Ok - Intellectually we know we can't change what people say and can only change how we react. So, how do we stop overreacting, stop taking things personally, and stop the expectations and assumptions that leave us disappointed?
The answer is acceptance. Happiness is the shortest distance between what you want and what you have.
When we can observe our life and all our situations from a third part perspective without judgment there is a major shift to peace. It’s like watching a documentary of your life. It’s the fly on the wall perspective.
We accept others and situations at face value - not trying to change them or control them. And, most importantly, we accept ourselves the same.
In this space…
We don’t live in fear of all the things our thoughts tell us might happen.
We don’t feel unseen, invalidated, disregarded, irrelevant or as if we don’t matter.
We don’t wallow in all the guilt and blame we use to avoid what we...
Do you procrastinate? Last weekend I made a commitment to try oil painting so I bought the supplies with the intention to start this weekend. Saturday I filled my day with meaningful activities - a plant sale, visiting my mother, a long walk with Arnie and the dog, planting perennials. By the end of the day I figured I might be procrastinating.
Sunday I filled my day with meaningful activities - a work event, a long walk with Arnie and Bailey, work stuff. By 4:30 pm I was sure I was procrastinating.
I could not believe I was getting beat by tubes of paint and new brushes. So, I got out a canvas, unscrewed the paints, thinned them with linseed oil because that’s what a YouTube video said to do, started mixing colors and had one hour until I needed to start dinner.
Sometimes you just need to get started. Forget about the outcome. Just start.
I’m not sure where this painting is going but I made a determination - oil painting is more expensive and far more fun than...
Happy people do not hurt one another. Period. If you are at the wrath of anyone’s bad behavior you already have the upper hand. If that person is your boss you still have the upper hand. You’re not compromised by the level of fear and anxiety that they carry around. Don’t be a victim. Draw on your emotional intelligence. It’s your superpower.
If they are toxic don’t seek approval they don’t have to give. This gives them power. Stay entirely off their radar screen.
Only go to them when you need information or a decision and then give them two choices. Busy people don’t want to create but prefer to decide.
Use phrases that remind them that you have their back. “I know that (X) is important to you so I wanted to make you aware that….”
Deal with your own fears and anxieties by getting curious about what’s under your initial reaction to them. Fear of losing a job or respect? If the worst happens...
“Most of us go to our graves with our music still inside us, unplayed.” ~Oliver Wendell Homes
Please don't do this.
It is essential for the world to hear your voice. Are you "pulling away from conversations, feeling powerless and not good enough" as a new client put it?
Do you notice the same patterns developing in a current role that showed up in a previous one?
Do you have trouble avoiding overthinking?
Have you neglected healthy eating, exercise, sleep and time management habits?
These challenges are not a life sentence. But they can rob you of executive presence, efficacy, rewarding relationships, and happiness.
Racing thoughts and turbulent emotions are symptoms of stress, frustration, and the general feeling that nothing is going to change. Most people think that to fix this they just need to do what they always do – work harder. This strategy just compounds the problem. Now not only are things not changing but you...
I have a client in Silicon Valley who I’m very proud of today. She is smart, well educated, successful and came to me to grow her self-worth to show up differently at work and in life. She was struggling in relationships with people who were close to her. I felt the pain of her suffering. I felt her despair at how some people treated her. It made me sad.
We worked on healthy boundaries. We worked on self-awareness. We worked on defining her values and her vision of a life in alignment with them. We worked on mindful daily practices that help her self-regulate fear. We worked on being with discomfort long enough to see that it wouldn’t overtake her because it’s only her imagination. We worked on self-acceptance with all her imperfections. We worked more on boundaries.
We did not work on her being better than anything or anyone. We didn’t work on what she didn’t deserve. We didn’t work on why change would be better.
We worked on...
According to research conducted by Gallup, 52% of voluntarily exiting employees say that their manager or organization could have done something to prevent them from leaving their job. While you can’t make everyone stay, you can improve your retention rates if you take the time to check in with your people.
Stay interviews help employees feel they are more than just workers - that you care about them, their career and their future. Here are some questions I give my clients to ask and that I ask my team regularly.
Do you ever feel completely overwhelmed such that you don't know where to begin? Then because you can't jump start anything that seems to work you become self-critical in the process and start taking everything personally.
"This will never get better. It always seems to happen to me. Nothing is working. I wish I could just stop being this way. When will I get a break?"
Here is a practice I share with my clients for when you feel stressed:
1. Notice how stress shows up in your:
a. Body = ________________
b. Feelings = _______________
c. Thoughts = ________________
2. Welcome stress. Get curious about it. The body, mind and thoughts are designed to heighten how we deal with stress. This is good unless fear takes over. Disarm fear by answering…
a. I am stressed about __________________________________ (WHAT?)
b. Dig deeper. Ask yourself WHY? 5 times: Why is that important to me?
Why is that important to me?
Why is that important to...
We advance when we’re willing to stretch ourselves further than anything we’ve ever done. But it’s prickly and sticky there. Risky. We might fail. Yes. Fail. Hmmm. And then what? Did we die? Get physically hurt? Lose anything of great measure? Likely not. But we do have our feelings to deal with. So we allow them. These two are the hardest:
1. Judgment from others.
What really holds us back is perceived judgment that comes from perceived failure - from practicing failure in our heads before it happens.
When we turn away from the discomfort of difficult emotions, unfortunately we armor up with self-sabotage traits of perfectionism, assumptions, comparisons, expectations, more judgment and busyness which only lead to exhaustion, hopelessness and disappointment.
When we notice the judgment and accept that “this is just me judging” without self-criticism (What is wrong with me that I can't stop doing this?) and that...
You know who you are, super heroes.
Here’s to you for not sitting back, for not whining, for making it work despite the odds, for taking risks in the face of doubt, for holding true to your priorities sometimes at the detriment of yourself, for having vision and finding a way, for listening and caring when you thought you had little to give, for being gentle with yourself when it seemed nobody was.
Here's to you for failing and starting again this time with wisdom, for swapping assumptions for the truth, for not letting comparison distract you from your goals and achievements, for wearing all the hats even when they didn’t all fit, for not needing to be right but for getting it right, for not being perfect but still awesome.
Here's to you for lying awake at night worrying about things outside of your control and accepting that no matter what happens you’ve got this, for understanding that judgment only makes you judge yourself far worse, for having the courage to...
Did you ever feel that everyone is so busy but nothing important is getting done and meetings just add to your to-do list? Interacting is easier than ever, but true, productive, value-creating collaboration is not. Quality engagement is deteriorating. Every minute spent on a low-value interaction takes time away that could be used for important, creative, powerful innovation and activities.
Most leaders say they frequently find themselves spending way too much time on pointless interactions and meetings that drain their energy and produce information overload. As an alternative to weekly meetings where people share a look-in-the-rear-view-mirror perspective, short daily stand-up meetings or check-ins with the entire team can drive horizontal connectivity, creating the space for teams to understand what others are doing and where they need help to drive work forward without having to specifically task anyone in a hierarchical way.
Good questions when you are...