Forever and ever I’ve wanted to be an author. And forever and ever I thought that was impossible. See, I’ve got this eye thing from childhood seizures (long story, I’m fine now) that makes it really hard for my eyes to see typos (I also CANNOT find Waldo, but that’s a story for another day). And to me, that felt like an insurmountable problem!
It’s not like people didn’t like my writing… they would read my blogs, and told me they enjoyed my emails… but I assumed they liked it because I have a quirky sense of humor, not because it was GOOD or anything like that.
Or at least that’s what I told myself because:
What comes to mind when you read this: “VICTORY!”
Is it an image of a sweaty, smiling, totally fit person with all the right gear arriving at the top of a mountain, gazing in wonderment at the vista she’s earned?
Sometimes it’s like that. And isn’t it nice!
Sometimes, however, it’s something more like army crawling through an abandoned and collapsed coal mine, ravaged by intense claustrophobia, coming face to face with rats, and totally cut off from the light of day. When you finally emerge into the still dark cave before the opening into rainy day beyond, there’s no happy dance. You just put your head down and ask, “Can we be done now?”
It’s the victory of making it through burnout. It’s the victory of really being there for someone you love who has cancer. It’s the victory of coming out the other side of an autoimmune flare up. It’s the victory of launching a product that flops. It’s the real stuff of being a hero.
Be proud of these victories, too.
We are SO QUICK to forget our successes! I have this little acronym for the four things that support my mental health- it’s WHEN: Writing, hypnosis, exercise and novelty. That’s the order of importance, too. My early morning writing/journalling ritual is CRITICAL to me being a person you want to be around. And— maybe more important (no offense)— it’s critical to me being a person I want to be around.
There have been times when that ritual has fallen all the way into obscurity. I have journals that span YEARS. Entries with months in between! It’s so sad for me to think about because, like I said, life is just so much saner, funner (what? MYOB), and more grounded when I write.
In the past 2 years I decided that no matter what I am going to get up at 5 (or 5:30… or 6…. Damn it, WHY is it already 6:15?) and write. And I have.
Here is the stack of journals that I’ve filled in the past 2 years. I called it “leaning tower of untangled previously panicked thoughts.” And that’s a dang victory! But of course, I’m all, “It’s all fine and good that I’m writing and doing hypnosis every day, but why am I not exercising?!?!”
I’m such a jerk!
What have you already forgotten that is well established and silently supporting your success? Bring it to mind and be grateful to yourself for being such a good caretaker of you.
As I work on my book about burnout it sometimes surprises me how certain everyone is that they simply cannot take a break. I beg to differ. In fact, what I’m here to tell you is that if you do not create a deeply resilient habit of rest you will not accomplish what you want to do. You will not make the difference that you were put on this earth to make- whether that’s inspiring people to change, being an incredible mother, or discovering how to bring stability back to the bee population. It’s not going to happy unless you stop and take a break. Often.
But that does’t mean that you have to take a vacation or go to bed at 9pm
You can take a break in 15 minutes (called micro-breaks). You can take a half day off of work and feel like you went to the Bahamas (called Oases) and you can do a whole lot more with your weekends and bedtimes. To get you started, here’s a little resource I put together with 10 ways to take a break when you can’t really take a break
Here’s a boring story: “He was good at it and he succeeded.”
And let’s be honest, you’re yawning because that’s not a human story.
Here’s a kick ass story: She sucked, she got better, she fell down, she got back up, she was chosen in a crazy twist of fate, and after she managed not to sabotage her success, she’s become your role model.” What!? Fascinating! Even without details,
So… who are you trying to be? Are you trying to be boring? Or are you willing to be fascinating and real?
My imagination had been captured by TedX many years ago, when I saw Shawn Achor talk about his sister Amy. He convinced her she was a Unicorn and stumbled upon the power of happiness to shape a life (and evade consequences). I’ve talked about Amy the Unicorn many times since then in my classes, coaching sessions, and in conversations. Ted’s mission is to promote ideas worth spreading, and I’m doing my part! Then it occurred to me… do I have an idea worth spreading?
Thus inspired, I set out to discover how I might also give a Ted Talk. What I learned is that there are many, many independently organized Ted events– referred to as TedX events. In fact, in the last known accounting of TedX events (July 2015) there had been 13,522 TedX Events, in 3174 cities, in 143 countries. (By the way, featured TedX talks had received almost 600 million views on youtube, during that same time period. That’s a LOT.)
Each of these independently organized events accept applications, conduct interviews and choose 9-12 speakers… which, If I could apply to enough of them, felt like good odds!
There are two kind of coaches and therapists that I work with. Those who need clarity about who they are and what they offer- those seeking clarity. And those who want to take that clarity and share it with more of the world- those working to establish through leadership.
You can’t jump to leadership without clarity about who you are, what you offer, why you are different and what you genuinely believe about the world. Well, you can, but you’ll b sharing such a vague message that people will think of you as a wannabe with nothing unique to say (sorry, that was harsh).
If this sounds like you, I want to encourage you to go back and do the work around clarity… you’ll be surprised by how much easier it is to emerge as a thought leader once you have.
I was walking down 5th avenue on my way to a networking event last night when this question struck me like a bolt of lightening:
“What if I can’t really create a successful business? Should you stick with your business or give the whole thing up? Who am I to think I can truly, actually, do this… for REAL?” My heart beat a little faster and a for a split second I was tempted to give it all up. “Just kidding! Never mind! I’ll just go back to my much less stressful existence as a professor and consultant and actually have time to do things like watch TV or read a book.”
This post was originally published on Quartz, on August 5, 2016.
I’ve never been an athletic or active person. My entire history of sports involved one season of track in high school and a brief flirtation with what I thought was a yoga studio but turned out to be more of a cult. But then, in my mid-30s, I had two children and gained 30 pounds. I was suffering from chronic back pain, and I knew something needed to change.
There was just one problem: When it came down to it, I didn’t really want to exercise. When my husband suggested I take up running, I said I’d do it if—and only if—a bear was chasing me. And yet, last fall, I did both a half marathon and a triathlon for the first time. How did I evolve from a self-proclaimed couch potato to endurance athletics enthusiast? I learned how to change my attitude.
One of the most frustrating things about trying to change your money habits is how hard it is! It’s not only hard, it’s mysterious.
How many times have you experienced this scenario:
Sunday night: “I am going to pack my lunch every single day this week!”
Monday at lunch: “I forgot to pack my lunch. How about Chipotle?”
Tuesday morning, en route to work: “Oh, I didn’t pack a lunch! Oh well, I’ll just grab a quick salad.”
Friday night: “I didn’t pack a lunch at all this week. What is wrong with me? Why can’t I do what I say I will do?!”
There are a lot of ways to interpret this kind of (very common) failure. Some will point out that you didn’t really have a process or a plan. Others may argue that you need systems and structures to support you in your lunch making. I wholeheartedly agree with both of them, but when I hear a story like that, an alarm bell goes off in my mind: