I was struggling with my sense of purpose, particularly around my research. Who is this helping? I love what I do and I feel like I have a growing reputation for my skills, but how can I make it meaningful and translatable? When my friends and family asked me about my research, I want to be able to tell them how exciting and important it is and actually mean it! I was anxious about taking on my new leadership role. It’s intimidating when that team is made up mostly of men who are more senior than me.​ I also felt like I’m was not prioritizing the right things. I could feel myself battling the day-to-day challenges and never getting to the really important stuff that will actually help me to progress. Can I achieve my academic goals whilst still being present at home and not feeling like I’ve missed out on precious time with my children? 


The mastermind has completely changed my approach to life. I feel like I’m doing it the right way now, and I wonder why I didn’t do this in the first place. I’m regularly having bold conversations so that we can work together to solve problems. I’ve learnt about some really simple but effective tools for leadership. I’m embracing my own style and feeling confident about my strengths. I’m seeing challenges as exciting opportunities to grow and learn. I’m learning to lean into discomfort and to challenge my own beliefs about the opportunities that are available to me and what I am capable of. I’m thinking of things in terms of energy instead of time. Being aware of activities that zap energy and those that generate it. Being conscious of the need to refill the ‘energy reservoir’. I am really benefitting from the accountability that comes with being in this group. I’m getting the push I needed to have the courage to do things I would normally have shied away from. I’m experiencing the joys of pausing to reflect and be grateful. This applies to all areas of my life and not just work. 

I didn’t know what to expect coming into this group but it has grown into much much more than I could have imagined. Being in this group has been like turning on the lights. This is about more than succeeding at work; it’s about succeeding in life. And challenging your beliefs about what success means for you. This group is like a family. It’s such a great feeling to know that any time a challenge comes up that I’ll have this group to talk to and that they won’t judge. This group is like a family. It’s such a great feeling to know that any time a challenge comes up that I’ll have this group to talk to and that they won’t judge. This group has shown me the power of non-attachment. I’m enjoying the process of learning and connecting, and worrying less about the end product—and it turns out that living this way leads to better outcomes anyway! 

Dr Chloe Taylor
University of Western Sydney