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...
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.
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...
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...
People ask me all the time to look at their resume to which I suggest they step back and craft a resume based on a career plan that takes into account their transferable skills, measurable key accomplishments and fits into an overall comprehensive structure that ties together companies that match your values, ways to market your value proposition and a voice that speaks your unique career stories.
This is the document I give my clients to help create that synergy. Don’t have an accidental career. Often more planning goes into a vacation than a 40 year career or a 90 year life. Success is freedom. Not more hours. You deserve fulfillment.
I am giving away this new executive career planning tool I give to my clients because so many people are suffering with anxiety about the future right now and need direction. Don't wander without direction. Be purposeful. >>> Eight Tip Career Plan When You're Not Sure What Industry or Position.
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.
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...