Make "Work Mode" Work For You

As featured in Essential Living Maine's Sept/Oct 2017 Issue! A free digital copy of the article can be viewed here.


Summertime is ending. Schools are about to reopen. Office hours are about to return to normal. Your supervisors are back from their vacation exoduses. Your clients are back with high demands. The time has come to get back into “work mode.” If any of these sentences made you feel nauseous, then this article is for you.

The conversations that we tend to have around the end of the summer can come off as mourning. We speak of the dread of getting back to early mornings and late evenings. We regret not taking one more trip to beach while the weather was still nice enough. We wonder how we will get back into the swing of a routine, and for some, there is that added pressure of getting kids back into their routines as well. And as a result, much of our focus is put on motivating ourselves—in particular, I assert that most people hone in on how to get “re-motivated.” Predictably, efforts to get re-motivated go a particular way:

We make lists the night before to plan our day, but those lists become so long that we become overwhelmed and eventually abandon them.

We say we’ll start with the small stuff, but suddenly we are staying late or taking work home with us because it feels like we will never catch up.

We promise to plan that vacation or personal day to look forward to, but we trap ourselves in the grind and the next time we look up, it’s Thanksgiving, and we are ready for a food coma and a nap.

I know this pattern intimately, because it used to be my own. And I see it over and over again with the clients that I coach that claim they are ready to achieve that work/life balance. We all develop an unhealthy relationship to what we call, “work mode,” and eventually have it be the thing that burns us out.

So, how do we go about creating a new pattern that works for us?

First, get clear on what about the pattern isn’t working. In my experience as a coach, the most common reason clients burn out after getting into work mode is because their goals aren’t clear.

If in your mind you set work as the goal, then inevitably you will overwork yourself to the point of overwhelm. To visualize this, think of going for a bike ride. Is happiness your goal in life? That is your destination. How you get to that destination (or goal) is then determined by how much work you are willing to put into riding your bike towards it. All goals require some level of effort to achieve, but when the goal is big enough, we usually make the effort worthwhile.

When we get into the work grind, we sometimes lose sight of that original goal. And as I suggested before, we collapse our goals with our work, meaning that working seems to become the goal. In this case, you are still going for a ride—on a stationary bike. While you may find enjoyment in peddling for the sake of peddling for some period of time, predictably, at some point you will end up worn out, out of breath, and wondering why the heck you are still on the bike. In real life, here is that moment when we crash and burn, when we take an extended vacation in hopes of recharging, or perhaps even when we have had it with our current position and seek a change.

This crash and burn is a trap: no matter how you try and recuperate and re-motivate yourself after hitting this point, you haven’t actually created a new pattern for yourself. You are simply in the stage of “feel a little bit better for long enough to go back at it again.” And so from here, you will continue this loop over and over again—much like the kind of distance progress you make while on a stationary bike. This disappointing truth is why we mourn the end of the summer. Subconsciously, we are somewhat aware that we are about to dip back into our unhealthy pattern around “work mode.”

Once you are clear on why your pattern doesn’t work, the second step is to create a new pattern to practice. This new pattern should be closely linked to those big enough goals previously mentioned. Making your work mode about reaching the goals you actually care about offers tremendous value. Not only do you create the things that you say you want to, you have the opportunity to love the process of the creation as well.

Here is where a coach comes in: getting back to the root of your goals and actually creating something new requires courage and a ton of practice. A trained and devoted coach will partner with you in figuring out what to dedicate yourself to achieving and how to go about doing so. Why is this important? Because on our own, our old patterns are habits, and it becomes comfortable to slip back onto that stationary bike and stick to the grind over, and over, and over again. In partnership with a coach, you have someone to keep calling you back until you have recreated your relationship to work and goals. It might even reach a point where life feels easy.

And just imagine, what if working felt so easy that you were actually excited for it?

Inside Out

Feelings. We got 'em.

I had the chance to chat about why that's so important by guest starring on My So-Called Life Coach, a podcast dedicated to integrating coaching concepts with popular tv shows and movies. 

Go give Episode 4: Inside Out a listen to hear Joslyn, Laura, and I dish out our thoughts on Pixar's Inside Out, particularly how the movie masterfully highlights the importance of our emotional health. You can access the episode, and the entirety of Season 1 of MSLC by clicking here

As a little teaser: When we let our judgments of our feelings make our every move significant, trying to find joy in our lives becomes a burdensome process. When instead we lose the significance of what we feel in each moment, and actually just embrace our humanity for what it is...that's when the magic happens.

Since that whole "embrace our humanity" thing can take some practice, here is a safe space for you to work on expressing all of yourself:

Tuesday September 12th--the Speaker Sisterhood of Portland will be holding its open house at the Portland Public Library

The event will run from 6:00PM - 8:00PM and is free for all women. For more details and to RSVP, click here

When Women Are Heard

In every area of our lives there comes a time when we have a story we want to share. And without always realizing it, there also comes a time when we have a story we need to share. When we begin to find the words to describe our life experiences, we grow. We are able to reframe difficult moments and celebrate joyful ones. There is a power found in being seen and heard.

As a coach, when I am seen and heard, it means that my work is working. My practice grows and my network flourishes. I get to connect with powerful women ready to create more success and less work. And in our partnership, their vision gets to be seen and heard, and stood for. I am powerful.

As a person, when I am seen and heard, it means my needs are being met. I have access to support, in processing the struggles I go through, and in cheering over the victories. I am loved.

As a woman, when I am seen and heard, it means that I am safe. I am accepted.

When women are heard, something changes. They too gain unconditional access to Power, Love, and Acceptance.

So imagine: if all it took to create power, love, and acceptance was learning how to be seen and heard, wouldn't you?

Well, here is your chance:

On September 12th, the Speaker Sisterhood of Portland will be holding its open house at the Portland Public Library


The event will run from 6:00PM - 8:00PM and is free for all women. For more details and to RSVP, click here

The Best Part Of Your Day

Recently I started attending a weekly one-hour meditation class. This class continuously blows my mind with the way it clears out all of my anxieties and connects me to something deeper. 

Yesterday, a new student got to experience that kind of intimacy for the first time. When the meditation was over, this was his share regarding what he got from the experience--

"Well now whatever I do with the rest of my day is going to feel stupid."

I totally get where he was coming from. Often I have days where I feel like I have peeked:

I get to see a friend for coffee then dread the work I have for the afternoon.

I connect with the universe over a meditation then need to go back to "reality." 

I have one client who gets it, then a series of calls that feel like a struggle in comparison.

I unexpectedly eat the best burrito ever at lunch, but have nothing else to look forward to on a boring or dreary day.

The examples may seem trivial, but they point to a pattern that I assert we all create without meaning to in our lives. We make good moments that happen to us significant, but also fleeting. We think, "well this is the best it is going to get," then resign ourselves to monotony. 

So when this stranger reflected that pattern with his words, it got me thinking:

What if it were possible to generate each part of our day as the "best part"? 

What could life look like if it were normal to find joy and appreciation in every part of your day?

When I answer those questions myself, I see a life of finding the gifts I may have overlooked before. A newfound drive for taking on the "harder parts" of business development. The chance to create more connection during my day in service of support and playfulness. 

How about you?

Falling in Love with the Process

Talking about my own relationship to process may be the best way to revive my blog after almost two months of silence. 

Life is filled with process--going through K-12, transitioning between jobs, raising children...growing a blog following--and what I have owned about myself recently is how much I try to resist process. In particular, my resistance comes from knowing how processes have turned out for me in the past. 

I'll put off sleep and eating right in order to meet a deadline. 

I'll lose touch with friends for weeks at a time to make sure my client numbers are where I want them.

I'll sort of co-exist in an apartment with my partner, and we won't really know what is going on in each other's lives until I resurface with a new project to share.

I could keep going, but it all adds up to Suffering, Struggling, and Feeling Alone. Those 3 things are how I relate to process. And naturally, because of that association, when it's time to be back in another process, I am not a happy camper!!

Now, what I love about the work that I do is that as soon as you are clear on a pattern that you have, you have the power to choose where to interrupt it. For me, it's about reconnecting to the joy and adventure in my vision--sometimes over and over again in a single day. 

What about you?

  • What's the process in your life that you currently can't see any joy around?
  • What's the thing to reconnect with each day to have that go differently?

Getting What You Deserve

During my last session with my coach, I declared a breakdown in one of my projects.

For a little context, the difference between having a breakdown and declaring one is that within the declaration is the chance to get responsible for how the project has gone thus far and decide what is next.

Part of declaring a breakdown is getting clear on what the breakdown is.

So there I was on our videoconference, trying to figure out what was keeping my project from moving forward. When things aren’t going the way that I want them to, I tend to blame myself for what I’m not doing. I get in my head and think “it must be a lack of sufficient action, or a lack of knowledge, or a lack of ownership” (and to be honest usually the thoughts in my head are not this nice).

However with some excellent insights from my coach, I got outside of my head and into my heart. And when I looked at the breakdown from my heart, I noticed just how much heaviness there was.

To try to bottom line it, the breakdown I was experiencing was in self-love. I didn’t actually believe that I deserved to have this project unfold the way that I wanted it to, or that I deserved to generate results that would make my life better/easier/fuller/happier.

And that’s the thing that we all do.

We settle for a life that is good enough, because we are scared that if we go for more, we’ll find out that we don’t deserve it. Or maybe we don’t even consider what going for more could look like, because we “know” that we don’t deserve it.

Take a look:

  • Where in your life are you sabotaging yourself because you think you don’t deserve that thing you want?
  • What would access to more self-love make available to you in your life?

The Stories We Tell

When I decided to focus on supporting women in getting life to run on their terms, I hadn’t realized how much of my time would be spent telling my own story of becoming the leader of my life. 

I knew I would be coaching, and at times offering feedback, but I hadn’t considered that my story would be so central to building my community.

Lately I have been sharing my story a lot. Whether it’s at workshops, a networking event, or in a college classroom, I find that each time I tell my story, it opens a door. 

The door has a sign on it that says, “Tell me your story, too.”

I get to hear all kinds of stories, of shyness, of dreams, of hopes, of fears, and of courage. 

By telling my story of working through my fear of owning my life, I give others the freedom to share their own stories. 

On Monday, I got to observe a chapter of the Speaker Sisterhood, a network of speaking clubs dedicated to women who are ready to boost their confidence and improve their public speaking skills. At the meeting, my experience was that these women have found their own voices while discovering parts of themselves that they never knew were there.

Just like with coaching, this organization builds leaders by showing women how powerful they are when they use their voice.

What I have observed is that the growth and connection that comes from this type of work is what creates the leaders this world needs.

And so I am excited to announce that I will be starting a local chapter of the Speaker Sisterhood in Portland, ME! I am so excited to be creating a space for more women in my community to have their process, their strength, and their truth. 

When What You Know Might Kill You

Yup, you read it right. I’ll get to the subject line in a second.

Last week I was having a conversation with a colleague about feedback. You see, as a Mentor Coach at Accomplishment Coaching, I am on a team where feedback is crucial—it’s how you get trained and where you get the chance for someone to catch the things you can’t. 

And I really, really don’t like feedback. 

My whole life, I have created the success I have had, the recognition I have received by being a Know-It-All. You have a problem? I have the solution. You have a question? I have the answer. It’s a clever contraption I created to feel seen and heard, and to feel valuable in relationships—teams, coworkers, family, romance, all of the above.

And last week during this conversation this same colleague reflected that knowing is a possibility killer. Ouch...

Think about it:

Have you ever been really excited to share a piece of news or something you learned with someone else? And their response was a blasé “I know.” 

What happened in that conversation? In my experience, that’s usually where it ended. 

When I take a look over here, my “I know” could also kill possibility. It could keep a client from creating their own breakthrough because I thought my advice was better. It could keep a romantic relationship on the rocks because of how I think it’s going. 

Everything that is new for me to create is in the Unknown. So if I stick with what I know, the possibility of creating something new is nonexistent. 

Take a look for yourself:

  • What dream or goal are you allowing to wither because you’re stopped at sticking with what you know?
  • What impact could giving yourself permission to not know it all before starting have on your life this week? 
     

Keeping It Simple

How often do you remember to keep it simple?

Last week while on WMPG’s Successful Balanced Living Radio Show, I got pretty honest about how I used to think of coaching:

“If you need a coach, your life must be a wreck.”

“Ah, that’s for people who can’t figure it out on their own.”

Basically, coaching was the place for you to bring your drama and hope that someone else could figure your life out for you.

Consider that drama—how much of it we have, our need to fix it—is usually just the stuff we built up in our minds. We have just done such a good job of building it up, that we have stopped taking action towards the vision we have for our lives.

Drama is the thing that keeps us standing still.

As a coach, I’m actually not interested in figuring out the drama in my clients’ lives. I’m more interested in keeping it simple: getting clear on what you want to achieve, and taking action to get it.

Food for thought: what in your life would change if you consistently had someone pulling you back from the drama?

If that life sounds enticing, consider who that someone will be for you. And if you’re not sure where to start in dreaming it up, give my latest interview a listen. It’s filled with ways to consider what’s next, how a coach can help, and most importantly why I moved to Maine!  

Life Coaching: Who Needs It?

I am thrilled to announce that I had the chance to partner with Essential Living Maine magazine to support their readers in understanding more about coaching and what working with a coach could do for their lives. A free digital copy of the issue can be found here. Enjoy!


Welcome to March: a month just far off enough from those New Year’s Resolutions to forget they were even made!  January can be a time full of anticipation, and when March arrives—after weeks of dark, cold weather, the return to our busy work days, and the occasional post-blizzard shoveling day—we are suddenly faced with the stark reality that not much has changed.  We are the same.  Our circumstances are the same. And once the energy of “New Year, New You” wears off, we are back into our usual habits. 

What we don’t normally acknowledge is that our ideas about big changes, getting healthier, switching jobs or stepping into our greatness this year, may all be great—but they are also ideas that are coming from our feelings.  When our feelings change, so will our goals.  Some of you may be protesting this in your brain by thinking, “I accomplish my goals and I kick butt doing it.”  Let’s not knock your goal-achieving techniques or criticize what normally works for you, but let’s take a deeper look in order to go further. 

What would you accomplish this year if your performance weren’t up to just you?

This is a reasonable question to ask because we sabotage ourselves by objecting to the stuff we said we wanted. 

We want a salary increase, but we sabotage it by believing this puts us against others in our company or in our field. 

We promise we will finally write that book, but we save it for later because we just aren’t in the right mood or feel it will never get published.

We are ready to open our hearts and fall in love, but we are annoyed by online dating or we make ourselves available to people who are not ready to share that kind of future with us.

We are ruthlessly two-faced when it comes to achieving our goals and dreams.  How crazy is that?!  We become so used to our “internal crazy” that we can no longer discern how crazy we are.  Most of us actually need someone in it with us; someone to call out the sabotaging parts of the crazy and call forth the powerful and useful parts.  Someone whose job it is to set yourself up to win and call out when you are setting yourself up to fail. 

A life coach partners with clients in a thought-provoking process to inspire them to reach their maximum potential, personally and professionally. In plain terms, they work with clients to help them get everything they want in life.  Although there are many coaching practices that focus solely in one area such as career, wellness or finances, some coaches intentionally identify themselves as a Life and Leadership Coach because it helps people become a leader in all areas of their lives. As such, these coaches may help you work on area-specific projects, but their coaching always reverts back to the "big picture," the complete and whole life you want for yourself.

So ask yourself this question again and think a little deeper this time.
What would you accomplish this year if your performance weren’t up to just you?

Would you write your book?  Get promoted?  Start your own business? 

Getting back to the root of your goals and actually creating something requires courage, confronting the part of you that gave it up and A TON of practice.  A powerful, trained, devoted coach will listen to all of your feelings and help you figure out which of them you want to hold onto and which goals you will dedicate yourself to achieving this year.  Life coaches will connect you, over and over, to the tender and wonderful possibility of it all coming true!   Why is this important?  Because on our own, we forget why we started and in truth, it is most comfortable staying put and doing nothing.

So you’re ready for more. You know your work/life balance is wacky. You have an exciting new opportunity at stake. There is a gap that exists in skills, confidence, or resources to get you that thing you want. How do you know that a coach is the right person to work with?

First, be clear on the difference between coaching and other service professions.

Coaches vs. Therapists.  Therapy is focused on healing and occasionally generates some action. Coaching is focused on action and occasionally generates some healing. If you want help managing concerns such as anxiety, depression, or addiction you should see a therapist.  With that being said, you can still work with a coach while in therapy.

Coaches vs. Consultants. People work with consultants when they require that expertise to create solutions for them.  A coach’s role is in the support, co-creating discovery-based approaches and structures.  Your coach will partner with you to develop a plan on your terms to ensure you are creating a life that meets your standards, not anyone else’s.  

Second, make sure your coach is trained.

Would you go to a doctor that only finished 2 semesters of medical school?  Very few people know that there is actually an international governing body that sets the standards for quality coaching. While there are about 2,000 training programs in the world, only 200 of them are accredited by The International Coach Federation (ICF).  That means only 10% of programs produce coaches that are trained at an industry-praised level. You can learn more at www.coachfederation.org.

Lastly, after you know what a coach does and how they are trained, see if they are a good match for you.

Committing to a coach is an intimate and life-changing endeavor. Most coaches offer a complimentary session to explore if you are the right fit for one another and if you aren’t sure then make sure you ask if that is an option.  Many coaches are also equipped to handle busy schedules, so don’t feel discouraged if an in-person meeting isn’t doable. Check to see if they offer alternative meeting options, such as phone calls or video conferences.

Working with a coach is an investment, one that you will thank yourself for forever.  It will not be comfortable, but it will permanently change how you think about yourself in the world. You will stop limiting yourself, and instead, get used to embracing your own brilliance and your ability to get more of what you want out life!  

And of course, if you were going to do it alone…you probably would have by now!

What If Fear Was Your Best Friend?

Fear. It’s one of the things that stops us from getting on stage, stops us from saying what’s true for us, and stops us from asking for what we want.

I had the chance to be a guest on Angela Lussier's Claim the Stage, a podcast geared towards women seeking guidance on their public speaking skills. It was so much fun getting a chance to share my career journey, discuss decisions motivated by fear, and what I did when I realized my whole life had been built on running from it. 

Check out the podcast for tips on how to invite fear to the stage with you, how to think about nervousness differently, what it might look like to reframe negotiation and hard conversations, and what I do today when fear pops up. 

You can listen here

What 7th Grade Girls Can Tell You About the Portrayal of Women in Media

It was 8am on a Monday, Halloween day in a Middle School to boot, and I’ll admit I was skeptical as to what sort of energy a group of 7th grade girls could bring in those circumstances. Christine Bright and Kelli McCannell of Hardy Girls, Healthy Women had set the bar much higher. Within moments of the students filing into their seats in the auditorium, the two women were up and at it, addressing their workshop participants with warmth and passion. The topic of the day? Women in Media – what we notice about them and what we want to see change.

...these ads are basically demanding we be a certain way.

Starting with reviewing the “homework” of noticing popular girls in social media from the week before, the students were asked to voice what they had noticed in their investigations. After a few shares, it was apparent that the students were aware of the way that celebrities preen themselves to have the perfect hair, the perfect skin, the perfect legs, et al. A synchronized head shake dispersed in the auditorium when asked if those girls reminded them of themselves. Bright asked what about those girls made them so different.

“They lack any sense of reality,” a student in the back rows shouted. The outburst confirmed that I was in for something profound.

The remainder of the workshop was spent taking a look at product ads featuring women models and celebrities. McCannell and Bright prompted the students to write over the images: point out what they noticed, what they would change, what they thought the ad was trying to sell. Immediately this group of 7th graders produced comments that were impactful, insightful, and at times even provocative. A few shares:

“The way the [male model] has an arm around her is super creepy and dominant. Like he owns her.”

“If this ad is supposed to be for clothes, then why isn’t [the model] wearing any?”

“Where is this girl’s mom? Who would let their daughter pose like that? She looks like she’s 15.”

“This ad isn’t even about what it’s selling. It’s just objectifying [the model], making her something that people can look at.”

As the conversation continued, McCannell asked the girls who had noticed that a comment about sex came up with almost every ad. After a majority raise of hands, she followed up with simply asking why they thought that was.

“Because people just want sex with women. And these ads are basically demanding we be a certain way.”

The workshop concluded with the women of HGHW inviting the girls to consider how they could create change around things, like ads and social media posts, that make them felt uncomfortable or like they needed to change. A number of the feedback forms suggested that the challenge was being taken seriously—many of the students voiced how the workshop changed their view of themselves and changed the voices that were already creeping up to tell them how they should be to get boys to like them.

Where is this girl’s mom? Who would let their daughter pose like that? She looks like she’s 15.

The value I generated in simply observing this program was the recognition that children absorb everything. A group of 12 to 13-year-old girls voiced problems in the media that adults twice their age continue to turn the other way about or disregard.

McCannell and Bright pointed to the power in developing a bold voice to create change. That lesson isn’t just for a group of 7th graders. The invitation can extend to all of us, fellow women, supporters of equality, powerhouses in life who can have things go differently. So, who will you be to demand the change you wish to see?


Hardy Girls Healthy Women is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the health and well being of girls and women. Their mission is to take girls seriously and put the power in their hands to challenge a society that ignores their brilliance. 

#WCW Spotlight: Ariti Kaziris

How can women cultivate career success? How did some of the world's most powerful women manage to progress in their careers while also enjoying life outside of work? My coaching work has allowed me to meet and work with incredible women at all levels of their careers, whether they be in the stage of both fear and unbridled possibility at the start of one or among those who have found success and are ready to kick it into the next gear. 

This week I am proud to introduce a new feature on the Hear Her Roar Blog: the #WCW Spotlight. Popularized as #WomenCrushWednesday, each Wednesday this blog will feature a woman who is crushing it in the professional and personal realms. 

I could think of no one better to start this series than my old colleague and dear friend, Ariti Kaziris. A true Hear Her Roar woman, Ariti recently took control of her life by launching her own fashion label in service of her passions for creativity, beauty, and making women feel confident. Read more about her journey below for her advice on how other women can own their professional dreams. 

Tell me about your current business. What are you doing exactly?
I launched my own womenswear fashion label about two months ago. My target market is essentially women ages 20-35, and I'm all about romantic silhouettes while using fabric that is comfortable and flattering. I design everything myself so everything is a direct representation of my style and energy. I'm Greek-American and always loved the braiding and drapey style that came with that Grecian vibe, so I of course had to incorporate it into my collection.

What were you doing before this, and what had you come up with your business idea?
Before branching off on my own, I worked for a Manhattan based networking start-up company. It was there that I really saw what it took to help run a fast paced new business in the heart of the hustle and bustle of NYC. I incorporate so much of what I learned there in my day to day work routine. I had always wanted to pursue my own label from my teenage years, however the fear and "what-if" factor always kept me from taking the big leap. One morning specifically I remember sitting on the train on the way to work and thinking, "I'm doing this and I'm starting today." Something so powerful came over me and I swear I went home that same day and hopped on my sewing machine. I haven't slept since.

What woman inspires you?
I'm so glad you asked this question. My mother. She is the epitome of the kind of woman I aspire to be every day. She displays so beautifully equal parts loving and hardworking and has shown me that it really is possible to do anything in life if you work for it. Both her and my father grew up with very little and built an unbelievable life together. Growing up as a first generation American to immigrant parents, she worked 3 jobs to put herself through pharmacy school. She waitressed overnight at a diner and would go straight to class after her shift ended at 8am. When my father opened his own business, she would work at the hospital during the day and then go and help him until midnight only to repeat the process the next day. Just hearing where they started from versus where they are now, it hits me right in the heart every time I think about it. I grew up hearing her tell me how proud she was of me but truthfully I'm so proud of her. She is my muse.

What do you think is key for finding a successful work-life balance?
I know it sounds so cliché but it's so important to take time for yourself or else you will drive yourself crazy. When starting a business you'll find yourself working all the time, not just 9-5. You'll work whenever an idea comes to mind, which often times is always. This is especially true when you are just starting out. Your mind is everywhere and you're excited to get everything out on the table. Sometimes you won't even know where to start. This can be exhausting at times so it is super important to keep your thoughts, work space, and time organized to avoid mental clutter. Definitely keep an agenda or daily checklist of what needs to get done. I was never an agenda kind of girl until I realized that I was wasting so much time constantly going back to see what I had done versus what still needed to get done. This frees up time for you.

What is your own personal mantra?
"Hustle wins every time." I saw it written somewhere once and it never left me. I repeat it to myself every single day not only when I am overwhelmed, but at the times that I feel accomplished. I always remind myself that there is always someone else out there that is working harder than me under more difficult circumstances, so there's no room for excuses.

What would be your advice for women who are building careers?
Never, ever lose focus and don't let anything get in your way. It sounds so redundant, but it's so true. Once you realize that what you put in will determine what you get out, you will fully understand what you need in order to build the future you want. Once you have that clear vision and understanding of where you want to take your career or business, it becomes an involuntary movement.

You Are Here

Imagine your life as the large standing map in the mall. Only, the map isn't so much an indicator of where things are, but when. The map is a timeline, and the "YOU ARE HERE" star? That's today. Think about today: what you have, what you want. Then, once you have that list, think about one year from today. What do you want to have then? Why? How are you going to get there? Who is going to help you?

That's the key to generating leadership and momentum in your life. I often build year-long plans with clients, and support them in understanding why they want what they want and how to get there emotionally. That's my job as a coach, listening for a living and reflecting back what I see. Sometimes that means asking you a question that you have never been asked before, or pointing out the way you are undermining your own goals. It can be an emotional roller coaster. It makes you focus on what matters. It's draining and challenging and generally awesome.

With the fall upon us, it should come as no surprise that change is on many of our minds. Things are always changing—the weather, the seasons, whether public transit is running on time—but we rarely think about change as something that we can create ourselves. 

So ask yourself now, if the changes in your life weren’t at the whims of the universe, what would you create today? How about in a year? 

Did you come up with anything juicy? Write it down. If you are really up for a challenge, write down next to it by when you will have created that big, juicy something. And in doing so, you have just made a new timeline possible. Do you know where that puts you? Right at the start of it. 
 

 

The Value in Taking Care of Yourself

If you have struggled with putting yourself first, you are not alone. I have made every excuse in the book—no time, no need, etc.—to keep myself from self-care. It took months of practice to start seeing the value in well-being, and here was the moment that shifted where I had been coming from.

Back in February I started therapy, recognizing that I was going through a depressive episode. There were days when I felt that depression really take its toll on me, mind and body. I wasn’t waking up until 11am most days. I was crippled with the thought of facing things that “had to” get done in my day, and I would take more naps instead of doing them.

At first I beat myself up internally for this, saying this was the thing that was holding me back, this was why I was weak and pathetic, and this was why I wasn’t going to move my business forward at all.

After a completion exercise with my own coach around the halt in business growth, the pressure with which I was forcing myself to achieve more dissipated. I saw the pleasure in sourcing and taking care of myself. I left the house to meet up with friends for a movie night and they commented on my glowing appearance. 

It was enough.

In the following days, the biggest win I generated for myself was in truly taking care of myself from a place of compassion and understanding rather, than my usual place of “you have to shake this off, you failure.” I checked emails or read books in bed when I wasn’t ready to face the day. I planned goals from the future and made manageable bite-sized action plans to create excitement and ease my worried mind. I let myself get support from colleagues, even if it was potentially messy and I didn’t come off as the high performing individual I want to be seen as 100% of the time.

With previous breakthroughs in self-care, the condescending voice in my head would do a great job turning around and whispering, “yes and you are taking care of yourself to make sure you can go right back to work and do more.” But in that moment I saw how I wanted my life to work the other way around. 

It doesn’t have to be about being comfortable and at ease so that you can then go off to generate more successes. It can be about having your successes be what makes your life more comfortable and at ease.

Did any of this sound familiar? Clearly you are not alone. Shoot me an e-mail, let’s take a look at what the voice in your head is keeping you from.