• Read The cost of believing the bad things about yourself

    Motivation

    The cost of believing the bad things about yourself

    I recently participated in a leadership 360.  If you’re not familiar, it’s one of those annoying survey things where you rate yourself on a bunch of subjective questions and a bunch of other people you nominate on your behalf rate you as well.  Then you get your results and some fancy, overpaid consultant (like myself) helps you get a sense of your strengths as well as your opportunities for development (the latter meaning weaknesses in organizational development speak) and helps you put together a development plan to address the gaps. It’s interesting because as a leadership coach and trainer, I’ve administered them on other people’s behalf’s so many times, I just never had the opportunity to take one myself.  I wasn’t sure to expect.  I figured there would be a few things I would need to work on and had formed some assumptions in my mind as to what those things were.  But about halfway through the debrief, something strange happened.  I broke down in tears.  Not because I was sad, but because I was overwhelmed.  On every single measure (and there were a lot) I had rated myself significantly lower than my colleagues and peers had rated me.  Every single one. We do not see ourselves clearly How can this be?  I even course corrected for this.  I know I tend to be hard on myself, the recovering perfection junkie that I am.  I even took that tendency into account when I was rating myself and cut myself some slack.  Or so I thought… But the results say what the results say.  Here I am thinking that I have a fair degree of awareness, and yet clearly do not see myself in the same way that others do. I see this all the time in my clients.  The problem isn’t as much that we are often doing all these horrible things we are completely unaware of.  There are many assessments I’ve debriefed where a person has “soft spots.”  Qualities they rate themselves low on that others believe to be much higher.  When you think about the consequence and the cost of that, it’s huge.  If I don’t believe I’m good at something, maybe I don’t put myself forward for an opportunity.  Maybe I don’t dare to dream that big dream because I’m not sure I have the capacity to achieve it.  Maybe I find myself talking myself out of things.  I’ll go after it when I feel like I’m ready.  But what does “ready” even mean and how would I know if I’m there?  This is the circular thinking we often engage in that keeps us stuck in a rut. Life is funny like this…while every coaching client is very different, many of us are really searching for and working on the same exact things.  I’ve often explained the practice of coaching as helping others see the incredible value they bring to the world and step into their greatness.  And who better than a neutral third party, as we […]

    April 19, 2022

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    4.3 min read

  • Read Don’t worry about the metrics, a tip on how to measure success

    Motivation

    Don’t worry about the metrics, a tip on how to measure success

    Begin with the end in mind Steven Covey said it, many moon’s ago – “Begin with the end in mind.”  I’ve touted this over the years, I utilize this advice as a coach to help me ensure that client sessions are focused and relevant.  I remember this to ensure I measure success.  I often remind folks of the immortal words of the Cheshire cat in Alice and Wonderland’s, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.”  Sage words for sure! Back when I worked in internal audit, I wrote finding after finding pertaining to a lack of clear, tangible targets and organizational metrics.  It was such a common issue, at one point I just started copying and pasting the recommendation and changing the organization name.  Work smarter not harder I’ve always said! All this to say, it’s important to be focused on an outcome, a direction, a notable and tangible measure of success and to think about how to measure success on an ongoing basis.  Whether that pertains to your career, your leadership, your organization, your business, or an important goal that you have that doesn’t fit into any of these neat little categories. But it’s not enough unfortunately.  Back when I was teaching coach training, I used to tell the story of a baseball player that was intently focused on hitting the ball as hard as they could, and when the moment came, the bat connected with the ball and off it went, high into the sky.  It flew and flew and flew, high up into the cloudless sky while everyone in the stands watched on. How do you measure success? And then one of the outfielders caught the ball in their glove.  The batter was out. Here’s the question I would ask aspiring coaches – Was the batter successful or not?  Many said no, the batter was clearly out.  They would score no home run that day.  But some said yes.  And as the conversation would evolve, it inevitably came down to this trite little piece of advice that I’ve tried to disregard so many times over the years – it’s the journey that really matters, not the destination. But how can that be?  There was no score to be had, no victorious run.  Well, it all hinges on how we measure success.  The batter was all in.  The batter had played with their heart.  The batter had performed the best they could at that particular moment in time.  At some point when I started this blog, I used to think about the number of people who read it, how many conversions this was creating for the calls of action on my website, how I could convert this activity into a tangible metric to measure.  I will tell you it sucked the joy out of the enterprise faster than you can down the last dregs of your drink when the bartender yells, “Last call for happy hour!”  Not that I’ve ever done that… […]

    April 7, 2022

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    4 min read

  • Read Bummed Out Because You Messed Up? Try this…

    Motivation

    Bummed Out Because You Messed Up? Try this…

    I heard something today in yoga class.  Sweaty and out of breath, laying in savasana, the teacher reminded us to tune into our breath, and said, “ If you find your mind wandering, find your breath and focus on it.  The beautiful thing about your breath is it’s always there.  You can always go back to it.  You can always start again.” The Choice Trap And yet, we often act like we can’t. “I screwed things up with that client, I can never build it back up again.” “I didn’t major in the right thing in college, now I’m trapped.” “That acting thing didn’t work out.  And now I’m too old and don’t have the right experience, no one is ever going to hire me.” “I was doing so great with that new habit, and then I lost traction.  What’s the point, I may as well give up?  I’ll never be able to get back into it now.” That last quote was mine today, in relation to this blog.  I had set myself the task of writing 2 times a week, and this week it got away from me for no good reason.  And then I look at my watch and realize it’s Thursday afternoon and I’ve written nothing this week.  And then I told myself, “See Shelley, you knew you’d never do this.  This is why you never should have started that stupid blog again in the first place!  You don’t have what it takes to sustain this new habit.  You might as well give up.  You suck!”  And then it got even worse, and I found myself in a pit of self-induced shame.  Telling myself that I “should be” better at this by now, and I “should” practice the things I preach to my clients. The Problem with Should Until I realized I was “shoulding” all over myself – also something I warn my clients about. Dang.  I hate it when I’m right. So here I am, MacBook in hand, and I told that voice to shut up today, because I choose to remember what my teacher said.  I also choose to remember what William Glasser said, who wrote Choice Theory, one hell of a book, and coincidentally one of the best books I’ve ever read.  (He’s dead, just in case you’re wondering, but not from making bad choices.)  His premise was that every moment of every day is a choice.  I can choose to believe I’m a failure, or I can choose to believe otherwise.  I can choose to move closer to this person in this moment, or I can choose to move away from them.  Will that choice serve me or not?  In every moment there is some element of agency.  Some element where I can become the master of my own fate, even if it’s just changing what I choose to believe about what happened.  A very helpful thing indeed if I choose my own interpretation, because unfortunately I haven’t become omnipotent yet.  Otherwise the […]

    March 3, 2022

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    3.3 min read

  • Read Why it’s Okay to Wake up on the Wrong Side of Bed

    Authenticity, Motivation

    Why it’s Okay to Wake up on the Wrong Side of Bed

      A Bad Case of the Mondays I woke up on the wrong side of the bed the other day.  It was just one of those days.  The kind of day when your entire body feels heavy and lethargic, almost as though someone sucked all the energy out of you with a Dyson turbo.  Every movement felt slow and labored, like I was pulling my limbs through an endless chest deep river of water.  I forced myself out of the house at 7:15 am with a double espresso and made my heavy legs carry me all the way to boot camp.  Of course it was the day coach the boot camp coach decided on a power burpee session.  10 burpees a minute.  Minute after minute after minute.  Four minutes in my body was screaming and I wanted to burst into tears.  No amount of “mental reframing” worked.  It was just one of those days when you have to suck it up. When the torture had finally ended and I arrived back home, I warned my husband to stay a good 15 feet away from me at all times, because I was having “one of those days.” At this point you might be wondering what the heck had crawled up my ass and died.  But nothing bad had happened.  Nothing had changed from the day before.  Nothing was technically wrong.  Except for the fact that I felt like shit and my mood was beyond foul. Now, ordinarily when something like this happens, as a life coach my first thought is to resolve it.  What affirmation can I say that will make me feel better?  What gratitudes can I journal that will bring about a sense of open heartedness?  Perhaps I need to dust off Pema Chodron’s Practicing Peace in Times of War?  What 7 steps to happiness blog can I find on facebook?  What book can I read? I looked down at my kindle and eyed my newest purchase, a book on positive psychology by the highly notable Tal Ben – Shahar, “Choose the Life You Want:  The Mindful Way to Happiness.”  I stared at it on my kindle and took it all in.  The bold colors.  The lofty promises on the cover which spoke of endless happiness and serenity.  Perhaps the secret to my unhappiness lay somewhere in this treasure trove of self-help solutions? But the book stayed closed. Let it Be It was at that point I had a sudden flash of inspiration, and did something quite different than my usual life coach reporitee:  I let it be. Let it be, you may ask?  “Okay Shelley, I know it’s a great song, and was one of the most popular Beatles hits ever, even despite the fact John Lennon hated it.  But really, let it be?” Yes, let it be. It was in that moment I decided to let myself feel the frustration, the sadness, the melancholy, the hopelessness, the lethargy. I didn’t try to analyze it.  I didn’t try […]

    April 11, 2018

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    3.8 min read

  • Read One Way to Awaken the Inner Warrior in the New Year

    Life Coaching, Motivation

    One Way to Awaken the Inner Warrior in the New Year

    Have you ever been the recipient of a comment that annoyed the crap out of you? Here's a tip for using that as the motivation to awaken the inner warrior.

    January 15, 2018

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    3.9 min read

  • Read SHELLEY’S MONTHLY MINDFULNESS MOMENT: THE REAL REASON YOU WON’T KEEP YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION

    Motivation

    SHELLEY’S MONTHLY MINDFULNESS MOMENT: THE REAL REASON YOU WON’T KEEP YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION

    If you’re like millions of folks across the globe, chances are you set a New Year’s resolution.  And if you’re like most folks, you probably won’t keep it either.  Some statistics say your chances are about 8%, which is not super inspiring.  And most folks will say it’s because they’re lacking in willpower. As a coach I see this quite a bit.  A client will set themselves a task for homework and when the next session comes, they just haven’t found the time to do it.  When the question why is asked, it’s not uncommon to hear things like “I know I should be doing it, but time just got away from me.” The real reason you won’t keep your New Year’s resolution is that you’re lying to yourself (although you probably don’t even realize it).  The word should is a dead giveaway.  I should cut down on drinking, I should quit smoking, I should save more money, I should be nicer to my kids, I should be more organized. We should all over ourselves all the time. The bottom line is that we make time for the things that are really important.  We don’t however make time for the shoulds.  That’s why they are shoulds.  They are often the things we THINK we need to do because maybe some important person said it was a good idea, or your mom said to do it when you were a kid or you heard about it on TV and thought it would be a good idea. When I hear a lot of shoulds from a client I start asking questions about what’s really important.  If you can connect a should to something that’s really important to you, you have a much better chance of actually doing it.  Let me give you an example: For a long time I thought I should go to boot camp in the morning.  Despite buying the fancy shoes and designer work out top I never went however, even though I kept telling myself that it would be good for my health.  Now I think about it differently.  One of my most important goals is to be the best coach I can be for my clients.  Boot camp is incredibly energizing and when I go I feel so much better the rest of the day.  I’m more focused, have more energy for my clients and show up in the way I want to be seen by others.  So yes boot camp is good for my health, but I really go because it makes me a better coach.  See the difference?  Once I made that connection I started going, and I haven’t stopped, despite the fact it’s been really cold lately in the mornings and I HATE the cold… How’s it going with your resolution?  If the answer is not very well, how could you reframe it to increase your commitment?

    February 8, 2016

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    2.5 min read