This is Not Self Care

     I used to think self-care was my bubble bath or reading my self-help books after a crisis moment. While these provided a breath of fresh air they weren’t helping me to deal with raw emotions in the moment.

     Do you see self-care as after-care? Do you wait until the let-down, crisis, doubt sets in and then try to play catch-up to snap you out of feeling inadequate and question why this pattern keeps happening to you?

     You deserve better. And only you can give that to yourself.

     It’s freeing to be able to see the hurt coming, slow down, and be still. Still. Understand that things come and go. Emotions come and go. The important thing is to accept them all. Nod at them. Embrace them all - not turn away in fear. Then you can choose to do with them what you want verses being controlled by them.

     Fear will consume you to the point of convincing you that you...

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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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Just Calm Down

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...

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Don't Fake that It's Ok

Positivity is a powerful concept but not a strategy. Pretending that you have a positive attitude when it is inauthentic is exhausting. And it doesn’t work. When you can’t get think positive and sustain it even though everyone tells you to be positive you feel worse - another failure.  

Honor the hurt. Go deeper with it. Own it. Name it. Blame all you want. Realize the shame. Write about it. Journal about it. Tell someone. Get it out. We can release what we own. When you own your feelings, you can purposely RELEASE the negativity. Otherwise it keeps hanging around. 

Next, name what you feel you DESERVE - happiness, career, opportunity, love, friendships, etc. 

Open yourself with vulnerability to ACCEPT all that is good and that you deserve. It means releasing the expectation that failure and negativity will continue. Be curious about the process. Yes, it’s scary not knowing how the story will end. But so is a life of negativity. 

...

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How to Build Self-Awareness for Executive Presence

We all think we are self-aware. Of course, you know yourself better than anyone else. Right? Not necessarily. 

You rewind and replay those thoughts in your head so many times a day you think nobody else could know them better than you. That may be true. But that does not make you aware of how they show in your behavior. And this blind spot is the biggest deterrent to executive presence, relationship building and confidence. 

Two Kinds of Self-Awareness 

Self-awareness has two factions. First, there is internal self-awareness – how well you understand yourself. Second, there is external self-awareness – your understanding of how others view you. 

You think you are a good manager. You write good concise descriptions, screen for attitude as well as experience, align the bench strength of your team, and clearly communicate strategy in tandem with the business plan. You mentor your employees because you care about them and provide personal development...

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Trying to Change Them

When people hire me as their executive coach many times they are struggling with a stagnant career, feel stereotyped or are having a difficult time finding clarity, balance and being effective. As we dig into the real root cause nine times out of ten the biggest issue is their confidence in feeling worthy to deliver. This doubt presents itself in our behavior, though we don’t realize the subtleness of our eye contact, voice intonation, relationship savvy. Everyone has a blind spot. The problem is that others see it with what they perceive as pinpoint accuracy and then apply their own bias to it resulting in prejudice. And therefore, you don't get what you want. 

If you struggle with any of these issues let's have a conversation to see if coaching is a good fit. You can request a free call with me at the link below. If you don’t know where you'll be at the end of the year, you're already there.

Success is freedom. Not more hours. Request a free call now so we can see...

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At first I didnt believe this.

At first I didn't believe this graphic. Be careful how you interpret your responsibility for an unhappy person’s environment. I do believe as leaders we have to nurture our team culture and provide a safe place for mistakes to happen without shame. I believe we must encourage and be accepting. But when someone is stuck and their behavior is disrespectful and uncalled for boundaries are necessary. We don’t own or placate someone else’s bad behavior or it just enables more bad behavior. If we constantly need to rescue someone from themselves by making excuses for them or declaring that others do the same and cater to them we’ll be rescuing and enabling for a very long time. And the person being rescued’s behavior will only get worse as will their unhappiness.

It’s not our job to fix the flower. It’s our job to create boundaries around what we will and will not allow for ourselves. We can’t change them. Only our own behavior. That...

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Three Top Misconceptions That Halt Our Careers

This was me - utterly exhausted as a homeless welfare single mom of four children under seven-years-old, putting on that everything was ok. I felt judged, tired, and inadequate at almost everything. I was edgy, unhappy and anxious that I wasn’t doing enough or being good enough.   

Did I make time to take care of myself or remind myself that I am awesome as is with all my imperfections? No way. No time. I just kept surviving and wearing myself down while pretending I was superwoman. I wore busyness like a badge of honor.

As I look back now I see that this treadmill to nowhere left me not only stuck but exhausted. I already had everything I needed to go from food stamps to where I am today - CEO of a $24 million organization, a mom, employee, friend, leader and wife. I just needed to slow down enough to be gentle with myself. I needed to release my need to be perfect which had become a shield for shame. I began to accept that I deserved all that is good and quit...

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The #1 Step to Get Unstuck

Having gone from being a single parent of four children on welfare, food stamps and medical assistance, homeless and without an automobile to a CEO of a $24 million organization and married to a wonderful man I know a thing or two about evolving versus repeating old patterns. Both are hard.

The difference is that the with latter, the end of the story is familiar yet you deny the truth and feel like a victim when you get to the last page and already knew the ending. With the former you have no idea where you might go, it scares you to death because you don’t want to believe happiness is attainable yet sustainable for fear of being let down. Then you risk openness and release all the assumptions disguised as excuses you used to grasp onto. Here you realize you deserve all that is good and your tory keeps unfolding.

When we repeat old patterns we are stuck. Most achievers tackle being stuck by getting back on the treadmill to nowhere and working harder only to find that not...

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