Reflecting on what I’ve learned from the clients I have the privilege to work with. Human behavior has always fascinated me. I’ve studied it for years. It’s amazing how we can repeat patterns over and over and don’t see the regularity of them as we continue to victimize ourselves by externalizing the origin of our unrest.
“It’s their fault.” “This is so unfair.” “Why does this always happen to me?” “Only I get treated this way.” “This is never going to change.”
Strong people who are uncomfortable enough with the unrest of failing relationships, lack of career advancement, poor sleep and health habits and frustration with a stagnant life commit to do something about it.
But if that commitment isn’t a look inside themselves they’re just busying themselves with change for the sake of change on the treadmill to nowhere. Then when nothing changes not only are they...
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...
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...
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...
Short and sweet today because enough said in a few words.
You know someone has poor boundaries when they expect far more than they give and you end up feeling that you’re not enough. We have to draw boundaries around ourselves for our own self-preservation, executive presence and sanity. Boundaries start with being able to say, “No” or removing yourself from a conversation that goes nowhere.
Don't show them your worst side in defense of what is not yours to own. Don't let them shed their pain on you. It's not about you. You need not respond at all. Silence says everything.
If you want more executive presence tips here’s a link to my FREE report: 31 Success Practices for Leaders in the High Stakes Corporate World
P.S. Feel free to forward this email to someone who could benefit from it. We are all walking down the same road in life looking for a hand to hold. Sometimes we must be the...
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...
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...
Our culture imposes a sense of urgency that isn’t helpful to well-being. The internet is the worst culprit. Social media defines what we “should” look like. What we “should” feel like. What we “should” be doing. And what we “should” have.
A sense of urgency is good in a crisis. Our lives are not a crisis. You already have everything you need to look, feel, do and have what you want. Your perspective is the key. Your looks are gorgeous when you feel they are. Your soul is fulfilled when your values are aligned with your actions. Your career is rewarding when you are leading in a way that resonates with your core. And the stuff you have will make sense when it is purposeful to your personal mission.
May this year be the year you are ready to sail your boat out of the harbor and into a sea of opportunity, creativity and contentment.
If you don't know where you'll be by the end of the year you are already there. Don't...
Telling someone who is visibly upset to "Just calm down" is like saying, “Just stop overeating” to someone who wants to lose weight. Intellectually, you know what you need to do yet your self-management skills aren’t keen enough to cease the behavior or the unresolved feeling. And quick fix advice such as “be positive” makes you feel worse because it denies the inadequacy you feel inside.
I used to be more of what could have been labeled a ‘distant’ leader. Calming down was not my issue. Relatability was.
Three things changed that for me and for my clients struggling with how to manage emotions:
1) Allow them.
2) Be curious about them.
3) Be compassionate to yourself and others.
This wasn’t a quick fix. It was a repeated practice of continually taking myself through this exercise of self discovery which lead to self acceptance.
I was a single mother and only provider of four children who was stuck in survival mode. I neglected...
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.