I have a client who is struggling with the impending death of her father. Watching someone you love suffer and decline is excruciatingly painful. You want to help but you can’t. You want to escape the struggle with your own mortality but you can’t. And family members commence friction with each other that was never there before.
There is no textbook on how to deal with a dying parent but one book I recommend made a big difference for me in shepherding my children through the death of their father. It’s called The Four Things That Matter Most.
We can’t change the fact that we all will die someday. None of us are getting out of this alive. But we can be alongside someone who is dying. It is enough. We need not fill the silence with chatter. We need not feel inadequate because we can’t fix things or afraid of the human process. Embrace acceptance. Death is part of life. Being there is enough. “I can’t change this for you but may I...
Last evening one of my clients was suffering because of a colleague who was bullying her. This bully was sucking her energy and high performance right out of her. I was so happy for her to watch her become a mindful third party observer of the bully’s behavior such that it even made her laugh.
Losing your cool is as bad as withdrawing. Both render you ineffective. Both dummy down your authentic risk taking ability. People notice both.
When you play it safe or are reactionary you are playing THEIR game. Play YOUR game. Pause. Critical think. Observe what is behind the mask. Be curious. Then get back to your strengths.
When the bully senses that you are holding it together his or her behavior will escalate. That is where you become amused. Just stare at them. Observe. It can be quite entertaining.
May you become a silent witness to all your experiences, including your personal history. That’s power. That’s executive presence.
Do you want to advance in...
"Being an upstander very often means standing alone, which takes guts," writes Jennifer Merritt, Editor in Chief, Digital at PwC.
“Most people are bystanders--not because they don't want to stand up, but because they're afraid to speak up, afraid of repercussions, don't observe the world around them enough, or simply because they don't know what to do or say in the moment. To be an upstander among bystanders takes courage and conviction.”
In my work and in my coaching practice I often see people with confidence who do not have high self-esteem. They are not the same thing. Confidence is being competent. Self-esteem is knowing you belong.
Out the limiting false-belief that holds you back - that message that plays like a broken record in your head. It usually sounds like this....”I’m not _______ enough.”
Then name everything believing that has cost you. Now what would life be like without that thought?
You are resilient. And you belong living your...
Stress is nothing more than the stories we attach to reality. We all do it. It’s leading from a fear perspective as opposed to a creator perspective. "I am going to fail." "They don't like me or what I am doing." "This tooth ache means I am going to need a root canal."
How do we stop attaching stories that are assumptions onto reality? By building our awareness around what triggers that leap to fast-forward our lives to a doom and gloom ending.
Notice it. Don’t judge yourself for it. Call it out and name it. “This is what it feels like to fear being judged.” And move on.
Wishing you a clearing of illumination today for without darkness there would be no light. Wishing you power.
Success is freedom. Not more hours.
P.S. Money replenishes itself. Time does not. Click here to request a call with me and let's talk about your situation.
Mary Lee Gannon, ACC, CAE is an...
You’ve seen The Mindful Revolution on the cover of Time. You’ve heard about the studies. People in your office talk about meditation and Yoga. What does all this have to do with work? Everything.
What would your productivity look like if you could complete your next project in 70% less time? That is the percentage of employees in the U.S. who are not engaged in their work according to Gallup. Odds are that some of the 70% work for you.
While corporate training is a $70 billion industry in the U.S., mindfulness programs are flourishing organically from the inside. Stress prompted Janice Marturano, former deputy general counsel at General Mills, to create a mindfulness program at the company. It was so popular that she left to start her own institute. There are 500 employees on the waiting list at Google for the class “Search Inside Yourself” originated by Chade-Meng Tan, a Google engineer who now teaches mindfulness full time.
So much energy is wasted on expecting life to be fair. That’s like thinking the lion won’t eat you because you didn’t eat him.
Reality is your friend. It’s what is. Not what was, what should be, what could be, what will be or what isn’t. Those keep you stuck.
Accepting reality is power. We get there by focusing on the moment at hand and not any other. We smile at the vibrant color of a flower, the laugh of a child, the smell of sea air, the feel of rain on our skin.
In all darkness there is light for without it we would not know darkness. Take a deep breath and find the pinpoint of light. Allow it to be your jumping-in point - sunshine, moonlight, a candle, a light on your desk, an overhead light. And share that light with someone today in a smile, a hello, a compliment on something specific, a thank-you.
You are light and make the difference the world needs, your team needs, your friends need and your family needs. We need you now.
If you could name one thing that weighs you down from your dreams what would it be? You might say, “Oh that’s too abstract and meaningless of a question.”
Achievers like concrete thinking. Give them a task and they will complete it early and exceed expectations. They are masters at this. I know. I was one of them.
Yet somewhere along the way the internal mechanism of “doing” keeps going faster when it is your go-to practice. You start to feel that you’re on the treadmill to nowhere. You wonder why you’re working harder than ever with less positive results.
Step off the treadmill and remember what you used to love to do when time and money were not factors. Take that to the next level. Dreaming is where inhibition lies. What would you do if you knew you could not fail?
Now what is one thing you can set aside to get there? We must know what that is so we can commit to progress. Swap it for a thought or action you like better.
Clients come to...
So often we internalize people’s negative behavior toward us as something wrong with us. If your uncertain about someone's pensive perspective on you follow these steps.
1. Schedule a meeting with the other person with the purpose of creating a better working or personal relationship. Do not handle this through email.
2. Tell her you hope you are wrong yet you sense judgment from her. Ask him what you could do to improve the relationship.
3. Listen for opportunities for self-improvement. Ask her what she believes her role is in aligning the relationship.
4. If after you have done this her behavior doesn’t change, she doesn't own her part in the misalignment or she won’t even meet with you it’s time to let go of your expectations of her. Unrest always lies in expectations. Having them is useless and out of your control. Goals you can affect are far better.
5. Release your desire for a healthy relationship with him and start managing him like a difficult...
Nearly all conflict in the world stems from one simple necessity – and it isn’t the need to win. Wars, corporate battles, department squabbles, and relationship foes are rooted in the same deep-seated need – the need to be right.
Compound the need to be right with an ineffective ability to persuade others to believe you are right can lure in feelings of inadequacy and, in extreme cases, an overwhelming feeling of threat. Not only are our emotions running wild with fear, anger, and frustration a physical reaction begins to occur.
When we sense we are in danger our body gears up to protect itself. You may have noticed your heart racing before a big presentation or your throat tightening as an argument escalates. This is the body preparing itself for what is called “fight-or-flight,” an immediate physiological reaction that occurs in response to a perceived harmful event. This was...
Have you ever tried to reason with a difficult person who absolutely will not listen? Anxiety builds when you think you are making a logical argument, have the facts behind you, the other person is not bending at all yet you keep arguing with them. You start to question yourself, doubting your effectiveness. Your frustration becomes apparent, unraveling of your composure and destroying your executive presence.
If after you have tried to work with someone to examine all sides of an issue and the other party still behaves egregiously, dismiss the conversation like it never happened. You heard me. Walk away.
Don't argue with fools or you will become the fool. Cut the conversation off cold. "I respectfully disagree." and move on – walk away, address another party, get off the phone, leave the room.
This abrupt ending will send a clear message that you see no value in engaging, devaluing their perspective all together without becoming...