• Read An important caveat to vulnerability: Don’t throw your pearls before swine

    Authenticity

    An important caveat to vulnerability: Don’t throw your pearls before swine

    The other day I shared something deep and personal I had written in a very public forum, and then found myself freaking out about it.  Social media is a strange thing, and I’m not sure there are many of us who have completely mastered the art of using it.  I felt that funny feeling in my stomach.  You know the one, when you’ve been caught with your proverbial pants down.  The embarrassment, the shame, like when the teacher called on you in the second grade and you didn’t have the answer and you looked like a fool in front of your entire class. I’ve always been told by others that they admire my vulnerability.  My rawness.  My ability to put myself out there and let it all hang out, so to speak.  And so, I often do, and therefore was quite taken aback by my emotional response to sharing a seemingly innocent article the other day. Perhaps I’m not as comfortable with vulnerability as I thought I was? Vulnerability is a funny thing.  It’s a big buzzword at the moment, we’re all told we should do it.  We should lead with it and practice vulnerable moments with co-workers.  We should practice vulnerability daily in our personal lives.  Brene brown says vulnerability is the key to living a wholehearted life, whatever that means.  And I get it on many levels, it is an amazing way of creating connection with other people.  Think about it, how can anyone ever really know you if they don’t know the real, unpolished, not-so-perfect you?  It’s also important when it comes to letting go of perfectionism and practicing compassion for oneself.  Overall, vulnerability can be a really great thing. There are limits to vulnerability But there are limits.  And frankly, there should be limits to it.  Which is the lesson that hit me like a ton of bricks the other day.  You may have heard the phrase, “Don’t show your pearls with swine?”  It’s a popular piece of advice, and is adapted from a phrase in the Gospel, “Cast not pearls before swine.” Okay, I know where your thinking just went.  So the point of this is to not call other people a pig, no matter how much you may believe someone deserves it.  Or to start preaching at you.  The point is to carefully distinguish amongst who it is appropriate to share your heart with and who it makes sense to keep it more closed.  To make a conscious choice to share or not to share.  And then share it only with people who will really appreciate your message. I think every person and every culture struggles with this, but I do think having lived in many different countries, that we Americans often take the cake with this one.  We share and share and share because we think we’re supposed to.  We share things with our family for instance because they’re family and we think this is what family is supposed to look like, and […]

    May 4, 2022

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    4.8 min read

  • 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 How to Stop Judging People (Just Leave it to Judge Judy)

    Communication, Mindfulness, Relationships

    How to Stop Judging People (Just Leave it to Judge Judy)

    How to Stop Judging People (Just Leave it to Judge Judy) In August of 2015, a month after I packed in my job and started my own life coaching company, I decided to reward myself with a two-week meditation retreat. A few weeks of blissful self-reflection in the wilds of the Colorado mountains I mused. A fitting start for a trail-blazing woman who has just left the madness of the corporate grind to embark on a new journey and start a business focused on personal development. It reminds me of that saying, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Perhaps you’ve heard of it? The setting was indeed idyllic. I spent the two weeks in a tent in a very remote part of the Colorado mountains with 120 other brave souls. So idyllic, in fact, that often a chipmunk or deer would wander in during meditation sessions and stare at the strange humans sitting on mats, staring off into space for hours on end. I often spent hours longing to be one of those deer. At least I could have escaped.  The night before the retreat started, we gathered together for an orientation. During that session, it became clear to me that the meditation retreat really was just that – meditating. All day long. No rest for the weary. Sitting was to start at 7 am and end each evening around 9 pm. And it was at that point, Dear Reader, that the panic started to set in. Two weeks? Two weeks of sitting on a mat? My legs will go numb. My back will give out. I’ll die of boredom. And it was just at that precise moment, in my infinite wisdom, I realized I had inadvertently signed up for two weeks of my worst fear. For some people it’s snakes. For some it’s death. I, however, fear boredom and will do just about anything to avoid it. We See What We Want To See You may be thinking to yourself, “How could she have been so stupid?” (Which would be judgment, by the way, but we’ll get into that later.) And it’s true. It was indeed billed as a meditation retreat – make no mistake. But often the mind sees and interprets what it wants to see and interpret, Dear Reader. After the first day, I was convinced I was going to claw my eyes out. Between sitting sessions, I sought out other like-minded meditators for much needed conversation where I blurted out my fears and concerns like a bulimic needing a good purge. And then the unthinkable happened. The head meditation instructor announced that the retreat was to become completely silent. No talking, even between the sitting sessions during breaks. Not one single word. If there was an emergency, we were to write a note. A Run-Away Freight Train High on Judgment Resigned to my new silent fate, the next morning I was sitting on my mat, under the guise of meditation:   “Uuuugh, I […]

    September 7, 2017

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    7.3 min read