We had the good fortune of connecting with Mandy Lehto and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mandy, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk taking sounds, erm, risky — and mindless risk clearly is. I see NOT taking risk as risky, but I’m referring to Opportunistic Risk. There’s a difference between mindless risk and opportunistic risk. Most of the juiciest things, people and opportunities that have come into my life came by taking opportunistic risks. I applied to Cambridge University to do a PhD, a kid who’d grown up in the sticks in rural Canada. I put on my Big Girl Panties and followed the faint voice that said, “What have you got to lose?” instead of snarky voice that sniped, “Who do you think you are?” I got in. Ditto for the investment banking job I applied for, or the businesses I started. Or the sour relationships I opted leave for my own mental health. I feel into a risk for its “opportunistic-ness” by asking myself three questions: (1) What’s the risk of trying this? (2) What’s possible if it works out? (and really indulge your longer-term thinking here). And (3) what’s the risk of NOT doing this? There’s a pattern with opportunistic risk. What freezes folks into inaction is fear of losing something. Face, usually. My (lovingly intended) advice? Get over yourself. You’re leaving so much delicious possibility on the table for fear of looking like a nugget. Almost no one is paying attention.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
What sets me apart from other coaches? I’ve been a severely burnt-out “successful” professional, with adrenal fatigue so bad I was bed-ridden for a year, and spent many more years in recovery. I get the pressures of the corporate hustle. But even more, I get the ridiculous pressure women put on themselves to do all the things — and do them perfectly. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that the mental health strain on women is unsustainable. In addition to work responsibilities, they’re taking on the bulk of household work and caregiving, 20 hours/week, according to McKinsey & Co and LeanIn.org.
I’m most proud/excited to be helping these women find new ways of setting powerful boundaries and advocating for themselves through my coaching, and my socials.
I overcame severe burnout myself by first healing my physical body, and the longer work was changing my relationship with chronic doing, perfectionism and people-pleasing…that’s the hot little motor under so much burnout.
Biggest lessons: You are not what you do. Your worth is not determined by your achievements. Good enough is almost always good enough. People are fixating on you way less than you think — so do what makes YOU feel good.
I want the world to know that over-giving, over-doing, and depleting one’s self is neither a guarantee of success, nor a means of making failure less likely. Overachievers are operating less from a place of creativity and talent than from a place of deep inner shame and inadequacy. My mission is to help more overachievers and perfectionists understand that they do not have to earn their worth by constant doing. Who they “be” is enough.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Shoutout to Shelley Paxton, a powerful way-shower, inspirer, and fellow rebel soul. Shelley and her book Soulbbatical: A Corporate Rebel’s Guide to Finding Your Best Life, have kept me going through some wobbles…
Ki Price (1st photo). Antonina Mamzenko (all others)