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The Purposeful Career Podcast
29 minutes | Jun 13, 2021
Well hello friends. I hope you guys had a good week!Mine has been amazing!June has been a month of big important (and I believe life-changing) decisions in my career and life.That has inspired and motivated me.And as a result, I’ve probably gotten more done in the past week than I have in the past three months combined. Though my own daily self-coaching, it’s been fun to dive in and explore the reasons for this sudden burst of motivation. You see, the past few years have DEFINITELY been interesting and good for me - a time of preparing and exploring and testing. But that’s now turned into a time when I start making ALL those things come true.Talking has turned into consistent doing.But why?Well, it really comes down to something I call Thought Clusters. I thought it was important to cover this today because it builds off last week’s episode around Thought Maintenance.So, if you haven’t listened to that yet, I encourage you to listen to episode 23. In that, we explore the importance of doing regular self-coaching, using the approach we teach in our practice. This helps you gain awareness in your regular patterns of thinking. And once you do, you gain awareness into the ones that SERVE you vs. the ones that DON’T.A SUPER important thing to do on a regular basis and especially in your career as it helps you uncover your blind spots, eliminate thinking and behavioral patterns that hold you back and allow you to CHOOSE new, empowering ones that move you forward.Honestly, I SO wish I’d known this stuff earlier in my career. And I had so many DM’s and emails from you guys this past week that I thought it would be good to dig a little deeper into the role thoughts play in our fulfillment and our level of achievement or success.So, this week, I wanted to talk about Thought Clusters. This concept was inspired by the principles behind cognitive behavior therapy, a form of psychology that is based on the belief that:· Problems are based, in part, on faulty or unhelpful ways of thinking.· And in part on learned patterns of unhelpful behavior.· And that you can learn to change or cope with these things through self-awareness and learning to recognize your own distortions in thinking that created the problems in the first place. And how to change it going forward. This type of psychology was the inspiration for the coaching method I became certified in. Which teaches you how to gain awareness of your thoughts and proactively CHOOSE to think NEW ones that empower you.So, the idea behind Thought Clusters was to illustrate how ONE thought becomes a CLUSTER of similar thoughts, many times each escalates or builds on the one before.This can work towards either the positive or the negative side.When it comes to the negative or downside, psychologists call this “catastrophizing” which is defined as a cognitive distortion that happens when people jump to the worst possible conclusion, usually with limited info or objection reason. Even if a situation is mildly upsetting, some can end up feeling like they are in a HUGE crisis. This happens because of Thought Clusters.One thought can multiply.To learn more, listen to the episode.
27 minutes | Jun 6, 2021
Before we dive into today’s episode, I wanted to share a few thoughts.First, I just want to say a heartfelt thank you to my regular listeners and if you’re new here, I want to welcome you and thank you for giving us a listen. We’re growing and I appreciate each one of you. I wanted to share a bit more about the upcoming Workshop we’re planning for June 12th. It’s called Train Your Brain. It’s going to be so great. It’s going to be a one-hour video conference via Zoom with a workbook. It’ll be recorded so if you can’t attend live, you’ll have the recording to view later. It’s going to be a great introduction to our approach. You can register by going to www.thepurposefulcareer.com/trainyourbrain. I hope we see you there. And if you have a friend, you think would be interested, please share with them.If you’re new to this podcast, you might be wondering what “training your brain” has to do with your career. That’s why today, I wanted to talk about Thought Maintenance. And the role it plays in your career.So, let’s dive in.So…train your brain…. thought maintenance. Not your typical career topics, I know.But the truth is, there is NOTHING more critical to your success or your ability to continue to next level your career than learning how to master your mind. Regular listeners of this podcast know that at The Purposeful Career, we use a cognitive based approach to helping people build self-confidence, drop the self-doubt, and learn how to create a career AND life they love. Our method uses the latest in neuroscience and a mash-up of cognitive and positive psychology. It’s a kind of Jedi Mind Trick that can give you the clarity, motivation, and steely resolve to go after HUGE dreams and bring them to life. How does it do this?Well, what no one tells us Because everything we achieve (or don’t), every obstacle we overcome (or don’t), every success, every disappointment, every struggle, every relationship, EVERY SINGLE THING all comes back to how we’re thinking about that thing. It’s not what happens to us that decides our ability to do the things we want to do or our ability to be happy or satisfied with our career or life.It’s not about luck. Or a good boss. Or a HUGE salary. Or the perfect company culture. Or getting the promotion. Or liking your colleagues. Though of course those things don’t hurt. Those are just circumstances. And sure, we LIKE IT when they go in our favor.It feels easier. But as we all know, in our career and life, MANY THINGS WON’T.And it’s WHAT YOU DO WITH THE THINGS THAT HAPPEN TO YOU that will ultimately determine not only your level of success. But your level of happiness or fulfillment with your life.How we THINK about the things that happen to us ultimately determines whether we muster the courage to try. Or the grit to keep going when it gets tough. Or the clarity to KNOW when to be grateful for what you have OR when you’re ready for more. When I first got exposed to this method, it was just a few years ago. I was a few decades into my career, and I just couldn’t believe the difference it made. I couldn’t help but look back at my climb up the corporate ladder and imagine how different, better, less stressful it could have been had I KNOWN this approach at the beginning.That’s why I do what I do. Because I want to make YOUR path easier. Listen to learn more.
33 minutes | May 30, 2021
How to Create Any Result You Want
I don’t know about you but I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that it’s already end of May. We’re almost HALFWAY through the year. What? I’m always amazed at how fast time moves.And for me, this is the time of year that I love to look back and reflect on where I was six months, 12 months ago and decide if I’m where I wanted or hoped I’d be at this point. It’s an important question because we’re never going to get what we want from our career and life if we’re not intentional bout creating it. And that’s why today, I want to talk about How to Create Any Result You Want.So, let’s dive in.Now sometimes when I ask my clients if they’re where they wanted or hoped to be at this point, they’ll say something like “I don’t know where I want to be” or “I don’t know what I want.” That’s actually really common.Most of us have a long list of what we DON’T want but no idea of what we DO want. I’m not going to talk about that today but if “I don’t know” is a thing for you, check back on this podcast next week because I’m going to announce a workshop coming up on June 12th that’ll help you move past I don’t know so you can create the success you’re looking for. But like I said earlier, the looking back exercise is helpful. And when I do it, I like to start by asking my clients (or myself) three questions.- Are you where you hoped to be at this point?- Are you more fulfilled in your career or life then you were 6 / 12 months ago?- What new skills, experiences or successes have you created in the past 6/12 months?Now, if you didn’t like your answers to those questions, it’s important to not judge yourself. Don’t make yourself bad or wrong. Don’t shame or blame yourself for being lazy or undisciplined or unfocused. Because that’s what so many of us do when we look back and reflect on where we’ve been.And that’s not helpful. What IS helpful is answering those questions and then allowing yourself to be curious about your answers. Instead of shaming or blaming yourself, be curious about why you responded the way you did.To learn more, check out the full episode.
36 minutes | May 23, 2021
Why You Quit Things
Today I want to talk about Why We Quit at Things. Or maybe more specifically, Why We Quit on Ourselves. Most of us do this in one way or another. And it’s never a great thing. But for many it becomes a pattern that holds them back.You know what I mean.We start the diet determined to head into swimsuit season at our ideal weight. So, we start the diet determined and motivated. And then a few weeks or a month in, we give up.We decide this is the year to find the ideal job. So, we dive into the job search with gusto, land some interviews and when the rejections start rolling in, we give up.We start the direct sales business or other side hustle and go all in. At first. But when it gets challenging finding clients or managing the calendar, we decide it’s not meant for us; it’s too hard, so we give up. And there’s lots more where that came from in every area of our life – with relationships, paying off debt, working out, starting the business, changing career paths.Too often, we give up. I wanted to talk about this today because I see it all the time in my practices. I’ve done it too often in my own life.The diets I’ve started and stopped.My passion for writing romantic fiction which I just gave up after finishing a few books.Even my efforts at getting this business going. I’ve started and stopped many times.So, are you quitting on anything? If so, what?It’s important to remember when we quit something we really want, we’re not just quitting that thing. We’re quitting ourselves.And that’s why I wanted to talk about this topic today. Your goals and dreams and YOU are too important to quit on. Today we’re going to explore the whys and learn what we can do about it.So, let’s dive in.When we set a big goal or have a burning desire to do something, it feels AMAZING.We see the vision, imagine how amazing it will be to HAVE the new thing.This DESIRE gives us the motivation and excitement to get going. To START the thing believing that we can HAVE it. So, we fix our eyes firmly on the horizon and start moving forward.Then we get into it.And as we go, the days and months and sometimes years tick by and we start to encounter challenges. Obstacles.Rejection.Challenges.Setbacks.And that’s when a shift starts to happen.Suddenly we don’t FEEL motivated or excited.And maybe we can’t even connect with our DESIRE for the thing anymore.We just know we suddenly feel discouraged. Uncomfortable.Bored.Defeated.Because it no longer FEELS good, our discipline or pursuit of the DREAM starts to slip.After all, who wants to throw all their energy and effort into something that DOESN’T FEEL GOOD?And if these negative emotions PERSIST, we quit.For most of us, when we quit, we’re rewarded – at least for a little while – with HUGE feeling of relief.The discomfort, boredom and feelings of defeat are gone because your life can go back to NORMAL.We tell ourselves NORMAL is okay. We’re used to it. (Even though our life might not be what we want, it’s what we’re used to and that’s okay).And because we FEEL better, we tell ourselves it was GOOD that we quit.That the thing we were pursing wasn’t meant for us anyway.The problem though is that when this pattern of quitting on yourself becomes ingrained, it erodes our belief in ourselves.We start to believe we CAN’T do the things we dream of.That we’re not GOOD ENOUGH.That it’s pointless to EVEN TRY.That we can NEVER DO HARD THINGS.What we just DON’T HAVE WHAT IT TAKES.Sound familiar? If so, you’re not alone.Most of us struggle with this in one way or another.Listen for more.
27 minutes | May 16, 2021
Turning a Bad Experience Into a Gift
Today I want to talk about something most of us don’t like to talk about. I want to talk about bad experiences.Now you might be wondering WHY we’d want to talk about bad experiences. The truth is most of us will go to any length to avoid focusing on them. We’ll engage in all sorts of numbing behaviors like overeating, overdrinking, overspending, over-whatevering, just to avoid having to think about them.But today I want to serve up a different perspective because if you’re going to have any sort of career – whether as a corporate employee or a business owner – you’re going to experience things that you categorize as bad. There are so many challenging experiences our corporate career can serve up. · Getting passed over for promotion.· Toxic culture.· Backstabbing co-workers.· Bad bosses.· Failing at a key project.· Being laid off or fired.Or as a business owner…· Losing customers· Declining revenue· Problem employeesAnd even for all of us around the world this past year…· Covid…need I say more?The truth is bad things happen.And we’re left to deal with those things.But the problem is, most of us DON’T.And that’s why today I wanted to offer you an approach that will help you flip the script on the bad experience. It’s going to rock your world.So, let’s dive in.A bad experience is anything that is not what we hoped of. Something that’s undesired, unpleasant, or unwelcome.While of course the experience can be disappointing. But at its worst, that thing can make us feel like our life is completely OUT of our control. And so many things in our career and life ARE out of the control.I mean, we know we can’t change a toxic work culture. We can’t make a bad or untrustworthy boss a good one. We can’t prevent being put on the list for a layoff.So, that inability to control something we don’t like can make us feel like a victim. Being a victim doesn’t feel good.After all, the definition of victim is “a person who is cheated or fooled by someone else; someone that is harmed by an unpleasant event.”None of us want to feel cheated or fooled or harmed.And when we feel that way, it doesn’t tend to bring out the best in ourselves as it relates to how we handle it. We might yell or scream at someone. We might cry. We might plot to do harm ourselves – gossiping, spreading untruths, blaming – to get back at the person we think caused the bad thing.Or we retreat into ourselves, trying to soothe the pain through indulgent or false pleasures that make feel better in the moment but in actuality, cause us even greater harm.Most of us do this because we believe that focusing on the bad thing that happened will make us feel even worse. We think that by running away from it, by soothing ourselves, we can avoid the pain of having to deal with the downside. But I’m going to offer you a different perspective.When something bad happens, we need to do the opposite of running away from it. We need to turn back, look directly at it, and ask ourselves how that BAD thing can be a GOOD thing.Or more specifically, we need to look for ways to turn that bad experience into a GIFT.We call it The 3 Gifts Technique. Take a listen to learn more.
23 minutes | May 9, 2021
How to Be Fulfilled in Your Career
Today I want to talk to you about a trend that’s been growing steadily for the last several decades. And that is the degree to which we’re fulfilled at work. Or to be more specific, the degree to which we’re UNfulfilled.According to a Gallup poll conducted a few years ago, more than two thirds of workers say they’re NOT ENGAGED in their job. Think about that for a minute. Only one in three of us say we’re ENGAGED in the work we do?Wow.No wonder so many of us LIVE for Friday nights and despise Sundays, right?Honestly, that’s why I decided to release my new podcasts on Sunday. I want to give workers a little lift and some helpful perspective to add positive fuel to their workweek.This is something that’s universal and there’s a lot to talk about here, so let’s dive in.Back to the poll, I don’t think it’s an accident, that Gallup measured “engaged” vs. “fulfilled.” “Engaged” is a MUCH lower bar than “fulfilled” but by anyone’s standards, 33% is a really low number. And if they’d asked how many workers were “fulfilled” they might’ve come back with a number like 10%. Maybe even less. According to Webster’s dictionary, “engaged” means “involved in activity; occupied or busy.” Whereas the definition of “fulfilled” is “feeling satisfied or happy because of fully developing one’s abilities or character.” See the difference?And the problem?We’re not even hitting a good percentage of people who feel INVOLVED IN their job. Let alone feeling satisfied or happy.Obviously, that’s a huge issue for companies, because it translates into lower productivity, lackluster business results, employee turnover.And it’s also responsible for delivering the things so many of us complain about including bad bosses (who are probably ALSO not engaged or not engaged enough to bother to be inspiring or helpful).It creates toxic cultures. Hyper political colleagues. And all the other stuff that drains us of our energy and satisfaction.I GET IT. Trust me. Anyone who’s been in their career for more than a handful of years has stories to tell. And I could share many. But I want to shift our focus from what’s wrong with the workplaces of today to what we can do about it.And there’s plenty. But first a word of caution.When you find yourself in a situation where you feel “Unengaged” for a long period of time – when it’s about having more than just a bad or challenging week - it’s easy to assume you’re just in the wrong place. That it’s all about the bad boss or the toxic culture or the hyper political colleagues. Or whatever.Now I’m not telling you those things don’t exist. They do. And I know how they can affect how you feel in your job and even how effectively you perform your job.But here’s the problem with assuming that those things must be fixed BEFORE you can feel engaged or happy or fulfilled in your work. You’re NOT IN CONTROL of any of those things.This puts the power of your fulfillment or satisfaction in the hands of a bunch of other people who aren’t happy themselves. Not a great recipe for change, right?Sure, you could go out and find a NEW JOB – and there are many times when that IS the right answer. Like if you’re looking to grow or evolve or whatever.But I’m here to tell you from experience that if you change jobs solely to escape the toxicity of the one you have for something you perceive to be better – a job you think might be a GREENER pasture – isn’t always the sure-fire fix we want it to be.Want to hear more? Give it a listen.
30 minutes | May 2, 2021
Creating Future You
In last week’s episode we explored Fear of Success, a topic I think we don’t hear enough about because I know it holds so many of us back. Deeply rooted in this concept is the fear of letting go of who were used to be in favor of who we want to become. And that gap between past us and future us can be huge and I think too many of us leave it up to chance. This week, we’re going to talk about how to create future you. On purpose. So, let’s dive in.As humans, we’re trained to look at our past for answers and for a mirror to reflect who we are or how we see ourselves in our present. So, in our career, we tend to examine our past mistakes and celebrate our past successes. And it’s the combination of those two things that, for most of us, shapes our self-concept.Most of us are actively involved with our past selves. But we view the future differently. And I believe, much more passively.For some of us, the future is something to look forward to with excitement or anticipation. For others, the future is something to be feared because it involves the UNKNOWN (which we talked about in Episode 14, so check that out if you haven’t already).One of the things most of us have in common is that when it comes to the FUTURE, we will set goals or have dreams or mark plans for things we want to do have or experience.But very few of us will ever take the time to think about WHO WE WANT TO BE or who we will need to be to LIVE IT.Right now, I’m coaching an executive in corporate America who’s experiencing significant vertical growth.She’s proud of what she’s achieved but is trying to reconcile this amazing new level of success – the big title, salary, and prestige - she just achieved with her concept of herself.She often finds herself feeling uncomfortable. She finds feeling awkward or inauthentic.It doesn’t make sense on the surface because she’s got all the skills. She earned that level of success.So, what’s the problem for her?Well, for starters., she’s always used her past experiences and successes as a mirror for who she is. And that worked okay up till now because her progression followed a linear path. She moved forward one step or progressed one natural level at a time. So the growth and shifts she made were more natural or gradual and so relying on the past as a mirror for herself was believable. But now she finds herself in a new company in a role where she’s running the whole function. Where her team is a few hundred people and growing. Where success or failure – not just of the team but of the entire department and perhaps the company – is on her shoulders.She’s just experience quantum growth. There’s nothing to look back to in order to reflect who she is now. She’s creating it REAL TIME.So, we’re working on creating Next Level Her.Which I’ll tell you more about in a minute.I created this exercise for people experiencing quantum growth like my client is experiencing.Or people make the shift from function to another.Or people moving from corporate employee to entrepreneur.Or suddenly gaining national visibility or global prominence within your field.But honestly, it’s for everyone. Why?Because I think we have it all out of order. Instead of thinking about what we want to DO, HAVE or BE in the future, we would be better served by FIRST thinking of WHO WE WANT TO BECOME in the future.To learn more, listen to the full episode.
29 minutes | Apr 25, 2021
Getting Unstuck (#5 of 5) - Moving Beyond Fear of Success
Let’s start with a definition. In the simplest of terms, Fear of Success involves the fear of GETTING the very things that you want.What?!!?I know. I know. It makes no sense logically. But as you dig into it, there are actually three big themes that come up around Fear of Success.1. Fear of Isolation that comes from the success. This is about the fear of what it means to be “different” from friends and family. It’s our primitive fear of being cast out of the tribe. It can also be in part concern around what it would mean to surpass someone that you admire. This is all about the fear of how your success will change your relationships with others that you know and love. And maybe a little about the guilt associated with WANTING a level of success that moves you away from people you love. a. Will I still have friends, or will I be all alone? b. Why can’t I just settle for what everyone else has and is? 2. Fears around the consequences of having the success. This is about the new situations you’ll be in that you might not be equipped to deal with. And it can also be about the fact that being more successful makes you more of a target. So, with that comes concerns over what other people will think about you and/or say about you. And it’s about your own concerns about whether you’ll be ‘good enough.’a. Will I be able to handle it?b. What if I’m not good enough? 3. Fears around your ability to keep the success. Many times, we know we can be successful in getting the thing we want, but we worry that if we DO achieve the success, we’ll be a one hit wonder. That we won’t be able to duplicate it. And then we catastrophize (which we talked about last week) and worry we’ll end up homeless and living under a bridge.a. What if I can’t KEEP being successful?b. Will I lose everything? (my job, my money, my business, my family, and friends)? Bottom line, when you strive to become and do more than maybe the family you were raised in or the friends you have, the stakes get raised. The success you want will always comes more responsibility. And with more responsibility there comes more pressure. More work. More demands. More expectations. More things to learn. More obstacles.Another way the stakes get raised is that more success means doing more things you’ve never done before and that brings an increased possibility of…you guessed it…failure. But not regular failure that you might fear now, but failure with higher stakes. Next level failure. Failing when you’re more visible. When you have more to lose. The problem with Fear of Success is that many times we don’t understand that’s what is really happening. Check out the full episode to learn more.
20 minutes | Apr 18, 2021
Getting Unstuck #4 - Reframing Fear of Failure
Fear of Failure is the irrational fear that we won’t succeed at doing something that’s important to us.This fear happens when we have thoughts that overestimate the risks that we associate with attempting to DO the new thing.These irrational risk-based thoughts create feelings of fear, which cause us to engage in avoiding behaviors like procrastination, hiding, playing small and a host of other self-limiting actions.So first, let’s look at what we mean by ‘overestimating the risks’ we associate with trying something new.This tends to crop up when we’re trying something we don’t yet have experience in doing.I mean think about it. If we feel competent at something because we’ve done it before, we have every reason to believe we can do it again.This is where confidence comes from. It comes from looking at our past and knowing what we ‘for sure’ have successfully done. If the new thing we want to go do is similar or the same as things we’ve already done before, we’re confident in our competence at doing the thing. So, `we likely won’t sink into Fear of Failure.But when we DON’T have experience with the new thing we want to try or go do, that’s when we tend to overestimate the risks of doing the thing.Psychologists refer to this as Catastrophizing.There are two types. Catastrophizing about current or future situations.Catastrophizing is when we imagine the worst thing that could happen, or we exaggerate the difficulties we’ll face in doing the thing.The problem with catastrophizing is that we tend to enlarge the challenge.This is because we’ll start with an observation of a potentially difficult thing. Then this leads to a cascade of follow-on thoughts, each getting potentially larger.For more, check out the full episode.
30 minutes | Apr 11, 2021
Getting Unstuck #3 - Fear of Judgment
In episode #1 in our Getting Unstuck series, we're exploring Fear of Judgment.Or as I like to call it, Fear of What THEY Will Think.This is where we avoid taking a risk or trying something new because we fear what OTHERS will think of us if we do.For so many of us – especially in the age of the internet and social media where, to some extent, it’s about portraying the ideal external image to others – it’s even more prevalent than maybe ever before in history.We worry how we’ll look – literally and figuratively.We worry about our image, about falling short of our peer group or being less than or different from the “tribes” we associate with or relate to.Given that humans are tribal by nature, it’s no wonder we are so concerned with fitting in.For our caveman ancestors, being part of the TRIBE or saying with the tribe equated to safety.Being different from might get us cast out, which for our caveman ancestor might have meant death.That instinct is part of our primitive brain, the part that is about keeping us safe from danger. So, while humans have come a long way from our caveman days, there are not lions roaming our streets, we still have the deep desire to belong.To be accepted.To be part of the tribe.It’s part of how we’re socialized.So when we’re growing up, some of us were taught it was important to look respectable to others. “What will the neighbors think?” That’s what middle school is all about right? Fitting in. Wearing the right brands. Going to the right parties. Fitting in.Now with social media, people use photo filters or other apps to make themselves look better. They curate their image so they portray a certain image to the world.It’s about managing our image; another form of caring what THEY will think. And, we carry this into our professional lives by focusing a lot on fitting in with our work culture and conforming to other others in your work tribe present themselves. All of these can become reasons we hold ourselves to a certain standard.And why we fear so deeply what moving on from or evolving our career or life can mean.We worry what “THEY” will think about us if we change.How we will be judged – whether we success OR fail.And what will happen as a result.Could we lose our job?Our friends?Will we hurt our relationship with our family?That’s why so many of us don’t pursue those big dreams if they differ too much from the tribe we identify with – whether family or friend or company you work in.We worry THEY’LL think we’re foolish.Or that they’ll talk about us behind our back.Or whatever.But I would submit that it’s really about something much deeper.When we concern ourselves with what THEY will think, there’s a much deeper reason that we’re probably not connected to.It’s less about what OTHERS will think – even though that’s what we’re telling ourselves – and MORE about how WE see OURSELVES.I know from my coaching practice that most people – to some degree – believe that on some level, they are not enough. Not good enough.Not perfect enough.Not whatever enough.That’s where this Fear of What THEY Will Think comes from.We first wonder whether we’re good enough. Because most of us deeply believe that we’re lacking in some way.
30 minutes | Apr 4, 2021
Getting Unstuck #1 - Fear of the Unknown
Last week, we kicked off a new series on Being Stuck.In last week’s episode, we looked at it at a high level and from the perspective of how ‘staying stuck’ is soothing you or making you feel better.I thought that was an interesting way to look at it because most of the time when we talk about being stuck or getting unstuck, we look at “how” to do it.I started this series by talking about how staying stuck might be serving you. And not serving you in that staying stuck is going to get you where we need to go. It’s not.But instead, how staying stuck is a technique we use to avoid discomfort. Staying stuck makes us feel better. Calmer. In control. And given the pace of change today, I think more and more people are living stuck. It’s a choice we make. Sometimes it doesn’t FEEL like a choice. But it IS a choice. A choice we make so we can FEEL better.We’re going to be talking about it all through April.But in each of the next four episodes, we’re going to take one reason we get stuck and we’re going to go deep. We’re going to examine stuck-ness and look at how we get there. Because it’s about how our BRAIN works.As you know, on this podcast and in my business, we look at how to build a meaningful career from the inside out. And I know this is different from a lot of other business and career coaches. But what I know for sure is that having an amazing career. One that is meaningful and aligned with what you REALLY want. And one that plays well with and complements your life, is about mastering the art of how you think.It’s about overcoming our insecurities and irrational fears and false or limiting beliefs and training our brain to instead think powerful, confident thoughts that serve you and are aligned with where you want to go.And this will transform everything about your career and life – relationships, achievements, satisfaction, skills, possibilities – and so much more. But today, we’re going to tackle something that affects so many of us and that is the Fear of the Unknown.Because this is one of the big reasons people choose to stay stuck. Choose to put their dreams aside.For me, this is a topic that’s near and dear to my heart because I’ve experienced it first-hand.I know that when people who know me look at my journey from the outside, hearing me say that I’ve struggled with Fear of the Unknown kind of doesn’t make sense. After all, the golden thread that runs through my life is CHANGE.I claim to LOVE change.And I do.But the truth is, I like change on MY terms.When I can control it.When I believe I’m in charge of whatever change is happening and can vet what’s coming and DECIDE that I feel comfortable with it.And my life is proof of that.I started as a hairstylist paying my own way through a private college and over the next twenty years, I became a multi-six figure-earning corporate brand strategist. Along the way, I lived in 10 different cities and I’ve lost track of the number of houses I’ve bought. So I really believed I was ALL ABOUT change. I told myself and others that I loved it. And I could kind of never relate when people said they were afraid of it.So, imagine my surprise when I had an idea for my business – way back in 2011 by the way – and then found myself struggling get the courage to finally DO IT.And as I began to explore the whys behind that, I had to face the truth. I was afraid to make the move to entrepreneur. Well, let’s just say that I finally got the whole “being stuck” thing. And I came to understand – at a very deep level – what it felt like to really FEEL that fear of the unknown. If you can relate to this, you'll find this a very helpful episode.
25 minutes | Mar 28, 2021
Four Ways Staying Stuck is Soothing You
In this episode, we explore how we get stuck.Specifically, we look at the Four Ways Staying Stuck Is Soothing You.Notice I didn’t say “serving you”. I said SOOTHING YOU.Because being stuck never serves us.But you might be really surprised to learn ALL the ways it might actually be making you FEEL better. This episode is going to give you a different perspective of stuckness. Usually, when someone discusses the topic, they share tips on how to get UNSTUCK. And we’ll get there because all through April we’re going to dive deep into the subject to look at all the ways we stay stuck and what to do about it. But first, I want to explore the topic from the perspective of the fact that being stuck actually CAN make us feel better, or soothe us, from an emotional perspective. Even though it never serves us in reality.But staying stuck CAN make us feel better. And today, we’re going to look at all the way that happens.So, let’s dive in. This is going to be an interesting topic.Let’s start by looking at people who AREN’T stuck. Meaning those who are putting themselves out there, pursuing the things they want and go for it.What’s their secret?At the heart of it, it’s about them not allowing fear – in all its various forms – stand in their way.People who don’t get stuck have mastered the ability to TRUST THEIR DESIRES and to work through any negative emotions – LIKE FEAR – that might come up for them. They don’t let FEAR stand in their way. They trust themselves and their ability to go after and GET that new thing.On the other hand, those who stay stuck do that because their fear of change is stronger than their desire to have that new thing.They might dream of something new. But as they consider what it will take to go after it, they find themselves facing the various ways that fear can come up for us. And so, they resist the fear by choosing to stay stuck instead of putting themselves out there and facing it. They SOOTHE themselves by NOT pursuing that new dream.Because even though NOT pursuing the dream can feel disappointing or frustrating, those emotions are still preferred by some over the fears they’ll need to face if they pursue it.Here are the four reasons we choose to stay stuck:1. Fear of the unknown2. Fear of being judged or what "they" will think3. Fear of failure4. Fear of successGive this episode a listen to learn how one of these ways might be showing up for you.This is the start of a new four part series on how to get unstuck, using the latest in cognitive behavior and neuroscience. Join us. And see just how much you can accomplish when you let yourself go after it.
25 minutes | Mar 21, 2021
Breaking the Procrastination Cycle
This week we're talking about procrastination.Most of us procrastinate in certain areas of our life. But if you do it on the regular in your career, it’s likely holding you back and that’s why I wanted to explore why we procrastinate, how it affects us and, more importantly, what we can do about it.So, let’s dive in.We all know that procrastination means “to put off doing something.”But it’s also interesting to know that procrastination comes from the ancient Greek word “akrasia” which means “doing something against our better judgment.”When we procrastinate in doing something, we know we’re not only avoiding the task, but that it’s probably not a great idea.But we do it anyway.And that's why procrastination does such a number on us, right?Because when we do it, we not ONLY deal with the pain of not doing the thing we know we need to do, but we ALSO know that we procrastinated even though we KNEW it wasn’t a good idea. That by doing so, it might cost us in some way. So, if we know something might hurt us…why do we do it anyway?Doing something we KNOW is going to have negative consequences isn’t logical. So that means there must be a powerful hidden driver BEHIND the procrastination that’s making us do it.So, what is that?Well, in the simplest of terms, we procrastinate because of how we feel about doing the task we need to do.As we’ve discussed in earlier episodes, everything we do (or don’t do in this case) comes from how we feel. The emotions we experience motivate our actions. So, when we procrastinate, we’re likely feeling something like boredom, anxiety, insecurity, frustration, resentment, overwhelm or self-doubt. Things like that.And most of us believe that we feel that way BECAUSE of that thing you need to do.But that’s NOT the reason.The reason you have those feelings like boredom, anxiety or overwhelm is because of what you’re THINKING about that thing you need to do.And those emotions are what is causing you to take the IN-action of procrastination. So, you are choosing to NOT do the task you think is causing you to feel those negative emotions because you are trying to DELAY having to experience those emotions.And notice what you are probably doing INSTEAD of doing that thing.Because usually It’s something SUPER indulgent.Like maybe scrolling your social feed, bingeing on Netflix, browsing Amazon, going out with friends or whatever. In my practice, we call this buffering. Because it’s about doing things to soothe yourself or to avoid having to experience emotions that we don’t want to experience.Listen to hear more.
25 minutes | Mar 13, 2021
This week, I've been thinking about our careers and how we adapt to the unexpected things that happen to us. Because the pace of change is only increasing and for the most part, learning to adapt to it is a journey we take on our own.You know how it works.Things are going along great. Everything’s clicking.We like our job. We’ve got our fun work colleagues. We love our boss. The company. Our benefits.And then boom.Out of the blue, something happens and suddenly, everything changes.Maybe our boss leaves. Or we get re-orged. Or laid off.Suddenly, what was great is now uncertain.We can feel out of control.Or victimized. Or angry. Or scared.And for the most part, navigating through that change is something we must do on our own.Sure, some bosses may try to help. You might have some supportive colleagues or friends or a spouse who will lend an ear. But coming to grips with change that you didn’t want or expect is up to you.And I can show you how to work your way through it faster. So you go from dreading change to actually…love it.So, let’s dive in.As someone who’s long managed people in my career, I can recall other leaders talking about their employees and saying things like “so and so is just not that flexible” or “so and so is such a no person.”I’ve never felt that way. Because early on in my career, I got exposed to a management consultant view of the philosophy behind how people process through change.And it’s always fascinated me and once I understood it, I made the decision to always embrace it. I might not like it. I might initially feel the stab of uncertainty or panic if I sense it might impact me in a way I wasn’t expecting.But my expectation of myself is that I am always proactive in exploring the possibility that change presents. Check out the full episode now.
28 minutes | Mar 7, 2021
The Confidence Switch
Today we're going to talk about how to instantly shift from fear and self-doubt to unstoppable confidence.Kind of like flipping on a light switch. Most of us don’t think about it that way.We think we just feel the way we feel about something – like a scary new opportunity that’s in front of us or like a job we’ve kind of lost interest in – and we think that thing is causing us to feel the way we feel.That there’s nothing we can do about it. That it just is what it is.But that’s not true. And that’s what I want to talk about today. Because Spring is coming and it’s a time of growth and renewal. A time of possibilities for trying fresh new things. But I’ve noticed that for many of my coaching clients, trying new things – thing they might not have tried before, might be fearful of or whatever – is really scary.And many of them will do whatever it takes to avoid them.But it doesn’t have to be that way. We can summon the courage or the confidence in an instant when we need to. I can show you how.So, in honor of my dog Umbro and the new things that Spring might bring, I want to share with you a powerful tool I use in my coaching practice called “The Confidence Switch.”Let’s dive in.As we go through our careers, we’re going to be presented with new opportunities.Promotions.New jobs.Starting a business.And those new things will mean we have to show up in a way that’s new. We must put ourselves out there in a new way.Channel a part of ourselves that maybe we haven’t used before.Or maybe we’ve tried in the past and it didn’t work so well.So, when we’re faced with those things, some will muster the courage to try it. But most of us will struggle. We might be excited about it. But dread it too.We might obsess about it. Worry about it.Many of us might even decide to avoid it. To NOT do that new thing because it’s just too scary.Have you ever said no to opportunity?Have you ever had a burning desire to do something – maybe start a new business or go for that big new job – and then talked yourself out of it?If so, why?Have you ever really considered the reason you might say no to new things?For most of us, it’s about fear of some kind.Fear of judgment. Fear of failure.Even fear of success.Notice how all those types of fear have one thing in common.It’s about what others might think about you.Probably also a bit about how YOU’LL think about you.The issue here is that you’re letting your own fear, insecurity, self-doubt convince you that you’ll be judged. That you might fail.So, you tell yourself it’s too dangerous a thing to try. That you’re not up to the task.That you should stay in the cave where it’s safe.And listen, I get it. As I’ve talked about before, I spent years – actually decades – of my career avoiding public speaking. The thought of standing up on stage and having hundreds of pairs of eyes staring at me while I try to remember what I intended to say…it was just too much.I had some early experiences in my career in front of smaller groups – say several dozen people – and let’s just say, I didn’t distinguish myself. Well, not in a good way anyway.I look back on some of those early experiences and I cringe thinking about how bad I did.The dry throat. The long pauses. It wasn’t pretty.And then one day, it changed. And today, I'm going to talk about how. And, how you can use this same tool, which I call "The Confidence Switch."I hope you enjoy it.
19 minutes | Feb 28, 2021
Inner Critic #4: The Dark Side of Safety
In the context of our personal lives, security is important to most of us. We want to know that our families and our loved ones are safe and free from danger. But very often, the need to be safe has the exact opposite effect when it comes to our careers – whether we’re on the corporate or entrepreneurial track or somewhere in between.There’s a dark side of safety when it comes to our professional lives. Why? Because in the context of our careers, safety usually means we’re holding ourselves back.We’re playing small. Not living up to our fullest potential and likely, not allowing ourselves to realize our dreams and ambitions.I know this has been true in my own life. Especially as it comes to starting this business. But it also played a smaller role in my corporate career when it came to one specific thing, which we’ll talk about in a minute. This need for security is something I’ve seen so many of my colleagues and clients contend with. And that’s why today, we’re going to talk about THE DARK SIDE OF SAFETY.So, let’s dive in.As you know, all month we’ve been talking about our Inner Critic – that persistent negative internal talk track that runs on a continual loop for most of us.We learned in earlier episodes how our Inner Critic is not our enemy, but our misguided friend. So, it’s important to soothe it instead of fighting it or whatever.And we learned that our critic uses negative motivation and false control to try to get us to do what it can to keep us protected.Today we’re going to talk about the last – and I think the most problematic or pervasive – technique the Inner Critic uses, which is all about convincing us that if we put ourselves out there or go after a big new thing, it’ll BE…A…DISASTER.For me, this played out in one prominent way throughout my corporate career, which was around speaking in front of large groups. I just wouldn’t do it. Period.So, whenever an invitation came, I invented a grand excuse to get out of it.And I did it so often and for so long that honestly, I didn’t think anything about it. I certainly never thought about how it might be holding me back. It was quite the opposite. Actually, it felt like a GREAT IDEA to say no. It felt smart.And on the rare occasion when I DID accept an invitation, I would ALMOST IMMEDIATELY be overwhelmed with fear and self-doubt.Why?Because my Inner Critic had flipped on a talk track that told me I’d screw up. That I would freeze or stumble over my words.That I didn’t KNOW ENOUGH to be up on that stage, sharing my knowledge and experience.Basically, that I just wasn’t GOOD ENOUGH.So, when my Inner Critic told me those things, I believed it. After all, that voice in our head feels wise, right? And listening to it feels like something we should do.The things our Inner Critic tells us FEEL TRUE. Not because they ARE true, but because the voice isn’t coming from outside us. It’s coming from INSIDE.And there’s something about the Inside the House source of it that feels profound. Like something we should listen to.Listen to the full episode to hear all the way our Inner Critic tries to undermine our belief in ourselves by convincing us that our stronger need is to stay safe. And learn the four things to do to overcome it.
22 minutes | Feb 21, 2021
Inner Critic #3: False Control
Today we're going to talk about something I call False Control. This happens when we mistakenly believe that if we do THIS then we’ll prevent or get THAT. And it happens to be one of our inner critic’s favorite ways to torture us. As you know, all through February we’re looking at the various ways our Inner Critic tries to “help us” but of course, doesn’t REALLY help us.And on this one, our critic is trying to convince us that if we just try a little harder or do a specific thing, we can make the situation turn out the way we want. This is a good one because it comes up for so many of us in our career or life.So, let’s dive in. Control is a loaded word, right?On the one hand, we all want to have control over our life – at least wherever we can, right?I mean, like I was saying with my other Dallas friends from the North. They knew what sub-zero weather and ice meant. And they took every precaution to take the smart actions to protect themselves and their families. And guess what? The thing they didn’t want to happen, happened. And a week later, they STILL don’t have water.So, when it comes to our career, this plays out all the time. For those of us in corporate America, we’ll do everything we can to prepare for that meeting and still end up with an outcome we didn’t want. Or we’ll go above and beyond all year, fully expecting to be first in line for that promotion, only to get passed over. Again.And when this happens, our Inner Critic swings into high gear as our negative internal talk track starts tearing us apart, blaming our actions or lack of preparation or foresight for the reason the thing didn’t turn out. As if we could have somehow gotten a completely different outcome if we had done things differently.As if life or our career is EVER that predictable.Now here, I’m not saying we shouldn’t look ahead and prepare and take actions we think will best position us for the outcome we want. We should.What I AM saying is that we’re not in control of everything that happens. And it’s important to remember that SOMETIMES we can see around all the corners and identify all the smart actions and perform them with absolute perfection and STILL not get the outcome we want.And listen, the “trying to take smart control” over our life and career makes sense. It positions us to get the things we want from our life. To achieve our goals.The problem comes into play when things DON’T work out as we hoped – which, let’s face it, many times they don’t – and then we fall victim to this false narrative from our Inner Critic that somehow, it’s all our fault.· We weren’t smart enough.· We weren’t prepared enough.· We weren’t good enough.And so, it’s all our fault that we didn’t get the thing we wanted. The problem with this is that sometimes, we actually BELIEVE IT. And the danger of that is…We stop having confidence in ourselves.We stop trusting ourselves to do the things we need to do in order to get the things we want.We stop believing in ourselves.But the problem here is…it’s all a lie.The truth is, we were NEVER in control. We ARE NEVER in control of the things that happen to us.All we can do is bring our best to the situation.Check out the full episode to learn more about False Control, the damage it can do and how to overcome it.
16 minutes | Feb 15, 2021
Inner Critic #2: Negative Motivation
In last week’s episode, we talked about Soothing Your Inner Critic and I promised that all month, we’d explore the various ways our inner critic shows up and tries to stop us from stepping into the fullest version of ourselves. So today, we’re going to talk about our Inner Critic from the perspective of motivation.Specifically, we’re going to explore one of the inner critic’s favorite approaches, called Negative Motivation. So, let’s dive in.The word MOTIVATION is typically seen as a good thing.But, like everything in life, there’s both a light and dark side of motivation.There’s positive motivation which is all about moving TOWARDS PLEASURE.Surprisingly, the anticipation of pleasure or reward is not as strong a motivator as the other side, which is NEGATIVE MOTIVATION.This is all about the desire to AVOID PAIN.And for most of us, this type of motivation is very compelling.Few of us like to fail or experience pain or the negative consequences of NOT doing something we were supposed to do, so we will literally do almost anything to avoid that. This is called negative motivation. The desire to avoid experiencing pain or failure.We all experience this regularly in our job. For example, if our boss sets a deadline for that report. Or you have a monthly sales quota or whatever.Most of us will pull out all the stops to do that thing. And there’s nothing with that. This type of negative motivation spurs us on. It keeps us on task. There’s nothing berating or nasty about it. We simply apply ourselves and get the job done so we can avoid the pain of NOT doing the thing.But there’s a second version of negative motivation – one that is typically delivered by our inner critic. This is negative motivation with a twist. It has all the components of negative emotion – a compelling thing we must do, a sense of urgency, and a sense of consequences if we DON’T do it.But when the inner critic gets involved, the negative emotion comes with a twist.And this is when negative motivation moves from a simple and natural desire to accomplish something, so we avoid pain, to an internal tyrant that sucks the life force from us.When I say it comes with a twist, here’s how it works.The inner critic might say things like:“You better get busy, or else.”“If you make another mistake, it’ll be your last.”“You shouldn’t have waited so long.”“If you don’t hurry, it’ll be too late.”Part of the inner critic’s negative motivation is helpful. It’s trying to get you to do something. To move. To act.The problem is that it adds a threat or an accusation to the sentence.It’s the brain’s way of trying to get your attention.To let you know that there’s a lot at stake and to make it happen, it’s going to take everything you’ve got. And that part is fine.It’s the threat part that’s the issue. Typically, because the voice is coming from “inside us” it knows our greatest fears and vulnerabilities, so it goes for the jugular to motivate us.So, the threat strikes a chord. It causes you to feel fearful or uncertain.This means that every action you take to try to get that goal, comes from a feeling of fear. Anxiety. And that is NEVER a good thing.Take a listen to this week's episode to find out more about the Inner Critic's approach to Negative Motivation and what to do about it.
28 minutes | Feb 7, 2021
Inner Critic #1: Soothing Your Inner Critic
In my practice, I work with clients looking to either up-level their corporate career OR make the transition into entrepreneurship. But a specialty area for me is helping people overcome feelings of self-doubt and uncertainty so they can do the things they want from a place of ease and confidence.So, quieting the inner critic is key to that.The inner critic is that negative internal voice that accuses and demeans and says super nasty things to us. And that keeps us playing small or shrinking back from our dreams because our inner critic has convinced us we’re not enough.So, in this episode, I wanted to talk about where the inner critic comes from. And why it does what it does. Because I believe we can learn to sooth our inner critic by first understanding why it’s doing the things it does. After all, it’s an inner critic. It’s not external. It’s PART of you.So there has to be a good reason it keeps doing what it’s doing. Let’s work to understand it.To learn why it flares up.And what we can do about it.Sound good? Let’s dive in. Let’s start with what triggers our inner critic.Usually, it’s triggered by an event or an interaction that our brain classifies as disappointing, painful, or threatening. And that makes our brain serve up a thought about that event or interaction that basically blames YOU. It tries to convince you that this threatening thing is happening or about to happen because of some defect you have:- Lack of motivation- Lack of intelligence- Lack of skills- Lack of likeability- And the list goes on. It’s our biggest accuser.Your inner critic might say things like:“I can’t believe you did that.”“You’re so stupid / irresponsible / fill in the blank.”“You can’t do it.”“You are SUCH a loser.”“It’s all your fault.”“You just didn’t try hard enough.” Most of us are well acquainted with that voice. I know I am. For sure.So we know it’s triggered by a potentially disappointing or threatening situation. But why? Well, it’s kind of like those scary movies I used to love in junior high. The enemy is coming from INSIDE the house.Your inner critic isn’t coming from outside.You can’t shut down contact.You can’t label it as toxic and stay away.It’s there inside your brain.It’s ALWAYS there. So, if it’s going to be your constant companion, best to try to understand it. Maybe even make friends with it. And most certainly, to learn how to soothe it.So it can calm down. And stop trying to scare you to death. But more on that later. First, let’s look at WHY your inner critic does its thing. Because once you know that, you might actually start to feel a little compassion for it.It comes down to three reasons.
28 minutes | Jan 31, 2021
Control in Chaos
Well, hello friends. I hope you had an AMAZING week. Mine was SUPER productive. And I LOVE it when that happens.And I’m not just talking about being productive in my business or work. I was. But even better, I got a TON of stuff done around the house. You know, the kind of stuff that lingers. Things like going through boxes or closets and drawers. And deciding what to keep, toss or donate.It always makes me feel amazing.What’s interesting though is WHY I had that amazing burst of activity this week. And that’s what we’re going to talk about today, which is Control in Chaos. So, let’s dive in.That burst of productivity that I experienced this week is a bit unusual. Well, THAT type of productivity anyway. Cleaning closets and organizing things isn’t really my favorite past time. But what’s interesting is what inspired that particular burst of productivity.Basically, you can blame cable news and 2021.Let me explain.I’ve been a news junkie for like the past 20 years. I’ve always loved having it on in the background. I have my favorite news anchors and all of that. I just liked staying up on things and I liked hearing different angles and opinions on the stories of the day.But for me, that’s changed. Granted there are a lot of reasons for that, most of which I won’t go into on this podcast because there’s not time for it all. But the main thing for me is the unrelenting news on the pandemic.I’ve noticed that when I watch the news, my anxiety increases. I start to feel helpless and hopeless. And I go from being able to deal with the isolation and the uncertainty that this virus has brought into all of our lives, to barely hanging on. Why? Some folks would say, “well, it’s because of the circumstances. There’s a pandemic going on.”Others might say, “the news is just toxic and always negative.”And I get that these explanations FEEL true. But they’re NOT true.The truth is that what was causing me to feel helpless and hopeless is the thoughts I’m having about the coverage. Not the actual coverage itself.So now, when I leave the news on too long, I start thinking: “Will my family be okay?” or “When will this virus EVER end?” and “What happens now that there are more contagious strains appearing? Will the vaccine work?”When I’m thinking those thoughts, they cause me to feel “anxiety”, “uncertainty” and “sadness.”And when I’m feeling anxious, uncertain, or sad, what do I do? Nothing productive. That’s for sure.They make me want to numb out by binge watching Netflix or Hulu. Or having a brownie. Or a glass of wine.Can you relate? Let's dive in and explore how to help you get control even during chaos.
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