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Thursday
May212015

Worried You Can't Handle It?



Hey there, 

Our daughter, Linor, is now learning to crawl (time flies!) and I love watching her.  Sometimes she grunts like a bodybuilder lifting seriously heavy weights.  

She doesn't get discouraged; she just keeps practicing…and falling down and getting back up. And I could just watch her doing this for hours.

Now, I know the whole “learning to crawl before you walk” expression is a bit old and overdone, but watching Linor go at it in the literal realm gives it a new and deeper meaning in the figurative sense.

Babies and toddlers are magnificently simple: They don’t know about fear and self-ridicule and aren’t wondering how lame or silly they must look.

They also aren't worrying:  "how I am ever going to run if this stuff feels so difficult now?"


In their early developmental stages, babies are wildly self-involved (in a good way!) and living fabulously in the present. So they don’t let anticipation of future challenges keep them from the matters at hand…and foot. Amazingly, we all started out like that! And then somewhere along the way, we learned about consequences—and that pure “infant innocence” was gone.

So that now, as adults, even when we’re learning something totally new—learning to crawl, so to speak—we’re not thinking about the next step, we’re fixated on how, and how well, we’re going to run the marathon, metaphorically speaking.

Know what I mean?!

I hear this concept so often with my coaching clientsThey worry that they won't be able to "handle it"—whatever it is—so they resist trying something new or attempting a new direction (despite being unhappy in their current situation).

Now I know you know what I mean….

One woman I coach, who is also a new mom, is launching her own company after working years as an art director. She says to me, "Stella, I can barely make time to meet with you, how I am ever going to run this company?”

One step at a time.

With each baby step you take, you expand and your capacity grows. Who you are today is very different than the person you will be when it's time to run the marathon. 

So if right now you worry you won't be able to handle the responsibility, the challenge, the time commitment, or maybe you worry that you won't have the energy, talent, resources, or maybe that your family might not be behind you...you are basing your assumptions on your current situation and perceived reality vs. the reality that will unfold in the future

Your capacity for what you can do, handle, and imagine has nowhere to go but up, when you take even tiny steps of action. Trust in yourself.

My mentor says that confidence is earned, not learned. You can “handle it,” but you'll only find out how by moving towards your big vision.

Take a moment now and ask yourself: 
1) Am I playing small in any area of my life? And if so, is it because I’m afraid I can't handle what I really want? 
2) What's one tiny thing I can do to move toward where I really want to be?
3) What’s the worst that could happen if I just do that one tiny thing?


Want support figuring out your next three baby steps to playing big, and true? As always, I'm here for you. In fact, maybe our talking can be your first one tiny thing.

Send me an email to set up a complimentary 30-minute session. Do it soon! I’ll be on vacation in late May….


Looking forward to hearing from you guys!

Much love, 
Stella

 

 

Monday
May042015

Embarrassed That You're Feeling Stuck? Here's How To Ask For Support

Hey

I recently worked with a client who was in transition: She was deciding to leave a successful career path to pursue her true passion. 

While she has been successfully climbing the ladder at her job, the truth is, she's been quite miserable for years now. And feeling overworked (which, no doubt, had something to do with her being miserable...). And a lot of her friends were aware of it.   

So, as we worked together, taking that first step of exploring possible new career paths, she says to me,

“I'm a bit ashamed that it’s taken me so long to make a switch. It’s embarrassing that I haven't done anything about it sooner. What are people going to think?”

Does this ring a bell? Have you ever felt this way: Embarrassed about not having done something sooner since you feel like you’ve certainly whined about it enough—and/or just plain ashamed that you didn’t have it figured out yet?

For those of us who think we should always have everything figured out, and that if we don’t, we’re Losers, I’m here to say, Hold on there, sista!

I know it's especially hard to talk about stuff when you don't have all the answers. (Trust me, I know!)

Yet, in order 
to discover what you want and be able to move forward, it’s actually important to talk about where you are with stuff and how you’re feeling. Important? I meant to say, It’s essential!

Change and being in transition are rarely easy. You need the support of other people. And it can help to have their input because, even if you don’t agree with their suggestions, it gives you more to think about and help further solidify your own ideas.

Plus, when you do share, you not only find that you’re not alone, but that you can help inspire others to examine their own lives and work.So, look at that: By sharing, you’re actually doing a service to the world—or at least, for the greater good!

To help you with the right words, what follows is a sample script I offer my clients—to help them confidently enlist the support of their network in attempting to figure out what's next for them.  

A few points:

The format is specific to emails. It’s always stronger to have it in writing. (You’re more in control this way, can’t get tongue-tied or go off on a tangent.) Besides, it's efficient!  

When compiling your list of recipients, I recommend you send it only to those friends and colleagues you know you can count on, who are open and nonjudgmental.

This might not be intended for family members—and maybe not even your closest friends—because they could be scared for you making a big change, and try to talk you out of it.

Here we go...


Email Template for Disclosing a Transition—and Seeking Support

1. Authentically describe your inner state and that you’re seeking a change—also, why they’re receiving this email.

For example: This may come as a surprise to you, and frankly it’s a little of a surprise me, but I’ve decided I need to make a change. In my next chapter, I hope to be pivoting my career path in the direction my heart is leading, which is ..... I’m writing to you because I trust you and value your insights and would welcome any input. (Only positive and supportive, please.)

2. Briefly highlight your achievements and where you are now. Be specific with any titles, brand names, and/or results. (Friends may forward this around to support you, so you want all readers to be onboard with your awesomeness). 

In the past 15 years, I’ve had the opportunity to partner with some of the world’s greatest brands like Nike, Google, and Apple to help them design excellent customer service. And it’s been an amazing ride!

3. Describe what, if anything, you’ve done so far and the actions you’re thinking of taking.

I recently invested in a career coach to help me clarify what really matters in terms of how I lead my professional life. While I’ve been successful in the first phase of my career, I’m now taking the time to be deliberate and examine what would be most fulfilling in my next phase.

4. Explain that you're seeking support to help you determine what's next. Include the qualities and/or fields and/or context you’re thinking you’d like for the future you.

It's definitely a little scary, and I'm just beginning the discovery phase of what this all may look like. What I know for sure is that I value the following:

  • A socially-conscious organization—I’m open to suggestions!
  • Being a part of a paradigm-shifting project
  • Collaborating with people who are on the same wavelength
  • Working with a leader I can truly admire
  • Flexibility—being able to work from home (some or full-time)
  • Effecting a change, working hard, but no longer working around the clock

5. End with asking for their help, input, resources, connections—and anything else you can think of.

I would be most appreciative if you would:

1. Share any resources, websites, books and ideas you feel will be helpful—via email, phone or over coffee!

2. Share contacts, suggest people and/or make introductions.

3. Pass along any opportunities you know about or hear of.

 

6. Thank them for their time and help; maybe ask for their discretion, since you’re not going public yet; and promise to keep them posted. 

Thank you for being a part of my life and for taking the time to read. I so value your friendship and promise to keep you posted on developments!

Need more help on this?

As always, if you’re in transition and would like some help figuring out which way to turn next and how to ensure that you’re working toward what matters, email me and let’s chat!

 

Love to hear from your guys!

 

My best,

Stella

 

Tuesday
Apr142015

The key to feeling like you're making progress

Hiya!

Worried you’re not doing enough? Or moving the needle on the stuff that’s important to you? Enjoy this final installment of “Three mistakes people make around goal setting.”


The third thing that people do wrong when it comes to setting goals is... you don't track the right stuff.

 

Let me tell you about another client of mine who works in sales and is a top performer. They recently changed her pay structure and she felt demotivated. One of the ways she tracked her performance and how well she was doing was by her commission.


Even though she was a top performer she suddenly felt like a failure and like she wasn't good at her job- in fact- she was close to quitting her job.

 

Before jumping ship to another organization, I asked her what was her intention (remember, from my last newsletter)? What did she want from her work experience?  

 

We took some time to dig deep and understand that she wanted to learn and grow, she wanted to take on more leadership responsibility, and to practice using her creativity.

We decided rather than measure her performance using the new metrics set by her job which put her on the verge of quitting (even though she was a top performer) - we were going to create our own metrics.

So everyday I asked her to reflect on 4 questions that tracked her intention:

 

What did I learn today?

How have I practiced my leadership skills today?

How did I approach a challenge in a creative way?

What am I grateful for?

 

Once she started tracking her answers to those questions - a whole new world opened up. She felt like she was making daily progress on what was most important to her.

 

David Cooperider, a leader in positive psychology, says, "The questions we ask determine the reality we create." If you are asking questions that perpetually point to how far away you are from your big goal, or how you don’t have enough of xyz than you’re going to feel like crap and most likely abandon ship.

But if you focus on the process of fulfilling your intention and acknowledge you are actively LIVING your intention now than you’ll find yourself more motivated and ready to take on greater challenges. 

To recap this series on goal setting:


We reviewed three mistakes that people make when it comes to setting goals:
1. They don't take the time and energy to let go of the stuff that's not serving them
2. They set goals without intention
3. They track the wrong metrics - and that can mess up one's motivation

I hope you’ve enjoyed this. As always, I love hearing from you. Has this impacted how you think or approached your goals? Please drop me a line and share!

 

And of course, if you want some help figuring out your questions or how to ensure you’re working towards what matters, e-mail me and let’s chat!


Wednesday
Apr012015

Why is it so hard to let go?

So, in my previous newsletter, I was talking about goal setting, making a positive change and how hard that can be—namely, because of three major mistakes I see too many people making.  Goal blockers, let's call them.  Just to recap:

Mistake #1: Investing all your energy in creating something new without first releasing what's old and/or no longer working

Why is this such a universal mistake? 

It's not easy to let go of stuff, of people, or beliefseven if it's for our own good. So, why is it so damn hard to let go? Behavioral economists and positive psychologists have come up with two theories I can wrap my head around. See how either (or both) of these resonates with you:

 1. The endowment effect— by which people assign more value to something merely because they own it

One of the most famous examples (there are ton) of the endowment effect is from a study in which participants (who were college students) were given a coffee mug and then offered the chance to trade it for an equally priced amount of pens. Turned out that the amount the participants would charge in exchange for the mug was roughly twice the amount they had been willing to pay to acquire it.

In other words, we have a tendency to overvalue something we own versus something we don't. And this overvaluing can extend to our ideas, our beliefs, our relationships, our experiences, even our sense of identity (as in, feeling superior or overconfident in a particular context). No wonder we have such a hard time giving up stuff….

Why do we prefer what we own? It's the "known" factor; it's easier to value something we know, or own, versus what's out there that could be questionable.
We're wired to prefer the sure thing. It's safe.
Which leads me to the second scientific theory of why it’s tough to let go:

2. The Negativity Bias by which our brains are predisposed to assign more importance to bad or threatening or unsettling things

Apparently, being negative comes naturally to humans. (Really!)

The possibility of a threat or the worst happening carries more weight than the status quo.

Scientists trace it to our survival instincts—how we react when facing real danger.

Okay, enough already with all the whys, right?

If you want to create positive change in your life, you have to be able to let go of the known stuff, the sure things, and not see stepping into uncharted waters as necessarily going off the deep end.  

That’s where I come in!

I can work with you to help identify what's holding you back (and why) and then start focusing on achieving your new goal without all the baggage.

What you need is a collaborator/coach. Interested? Ready to make a change??

Email me for a complimentary 30-minute session.

Next newsletter: Mistake #2! Stay tuned….          

My best,

Stella

 

PS: Can’t wait for the remaining newsletters? Want to hear my talk where I reveal all three reasons why you’re not achieving your goals and how to master them? You can listen here for gratis until March 31st.

Wednesday
Mar182015

What's holding you back?

 

Hey Everyone!

Have you been thinking about making a positive change in your life? Read this before you waste any more precious time!

When it comes to making a change, I’ve been hearing stories from way too many people whose behaviors are setting them up for failure. So, I’m devoting the next several newsletters to identifying the three major mistakes people commit in an effort to make a change in their life. (In fact, if you have time, listen to my teleseminar on the subject here—I’ve extended free access through April 1st!) 

Mistake #1: Investing all your energy into creating something new without releasing what’s old and/or no longer working

Imagine you have a rock garden that you now want to transform into a vegetable garden. But before you can create the right conditions for your crops to flourish, you’ll need to rid the patch of all the rocks. In other words, in order to cultivate new opportunities (think: love, success, new experiences), you need to first let go of what’s standing in your way. 

So much for metaphors. Let me tell you an actual story about this:

I had a client who used to love her job. But once she gave birth to her son, she started to resent the number of hours she was having to work—to the point where she had become miserable at her job. She decided to make a change: She would quit her job and start her own company; this way, she’d have more control over her hours and more time to spend with her son. Impressively, her new company took off! Within six months, she had so many clients, she had to turn business away—and she was making even more money than at her old job.

From the outside, she looked like a success story. But her inner experience told a very different tale. She was again miserable at work—with still not enough time to spend with her family. So, even though her original goal was clear, she couldn’t get there because she hadn’t examined what had been holding her back.  

Through our coaching-session phone calls, we discovered that deep down, she didn’t feel that she deserved to “have it all.” Because she didn’t feel deserving of happiness with both work and family, she kept sabotaging what she really wanted.   

Anything sound familiar here?!

Often, what was once effective and useful is no longer serving your new goals and wants. Before you can successfully make a big change, it’s important to examine the situation to determine if there are things that would be standing in your way. Such as:

  • A belief or thought that brings you down, doesn’t support your sense of possibility
  • A relationship that’s become toxic, or someone in your life who undermines where you want to go
  • Conditions or behaviors that stymie your progress—like clutter in your office, a difficult commute to work, even your Facebook habit 

 Here’s an exercise I recommend that I find really helpful: Think about the struggles you’re having surrounding the change you’re trying to make. Write down all the possibilities that could be holding you back, including people, places and things—plus, thoughts and behaviors. Then examine your list. Anything starting to click?! 

Need help figuring out what’s holding you back? Email me for a complimentary 30 minute session. I have some space in my calendar through April 1st to help you identify the stumbling blocks and figure out a plan for letting go. 

BTW, that client with the work vs. quality-of-life issues? I am happy to report that in time and with the use of some very specific strategies, we were able to get her to a place where she could let go of her self-sabotaging ways and she’s now flourishing on her own terms. 

I’d love to help you deal with what’s holding you back!

Interested in working with me as your coach? Let’s explore! My client roster is full right now but I will have some openings in late Spring/early Summer. If you would like to be on the waiting list or get a sense of what coaching with me is like, just e-mail me stella@woopaah.com. 

 

My best,

Stella