Setbacks and Failure

Setbacks and Failure

Everyone likes to win. I haven’t met a person yet who said, “Oh, I’m fine with not winning.” Everyone wants success. Keep in mind that every one of has a different idea of success. A win for you might look like an absolute failure for someone else. Winning is awesome. Winning causes you to poke your chest out and say, “Hey, look at me! I did it!”.

But what about failure and suffering a setback? Crickets.

Thomas Edison’s teachers said he was “too stupid to learn anything.” He was fired from his first two jobs for being “non-productive.” As an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. When a reporter asked, “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”

As miserable as it may feel, even more so if it is public, failure is an incredible teacher:

  • It teaches you about yourself. Without failure, you have absolutely no idea how resilient you really are. Give yourself some credit. Take time to write down your “epic” failures and write down the lesson. Trust me, there is a lesson in every single one.
  • It shows the true character of those around you. One of my sisterfriends told me, “Listen, I’m with you through the glitter and gutter.” Come hell or high water, she has been there for me. Knowing that I have that type of support bolsters me against disappointment.

One of my favorite authors is Paulo Coelho. He said, “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” Don’t be so afraid to fail that you kill your dreams in the process. Failure is okay and expected. My expectation of you is to keep moving forward. Why? Because I know you can and will.

With love,

 

 

 

 

Psst! Have you heard? I’m part of a stellar line up of 50 trainers for a webathon on September 22-24, to benefit Vickie Sokol Evans. Visit www.executivesecretary.com\webathon to register and for more information.

 

Authenticity Over Fluff

Authenticity Over Fluff

Let me just cut to the chase, this week I had writer’s block like nobody’s business. When I can’t focus it is usually because I have multiple priorities vying for attention and my plate runneth over. I shared this with a sister-friend and she said, “Love yourself enough to deprive yourself of the things which depreciate your personal greatness.” Excuse me, what? 

My vision is pretty good, but I had to reread the text message several times. Now I could have dismissed it, as I have other advice that I’ve received over the years. Not because it wasn’t good advice, but because it was self-serving or came from an “eye witness”. Eye-witness advice usually starts off with “Well, I heard that if you….”, “I read somewhere that…” or “I feel that you should…” Insert eye roll to the heavens. Whereas “life witness” advice comes with no pretense and no introduction. Life witness advice has the uncanny ability to gut punch you and take your breath away. In a good way. Life witness advice is what the little birdie has been telling you and you REFUSE to listen. Life witness advice isn’t condescending or cruel. It feels like a hug and a hot meal at the end of long day.

Life witness advice comes from an authentic place. The person providing it didn’t read about it or hear about it…they lived it. And while you may be hurting when you receive the advice, because it comes from a place of love, it has the ability to heal a wound that has been open for too long. That type of authenticity requires the type of bravery that only life experience can give you.

Think about the advice you have given lately. Was it superficial or did you think about your life experience in order to give life witness advice? Have the courage to be authentic. You never know who you might impact.

With love,

Power of Positivity

Power of Positivity

An author and radio personality, Earl Nightingale said, “We become what we think about.” Take a minute a to think about that. When you have pleasant thoughts, typically additional positive and optimistic thoughts follow. Conversely, when you are pessimistic, you tend to have a negative outlook and before you know it, you are stuck in the muck of negativity. InspireYourPeople.com came up with the top 11 thoughts that can get in the way of having a positive outlook and should eliminate from your day:

1. Defeatist (accepting, expecting, or being resigned to defeat)
2. Cynical (contemptuously distrustful of human nature and motives)
3. Vindictive (seeking revenge)
4. Blame/Fault (who cares?? what are we going to do now?)
5. Wishful (do what you can to influence the project/situation/deal and keep moving)
6. Self-pity (get over yourself … no excuses … no drama…no complaints…)
7. Worrisome (it won’t help, costs time, and can drag you down)
8. Jealous (want it? earn it)
9. Pre-argumentative (the imaginary argument you have to prepare yourself for the argument that may NEVER happen)
10. Post-argumentative (the imaginary argument you have where you’re quicker than you were in the actual argument)
11. Procrastination (if you’re going to procrastinate, it makes sense to do something fun instead of thinking about how bad it is that you’re procrastinating)

The article goes on the say that eliminating wasteful thoughts might be impossible to avoid but it is completely possible to minimize them and their impact. Here are three ways to do just that:

• Recognize the thoughts when they come up.
• Remind yourself negative thoughts are a costly distraction.
• Redirect your thinking (and/or doing) to something positive.

Challenge yourself to think positive. I’m not saying that life is all peaches and cream but you can control how you respond to the inevitable disappointments of life.

With love,

Be Brave

Be Brave

When we face uncertainty, we often try to convince ourselves that we should be confident in our abilities to overcome any obstacle. The problem is depending on the obstacle, your confidence level can take a beating and it can take days, weeks or in the worse case, years to recover. Think about the last time you tried something and failed. How long did it take you to try again? Have you tried again? Courage is something that is deeply rooted in your heart. Courage allows you to have difficult conversations. Courage allows you to stand in your truth. Courage opens the door for you to pursue your passion and try something new. Courage is the pillar of which constant confidence is built. Being brave isn’t the absence of fear, it’s having the courage to do “it” anyway.

With love,

The Perfectionist Trap

The Perfectionist Trap

One of my favorite quotes by Aristotle is, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit.” I found this quote years ago and made it part of my email signature so that I could see it on a regular basis. It resonates with me because I have a bad habit of wanting things to be perfect.

The Perfectionism Trap is an ugly thing and can be a downward spiral. It can cause you to procrastinate and remain stuck in one place.  But here’s the rub, you can’t be successful if you don’t try and you don’t try if you are worried about being be perfect. It also fosters negative self-talk and unnecessary self-doubt.The quest for perfection diminishes the opportunity to have joy in the acting of “doing”. Don’t let the trap of perfectionism keep you from an opportunity to do something in a different way. It’s that difference that will lead to growth and new ideas which then fosters your creativity and pushes you forward to trying something new beyond your comfort zone.

With love,

 

Work Your Package Women’s Conference 2017

Work Your Package Women’s Conference 2017

I’m super excited about the 4th annual Work Your Package Women’s Conference! This purposely intimate conference was designed to create a space where attendees could have meaningful and lasting connections with subject matter experts.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing thoughts from the speakers so that you can get to know them better.

Visit www.wyp2017.eventbrite.com for more information.

With love,

It’s Not Fair

It’s Not Fair

“It’s not fair!!!” That’s how the argument started when my youngest realized my oldest had more money than she did. Between good grades on her final report card and her birthday, she had a nice piece of change in her purse. My youngest deemed it unfair but couldn’t articulate why and was then rendered speechless when reminded that she too had received money for her good grades as well.

How many times have we looked at someone who is seemingly flawless in their success and make a snarky comment? I would never. Cut the crap. No matter how supportive you are of other women, you have made a least one less than flattering comment about someone who you felt received a larger piece of the “pie”. How did she get promoted? How is she getting so many clients? How she afford to travel so much? Honey, you are asking the wrong questions. The only question you should ask is Why does it bother me? We’ve been taught that in order for someone to win, someone else has to lose and that’s just not true. When you take a minute to think about it, the promotion, clients or airline miles cannot do anything to dull your shine. Zero. Nada. Nunca. Zilch.

Don’t allow yourself to get so caught up in what is “not fair” that you forget to be thankful for everything that you do have. A little pang of jealousy is normal but don’t let it consume you. Let it fuel your determination to continue on your journey to being extraordinary.

With love,

Who Are You?

Who Are You?

Chinua Achebe, a Nigerian novelist, poet, professor, and critic stated “Nobody can teach me who I am. You can describe parts of me, but who I am – and what I need – is something I have to find out myself.”

There seems to be a slew of professional, career and life coaches out there more than willing to “help” you find your passion, define your goals and create a career that you love. Coaches are great but if you don’t know who you are for yourself, you are wasting everyone’s time and specifically your money. Think of it this way, professional basketball players don’t need their coach to teach them how to play. The coaches are there to help them be better versions of yourself.

In my early twenties, I started my journey of personal development and began taking self-assessment and personality tests. Myers-Briggs and DiSC are my favorites and truly speak to who I am:

Myer Briggs profile: ENFJ [Extraverted (E), Intuitive (N), Feeling (F), Judging (J)] – Sincerely interested in other people and try to do their best to help them (Hello! Work Your Package), tend to have extraordinary social and networking skills, are usually quite sensitive and even somewhat idealistic, the same sensitivity draws them towards careers that reward high emotional intelligence; on the other hand, they are very vulnerable to criticism and should stay away from stressful careers (The reason why I’m no longer in social work).  Also really creative, organized and honest – this makes them excellent psychologists, event coordinators or politicians.  (I share this with President Barack Obama, President Abraham Lincoln, Oprah Winfrey and Ben Affleck)

DiSC profile: Influence (I) with equal Dominance (D) and Conscientiousness (C)  – Focused on shaping their environment by influencing or persuading others. Influence others through talking and activity and tend to be emotional, convincing, magnetic, political, enthusiastic, persuasive, warm, demonstrative, trusting, and optimistic. The dominance dimension includes being inquisitive, self-assured, calculated risk-taker and being self-critical. The conscientious dimension includes being analytical, sensitive, “own person” and mature.

Because I took these tests very early on in my adulthood, I had a better understanding of what I would and would not tolerate, deal with or allow in my personal or professional life. I’ve taken both assessments fairly recently and not much as changed. Either you love me because I’m always pushing you to be better or you hate me because I’m eternally optimistic that things will be better. Either way, the person you meet on a Sunday in August is the same person who will give you a hug on a Thursday in October. I’m consistent because I know who I am. I know my weaknesses. I know my strengths. No professional, career or life coach can teach me how to be me. What I want to know is how I can be an even better representation of myself as I Work My Package

Do you know who you are and why you tick the way you do? Click here to take a modified version of the Myers Briggs. Click here for DiSC.

With love,

 

 

 

 

P.S. Registration is open for the 4th annual Work Your Package Women’s Conference! Register today at www.wyp2017.eventbrite.com.

 

 

Yeah, You Are Busy. But Are You Productive?

Yeah, You Are Busy. But Are You Productive?

“So how are things going?”

“Oh my goodness. I’m just swamped. I’ve been so busy!”

“Really? What have you been doing?”

Insert crickets….

There is a difference between being busy and being productive. When you are “busy”, wheels are spinning and you get absolutely nowhere. When you are being productive, you can see your progress. Some people don’t know the difference so when they ask someone how things are going, they are impressed by the list of things that are rattled off. Here’s the difference between busy and productive people:

  • Busy people fake having a personal mission. Productive people live their mission every single day.
  • Busy people have several “priorities”. Productive people have a selective few.
  • Busy people say “yes” at the drop of a hat. Productive people have no problem saying “no”.
  • Busy people tell what they are doing. Productive people show you.
  • Busy people multitask. Productive people focus.

We have all been guilty of glorifying the “busy”. However, in order for you to be extraordinary and live a life that will inspire others, it’s time to start being productive.

With love,

 

 

 

 

Registration is open for the 4th annual Work Your Package Women’s Conference on October 7, 2017. Limited seating is available, register today at www.wyp2017.eventbrite.com.

 

Emotional Mooching Vampires

Emotional Mooching Vampires

 

In a perfect world, we would all be surrounded by people who support and love us without any strings attached. Our co-workers would be kind, considerate and thoughtful and offer constructive criticism. Our families would be able to assess your emotional state before piling on their worries onto your shoulders and our friends would try to solve some their problems all by themselves. Unfortunately, that is not reality. So how do you recognize and deal with the emotional moochers in your life?

According to PsychologyToday.com, there are five types of emotional “vampires”:

1. The Narcissist – It’s all about them…all the time. They have an inflated sense of self-important and entitlement and crave attention. These people lack empathy and have zero to no capacity for unconditional love. It’s their way or no way.

 

2. The Victim – The ENTIRE world is against them and that’s why they are unhappy. Even the best ideas that offer solutions to their misery are met with, “Yeah, but…” Every conversation with them leaves you feeling drained.

 

3. The Controller – Somehow these people think you are theirs to control and manipulate. They have an opinion about everything and will try to discount your feelings if they don’t believe you have a valid reason to feel that way…even if they caused it.

 

4. The Constant Talker – You might have initiated the conversation but they will dominate it and won’t let you get a word in edgewise. They are not interested in anything you have to say or how you may feel.

 

5. The Drama Queen/King – These people have a flair for small incidents into off-the-chart dramas or as my granny would say, “Making a mountain out of a molehill.”

So how do you protect yourself from this emotional mooching vampires? Take a minute to think about how you feel after interacting with people. Do you feel energized or optimistic? Or do you feel drained and defeated? If it’s the latter, then maybe you need to limit the amount of time, if any, that you spend with those type of people. Dealing with that type of negativity on a daily basis can weaken your emotional snapback and agility.

Here are four strategies on how to deal with emotional mooching vampires from the book Emotional Freedom by Judith Oroloff, MD:

Strategy #1: Am I Being Sapped by an Emotional Vampire? There are some common emotional side effects such as feeling put down or your mood takes a nosedive.

Strategy #2: Practice These General Dos and Don’ts With Emotional Vampires  Whenever possible, eliminate drainers from your life. However, with those, you can’t or don’t want to remove like friends going through a rough patch or relatives — follow these tips:

  • Do: Take a breath to center yourself. Stay calm and matter of fact instead of going for their bait. Communicate clearly and firmly, with a neutral tone when setting limits.
  • Don’t: Panic. Talk yourself out your intuitions or call yourself “neurotic.” Blurt out what you’ll regret later or use an accusatory tone.

Strategy #3: Could I Be an Emotional Vampire? How Do I Know? (Own your stuff!) Everyone has a little bit of vampire in them, especially when stressed. Cut yourself a break. The solution is always to own up to where you’re emotionally stuck and change the related behavior.

Strategy #4: Identify and Combat Emotional Vampires  To be free of vampires, you must know the nature of the beast. Each one has a special talent for emotionally disabling you. The good news is that vampires are predictable. Once you get their number, you won’t be caught off guard.

Take some time to assess who is around you and create strategies on how to deal with them if they are emotional moochers. Your peace of mind and emotional well-being will thank you.

With love,