keen yogi, a novice stand-up paddle-boarder and a budding novelist!
To watch Andrea's TEDx talk, click on the YouTube link below.
Business Coach & Growth Strategist
Rachel is a business coach and growth strategist, and a commercial and legal consultant. Based in Yorkshire, she runs a number of consultancies spanning health technology; transformation of commercial, procurement, legal and business services; and workforce wellbeing.
Leadership Consultant & Coach
Sherry’s on a mission to get more women into leadership roles in the technology sector. She’s been running her independent coaching practice since 2012 and now specialises in partnering with technology and cybersecurity companies to attract, develop and retain female talent so that they make progress on closing the gender pay gap.
To listen to Sherry's podcast, Closing the Gender Pay Gap: http://www.sherrybevan.co.uk/podcast