On Thursday 1st June, I had the pleasure of being invited to sit on a panel at the 2017 She Leads Conference in Canberra.

The She Leads Conference brings women from a range of sectors, at all stages of their leadership journeys, together with Australia’s most inspiring women leaders.

This year, the program explored the theme ‘Challenge’ – focusing on stories of overcoming personal and professional challenges and experiences from women leaders who are transforming their workplaces, industries and communities. There were a range of high profile women at the event including the event MC Tracey Spicer, and keynote speakers Clementine Ford, Michelle Deshong, Drisana Levitzke-Gray, and Nakkiah Lui.

I was invited to be part of a panel that spoke about the ‘Challenge of Changing Gears’ referring to the challenges of facing a career change or significant life change. The panel spoke about how we have changed various aspects of our lives in order to pursue our goals, the upheavals that we faced, and provide advice on how to successfully change gears.

One thing I noticed in the Q&A segment was that while it was apparent that the audience were open to make change in their lives, there was a resistance to change because of current lifestyle situations. Common barriers to change were mortgages, kids, age and gender. While these are all significant circumstances that need to be considered in making any form of significant life change, it became evident to me that the women who are successful in making meaninful change don’t see their ‘problems’ as problems.

Instead of seeing their kids as burdens, they see them as gifts. Instead of seeing their mortgage as a hindrance, they see it as security of a roof over their head. They see their age as an accumulation of years of experiences.

Problems are only problems if you let them become one. Instead of seeing them as anchors, ask yourself how they can become enablers.

Challenge is not something to be feared, rather than embraced for challenge inspires growth and personal growth is part of any meaningful existence on this planet.