What is your guiding post? What gives you the inner motivation to live in a way that is aligned with your values?
I want to be fully present in my life and find the joy every single day – even when things are feeling hard.
Not wishing or waiting for something to happen. Not stewing about something in the past. Not getting so caught up in goals that I forget to appreciate what I have now.
To connect in a deep way with the people around me in the everyday moments. To be kind to myself and others.
What helps me keep this perspective?
Funerals often remind us that life is short. I try to live with that perspective every single day. This is my guiding post.
I do not want to be a person who needs something bad to happen to slow down, be more present, and be the person I want to be.
So every day and moments when I am feeling frustrated with something I can’t seem to shake, I ask myself: what if this were my last day alive? What if someone I love was gone tomorrow, like my husband or...
As I sit here today, with the kids at school for the first time in six months and me ready to 100% focus on work in what feels like forever, I am reflecting on just how crazy these past few months have been.
The guilt of using video games as a surrogate parent so I could get that elusive “one more thing” done . . . kids banging on my office door as I met with clients by Zoom. . . negotiating duties with my husband (and trying hard not to resent him when I wound up shouldering more of the load).
Clients, colleagues, and friends trying to figure out how to juggle work, downsizing, kids’ school and all the uncertainty.
All of us wanting to continue to excel in our work, but also feeling torn between that and being there for our family and what’s best for them.
Lots of craziness, when you think about it. The “new normal”. There’s much to appreciate as well, don’t get me wrong.
I am a leadership and resilience coach. I know all the things...
Wow, it's September already!
This is a transition period (in a very unusual time) as we figure out kids and school and ramping up work projects.
It can be easy to get swept up into busy life as that slower summer becomes a distant memory.
One of the greatest lessons I have learned is that when you maintain balance in your life (even when things feel chaotic), you perform at a whole new, higher level.
Because when you are tired and run down, or even just getting by, you are less focused, less productive, have less energy and everything feels harder than it needs to be.
I get it. A few years ago, I used to work all the time and when I was not working, I was thinking about work. I was constantly feeling torn between high performance and my family.
I knew something had to change and so, in the busiest time in my corporate career, I learned how to create boundaries, say no, and focus on what really adds value.
And since I left my corporate career, I have discovered how to turn my mind...
For one of my recent clients (“Kerri”), the biggest takeaway from our work together was this . .
Don't compromise who you are and what you value.
It’s so profound and simple. Yet, often not at the forefront for people.
When we started working together, she had not been feeling like herself.
She was short on patience and snapping at people. She seemed frustrated with the direction of the company.
Her performance and relationships suffered at work. She rarely got a good night's sleep and was tired all the time.
And her family wasn’t receiving much of her time and presence.
She was debating if she even wanted to stay with the company.
Instead of focusing on all the stress and frustration, we spent more time on exploring questions like . . .
Who do you want to be as a leader? How do you want to feel? What can you do to align your actions with your values?
How do you want to show up?
This was an easy conversation. It flowed. She knew it in her core.
It’s not about...
What if you are exactly where you are meant to be?
And your job was simply to figure out (and trust) your next move forward?
What if your struggles, accomplishments, hard days, easy days, weaknesses, strengths, tears, laughter, bad times, good times were all happening for you, not to you?
What if you are more than enough and everything that happened up to this moment - the good and the bad - are just a part of your journey?
What if you aren't supposed to have it all figured out? What if everything is making you stronger and leading you to what's next?
Believing you are where you are meant to be can take the pressure off. You feel lighter. You are kinder and more patient with yourself.
You can appreciate the lessons and what you do have instead of feeling hard done by or behind.
There are things that have happened in my life like divorce, miscarriage, several career changes, rejection, bad decisions, days that do not go as planned (often).
I choose to see it all as what's led me to where I...
How are you adjusting to leading your team in these unusual times?
Some of the adrenaline might have worn off and now you’re figuring out how to navigate a new normal. I hear things from leaders, coaching clients, friends like…
“The team is productive, we are hitting our numbers, yet I can tell people are tired”.
“When I check in with people they share they are struggling. I feel like I am doing all the right things but they still are having a hard time and I don't know what to do".
“We aren’t being productive, and I feel like people are in a rut. I am in a rut. The thought of this continuing on feels daunting. I fear we are all running out of steam”
Or even . . . “wow, everyone is doing great and we are more productive than ever – anytime I hear that I wonder, what’s really going on under the covers?
When you look deeper, what are people struggling with that they aren’t sharing with...
Does your mind often jump to the worst-case scenarios?
"What if they think I’m not pulling my weight? What if I fail? What if things don’t get better? What if this meeting goes terribly?"
We all can fall into unhelpful thinking patterns at times. But there’s a tipping point where it’s taking you in a downward spiral and leaves you feeling more stressed and anxious.
This clouds your thinking, wastes critical energy, and blocks positive and productive action. At a time when you need your clear head, energy, and action the most.
If this is you – don’t worry. You’re not alone!
Catastrophic thinking – ruminating about worst-case outcomes of a situation – is the most common thinking trap that leads to anxiety and stress in people.
It leads you to overestimate the threat and underestimate your own resources to cope.
People typically fall into catastrophizing when: there's ambiguity, they already fear the situation, they are run down, or...
I asked busy leaders and professionals: "With everything going on in the world right now, when it comes to being your best at work and at home, what is your single biggest challenge or struggle?"
Here’s some of the common themes I heard . . .
"How do I separate work time from home time and have enough energy for both and not feel exhausted trying to do it all?"
"How do I manage expectations and continue to perform business as usual in a reality that is highly unusual?"
"How do I best support the people around me who are feeling anxious?
"How do I find time for myself, ease my own anxiety, and not burn myself out when i am taking care of everyone else's needs?"
"How do I remain optimistic when there is so much uncertainty?"
If these sound familiar to you, you are definately not alone.
Demands and expectations are likely still high. You and your team are working at home with more distractions, fewer breaks, and for some, trying to care for kids at the exact same time (and not...
Life is throwing a curveball, there’s no doubt about it. It’s hard to know exactly what to say or do right now.
You might be scared and more anxious than usual, trying to figure out schedule changes, unexpectedly working from home, schools closing and figuring out how to get your work done and care for your kids (and not lose your mind trying to do both), and worry about your health or business or future. Or all of the above.
For me, had this happened five years ago, I would have been feeling far more stressed, be in my head worrying about every worst-case scenario, making frantic and reactive decisions, and snapping at my husband and kids because I was feeling overwhelmed and distracted with everything going on.
I probably would have seemed calm on the outside with work, but felt like a mess on the inside from all the worries and fear.
And, I certainly wouldn't have been looking for the positive . . . yet anyways.
If this feels like what you’re going...
Here’s a common question when it comes to slowing down, feeling less stressed and/or creating the change you want in your life . . .
How is this possible when your company expects you to work more and more, even at the expense of your personal and family time?
Or when you feel like you have 'no choice' because of what you've been taught or told by someone else?
Or perhaps you are not buying into the idea that you can be successful in your career without the long hours or that you can influence the outcomes you want, and so you don't even attempt to give it a go.
I'll share how it IS possible but, first, why it is so important . . .
Too much stress, overwhelm or frustration is like a rock being dropped in the water – it creates a ripple effect in every single direction.
And, you might not realize it (I know I didn't used to).
It can affect your relationship with your spouse and your kids when you're short on patience and not really present....
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