This is so important. Often we dread starting over because of regret. We beat ourselves up for being in a place we dread. We become risk averse so as not to repeat regret. We wonder if we might even deserve to be in a bad place and if it will ever change.
Regret is ok. We learn from it. Just don’t stay there too long.
I had to start over with four children under seven-years-old in the middle of a difficult divorce. We had gone from the country club life to public assistance, homelessness, and no automobile. I believed life would never be fair because of how we had ended up. I started to believe this was personal - like there was something wrong with me and that it was permanent.
The truth is nobody said life is fair. It that we’re true the lion wouldn’t eat you because you didn’t eat him. I worked very hard in survival mode and rose quickly to the C-suite. I was grateful. But I was detached and unhappy. I had lost touch with what fun is and...
When I was a new manager I used to personalize why members of my team weren’t engaged. I made it about me. I was the reason they were under-performing.
I did everything in my power to re-engage them and when it didn’t work I then started to resent them for being disengaged. What I didn’t do was hold them firmly accountable to clear goals for fear of push-back and confrontation. I didn’t do my job as a manager and they became entitled.
When I set clear goals and began meeting with them regularly on their performance on those goals we began a dialogue around the challenges they were having and could role play alternative scenarios. The feedback depersonalized for me when I made it about their performance on the goals and not their attitude versus my expectations. Very objective. Them against the goal, policy, company value - not me.
Wishing you the power of regular feedback on clearly defined goals today.
Listen to a recent...
After a difficult transition such as a job loss, broken relationship, forced relocation, lost promotion, loss of a loved one where you’ve been left feeling less than yourself, depleted and ineffective well-meaning people who care about you often tell you to just ‘move on.’ As if you don’t already want to move on you take this advice in stride and wish you could do exactly what they suggest. When you can’t, you feel even more flawed. At worst, you act out your frustration, stripping your executive presence.
Most people know when they need to move on. Nobody wants to wallow in prolonged anger, sadness, fear, frustration or despair such that these feelings get in the way of joy and rob you of living in the moment. But HOW do you do that? Instinctively you want to turn away from suffering. Unfortunately, that only makes it worse. We must get curious about it. We need to familiarize ourselves with its motivation and dissect it so that we can understand...
In my executive coaching practice I see wonderfully talented clients suffer from life messages dished out by inept bosses, well meaning family members, and misguided colleagues. We don’t thrive when we are controlled from the outside in. We thrive in our natural mindset - from observing the outside world and accepting ourselves internally no matter what.
If someone chooses to be biased or unkind, their behavior says more about them than you. But sometimes we internalize the outward world and make it personal to us. That leaves us a victim.
The only way to deal with this is to build self-awareness so that you can see when you start to interpret other people’s behavior as the root of your feelings. ‘I’m unhappy because my boss never appreciates me or my family always held me back or my coworker triangulates the office against me.’
Separate assumptions from facts. When you sense assumptions made in desperation from a mindful...
You’ve read what the experts say. You’ve collected the necessary tools. You are committed. You are trying. Yet nothing changes. And you feel stagnant.
When I was a divorced single mother of four children under seven-year's old on welfare, food stamps and medical assistance, homeless and without an automobile I didn’t have time to go back to school to learn a new profession. I had four hungry mouths hanging open in front of me like baby birds.
Failure wasn’t an option. I decided to cease seeking what was “fair”, stop throwing money away on lawyers and accept that it was a far better use of my energy to focus on succeeding as the sole provider for my children than to expect family court to give anyone a conscience.
I had to put a plan together to hold my family together. I felt anxious, rejected and exhausted. I can’t tell you that I thought much about planning. There wasn’t time for ideal, only real. There wasn’t...
Willpower. You have it. You are dedicated. You start with the best intentions. And then you fizzle out. So, you start changing things just for the sake of change – thinking change is better than doing nothing. And you soon find out that the same old feelings loom and the same behaviors repeat – just in another setting. You feel overwhelmed.
What is the feeling you are running from? I hope you know because it is taking up a lot of space in your head that you would rather fill with joy. It is robbing you of peace and lacing your days and nights with anxiety. You might think it is fear of failure. But what will happen if you fail? What is the ultimate, deep down devastating result that could happen? You lose the love of those who matter? You will be alone? You’ll be powerless? Isn’t it time you stopped practicing failure in advance in your head?
You know you are on the treadmill to nowhere when you repeat the same thoughts and actions and...
This week a very capable client was struggling with some of the work I am having her do around ‘doubt’ and ‘letting go.’ She said she “came up blank” on what she was angry about, what she can terminate right now, where she feels shame and what she feared.
Questioning our thoughts and feelings often uncovers that they are assumptions and not true at all. These questions help you get deeply into the thoughts and feelings that hold you back - keep you guarded, resentful or powerless. Nobody wants to face them. But, if we don’t they chase us down the rest of our lives. Think of the last time you lashed out, withdrew, or quit something. What FEELING was at the heart of the behavior? I want you to be able to re-examine that feeling as to whether it is an assumption or really true. (This photo shows the process of finding the pause moment to accomplish this strategy.
She then shared that she does feel shame around weight and being...
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...
If I believed anyone who told me it was impossible to go from being a single mother of four children under seven-years-old on welfare to getting hired as a CEO it might have dragged me down. So I didn’t ask anybody if they thought I'd succeed. I just went about my work and goals as if I could not fail.
Over the last 20 years I have led organization with up to $26 million in assets. I increased trade show attendance 150% my first year as executive director of a trade association. I led a campaign to add a patient pavilion and healing garden when people said, “That will never happen.” And I led a $10.4 million capital campaign for a heart center, new ER and Women’s and Infants' Center on the heels of the largest hospital bankruptcy in U.S. history.
“Impossible” is just a lofty word thrown around by people who play it safe. It is a notion to believe that just because something isn’t mainstream or the norm it cannot be done. More significantly -...