How to Stop the Self-Sabotage

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. 

2. Self-judgment.

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...

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When You've Been Through a Lot and Feel Alone

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...

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Remove This

Dear Friend,

This image is so powerful to me. I’ve been an executive coach for more than 10 years and in everyone I’ve ever managed or coached I see a common theme coined by Mary Kay Ash that everyone wants to feel important. The more people seek validation of their relevance externally the more they are on the treadmill to nowhere. Imagine if you could feel important internally - knew that you were valuable and stopped seeking affirmation from outside sources. You’d show up differently - more at ease, less needy, more confident, less judgmental, more yourself. That’s the shift to freedom.

 People often ask me, “How do you know if you have executive presence?” I tell them, “You have an understanding and acceptance of yourself with all your strengths and opportunities, know you have much to contribute, are curious and have a greater desire to get it right than to be right.”

Here's a short video I recently made if you are...

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Psychological Safety at Work

When a team feels they have psychological safety at work they’re not experiencing cynicism, personal agendas, bureaucracy and posturing. It’s up to us as leaders to provide that. 

How? 

By working on ourselves. The answer is not in a book or a training or a conference. It’s inside of you. 

When we can go into the dark corners of our lives and root out what holds us back - what makes us insecure, we stop doing and tolerating these culture killing and self-defeating behaviors.

When we can stand our self-doubt up against our courage we make space for the truth - that we are all human and better when we support each other. 

When we can accept that we’re not perfect especially in the face of regret, we soften to ourselves and then to others. 

Nothing is permanent. We’re all a work in progress. 

The human condition is happy when it feels safe and accepted. You deserve to be safe. You deserve the promotion or new job. You deserve...

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The Call at the Door

Did you ever see images like this one and say, “but I really do want that promotion (new job, better relationships with my team, love in my life, connection with my family, etc.)” 

“…it isn’t your door” doesn’t only mean that the door isn’t right. It also means that maybe you’re not in the right space to open that particular door. Maybe you’re more positioned to open doors that are congruous with the energy you put out in the world - doubt doors, undervalued doors, not good enough doors. 

Those doors typically lead to more of the same - frustration, self-sabotage, perfectionism, disappointment, frayed relationships. 

Achievers believe that if they just work harder things will get better because that strategy always served them. The truth is that plan, while a tenet of good character, isn’t a differentiator at the executive level. Everyone works hard there. And sometimes people who aren’t even...

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The One Thing That is Missing

Dear Friend,

Have you ever really wanted something and yet allowed roadblock excuses to stand in the way? “I won’t have time?” “It’ll put too much pressure on me.” “It won’t work out so I don’t even want to try because I’ll be disappointed.”

Then the defeat we expect in remaining “safe” becomes a self fulfilling prophecy because we just put out negative energy surrounding the very thing we want, attracting the excuse we lay in the path of our desire.

This cycle is dreadfully repetitive and becomes a habit. We think intention is action yet it in this case it’s denial. And the more time we spend in this cycle the more we begin to feel like there’s something wrong with us, that it’s never going to change and it starts to effect other areas of our lives like eating habits, exercise, relationships and sleep.

The one thing that I’ve seen missing in clients when we start working together is...

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When You Want to Re-enter the Workforce

If you've been out of the workforce a while and are trying to re-enter it here are a few strategies to keep in mind.

Organizations today are seeking professionals who are committed to excellence, mastery and are a good cultural fit. If you are a candidate who has been out of the workforce for any reason, here are a few recommendations to consider:

1. Don't bias yourself against yourself. If you are focused on how you are irrelevant because of not being in an active career role so will others. How have you kept your product/service knowledge up to date? What meetings have you or are you now attending? What groups or organizations are you active in? What news sources/professional association posts do you read regularly? What volunteer activities keep you current? List these things in your cover letter and resume.

2. How has your hiatus from full time employment been an opportunity for you? Have you been able to level set how to build healthy work/life integration? What mindset are you...

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Rejection Can Be Debilitating

Rejection can be debilitating. You won’t worry about how other people feel about you if you have the presence to manage yourself and your thoughts. Build a “family” of people around you that consistently reminds you how awesome you are. That tribe combats the doubt that sits idle in your head ready to undercut your self worth at any moment of rejection because you hadn’t heard often enough of your magnificence.

My clients focus a lot on ‘Optimizing Your Environment.’ When you have a tribe that reinforces how you belong like close family you won’t hear “no” as a personal rejection. It just means you’re not a good fit for them and has no bearing on your self worth or your value to the world.
 
Unfortunately, when we doubt our worth we distance ourselves more from the very intimacy we need with colleagues and people who care. Instead of growing closer to caring people who reinforce us, we don’t trust that we deserve...
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When They Don't Talk About It

We personalize other people’s behavior in an effort to guard against their wrath. This isn’t helpful. Your colleague’s frustration, anger, condescension or dismissiveness might be vented at you but is not rooted in you. There is nothing wrong with you because someone treats you poorly. Good people know how to communicate without making you feel small. 

Try asking them this: “If we were to have a better working relationship what would that look like?” This forces them to articulate action not victimization. 

Then don’t speak or interrupt. Say only, “Tell me more about that.” 

Let them feel heard. DON’T defend yourself - just repeat back what you heard. In there words will be things they are likely wrong about. But let them be validated. 

Ask them if they want a better working relationship with you. This is important because if they say “yes,” which they likely will, now they’ve made a...

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Don't Waste Time on Resolutions - Do This Instead

My husband and I were sitting alone on the beach of our home on Hilton Head Island last week on Christmas eve. COVID had altered the travel plans of our six children and their families. We had decided if we were going to be alone for Christmas we'd be in a place we love. We sat there talking about how COVID has changed so much for everyone this year. I deliberately got up from my chair and snapped this photo as my commitment to moving forward with a fresh perspective. Hope is on the horizon. Though hope is not a strategy, it reminds me that it is time to plan.

Would you take a trip without a map? Of course not. So why do we think we can create a New Year’s resolution and get there just because we want to? The reason most resolutions fail is because they are simply notions centered on “getting” something and not grounded in your values - the root of what drives you. They aren’t authentic and aligned with your core.     ...

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