3 myths around perfectionism (plus how to beat it)

 Years ago, I got into an elevator with two people I’d never seen before, and I happened to overhear their discussion.

“Most nights I don’t finish work till almost three a.m.,” said the first person, sounding quite pleased with himself. “I can’t help it. I’m a bit of a perfectionist.”

“That’s probably what’s holding you back,” the other person said, without missing a beat. The next ten seconds ticked by in a tense silence. When the doors finally opened to my floor, the self-proclaimed perfectionist was just then piecing together a response.

And although I never saw those two people again, I’ve never forgotten what they said.

Why has that memory stayed with me?

Several reasons. First, I can totally relate to the first guy. Even though I learned long ago that perfectionism is not a virtue, I still fall into its trap– and even catch myself clinging to it sometimes as if it will somehow guarantee my...

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One powerful way to get what you want

 Last winter, my friend Gigi told me a funny story about the time she moved to Brooklyn in her early twenties.

She was living in Ithaca, a small town about four hours upstate, and she was all excited to try to make it as a singer with her band in New York. Two days before she moved, though, she realized something relatively important: she didn't have any moving boxes. (Sometimes these things slip our minds, don’t they?) She didn't want to buy any, since she imagined they were prohibitively expensive, and she was broke. So she asked her roommate, Chris, if he had any. 

"No," he said, "but let's go find some." 

They walked downtown and started asking around. One person they asked, a guitarist playing Beatles songs on a street corner, suggested they ask at the liquor store. There, the manager there gave them a few Heineken boxes. Then he gestured to the shipping store across the street.

"They sell boxes," he said. "You can get all you want there."

So they went...

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How to combat Imposter Syndrome

Impostor syndrome - the belief that you're a fraud - is one of the biggest productivity killers in our culture. Every day, it plagues millions of people with doubts and fears, keeping them from achieving their full potential. Especially in today's world of constant social media, where we're bombarded with images of other people's success, impostor syndrome robs people of their creativity and well-being, causing stress, burn-out, and poor performance.

When you suffer from Imposter Syndrome – whether it’s in your work, business, passion project, or even your relationships or health (yes, that’s real), you’re less likely to think creatively, problem-solve intelligently, and manage effectively.

Fortunately, there is a solution.

Are you ready? It’s simple:

Know your value.

Don’t freak out. I know what you’re thinking: How can I know my value when I don't feel like I’m enough?

Most people believe their value is so much “less”...

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Life coach basics: What to expect when you start working with a life coach

If you’ve never worked with a coach before, you might be wondering just what are some life coach basics. What is a life coach, anyway? What do they do, and what can I expect if I hire one? 

Those are all great questions, and that’s why today, I’d like to share with you 3 basic truths about working with a life coach.

1. You are always in control.

A life coach – a good one, anyway – will never make you feel uncomfortable, or do or say things you don’t want to do. They will never force you to answer a question, pressure you to take actions you don’t want to, or in any way make you feel threatened or pressured.

Why is that?

Because life coaching is built on the foundation that you are the master of your own life. You are in charge, 100% of the time.

In fact, it’s not holding that belief that often makes us need life coaches in the first place.

What the heck do I mean by that?

Let me tell you a quick story about one of my first...

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Should you tell other people your goals?

 

The other day, my friend Maddie called to tell me she’d reached her fitness goal of swimming a full mile.

“That’s amazing,” I said. “I didn’t know you were interested in swimming! When did you start training for that?” We’d been talking about fitness goals at the beginning of January, and she hadn’t mentioned this at all.

“Oh, forever ago,” she said breezily. “2018, I think it was. I took a COVID hiatus, but when my building’s pool reopened, I started up again. I wanted to tell you, but I didn’t want to jinx it. I never tell people my goals until after I’ve reached them.”

It was uncanny to hear that, because I’d just heard the exact opposite from my client Tim. “I always start by telling people what I’m doing,” he’d said last week. “That way, I’m on the hook—everyone’s expecting me to do it, so I can’t not.”

Hearing...

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Why all your hard work might not be working

coaching Feb 16, 2021

The other day, my friend Elizabeth called to tell me about a difficult time she was having at work. She’s the marketing director at an advertising firm, and she was trying to recreate a super-successful marketing campaign she’d run a few years ago – one that had won her multiple awards plus a hefty raise.

“I blew that campaign out of the water,” she said, “so I know I can do it. But I just can’t seem to get it right this time. Nothing is jiving…My team isn’t coming up with good ideas; I can’t seem to give them any useful feedback…I don’t get it! What am I doing wrong?”

This is common phenomenon that tends to happen when we try to recreate an earlier success. We think we got this; we think it should work, because it worked before, right? But then we end up frustrated and confused about why things aren’t going as planned.

It worked once before…shouldn’t it work this time?

It happened...

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A Twist on Gratitude: Benefit Finding

coaching mindset Nov 24, 2020

Thanksgiving is in the air, which means there’s a lot of talk around every mindset guru’s favorite topic: gratitude.

Most of us have heard (and hopefully experienced) the life-changing benefits of gratitude: it reduces stress. It boosts our well-being. It’s even good for our immune system. It’s key to a healthy mindset, a happy mood, and a fulfilling life.

And yet, despite how important it is, sometimes it feels like there’s a limited amount of info out there about how to practice gratitude. Most of the time, people talk about keeping a gratitude journal. And while that’s a fantastic tool and I absolutely recommend it (and I even remember to do it sometimes), it’s not the only way.

Today, I want to introduce you to a twist on gratitude – a not-so-common way to shift your mindset toward positivity and thankfulness. It’s called benefit finding.

Here’s how it works.

Your brain is designed to answer the questions you ask it....

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The #1 culprit that sabotages our success (and how to conquer it)

coaching happiness success Nov 10, 2020

Every single time I walk in my front door, my dog Sadie barks like mad. She celebrates with all she’s got. It takes her a full five minutes to calm down, and even then, she’s still panting.

This happens every. Single. Day. Not once has she ever greeted me like, Oh, it’s you again.

Of course, most people’s dogs are like that. For them, you coming home is cause for maximum joy. Pull out all the stops! Kill the fatted lamb! Break out the fine china—Mom’s home from work!

Dogs are always prepared for happiness. They live in a constant state of waiting for something good to happen. And when it does, they don’t hold back. They celebrate the crap out of it.

There’s a name for that magical quality: positive expectancy.

What if we were like that? What if we were more like our dogs, especially when it came to reaching our goals?

Honestly, a lot of adults these days are the opposite. We fall into patterns of negative expectancy so easily. We get...

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4 ways to get a “Small Self” mindset (and why you want to)

coaching mindset Oct 05, 2020

If you’re like me, and about a gazillion other people right now, you might be completely dreading winter.

For many, winter is hard enough in “normal” years. It means less outside time, short dreary days, and seasonal affective disorder. This year, though, it’s poised to be especially difficult, with the tumultuous political climate and the threat of another lockdown.

Fortunately, I have good news: no matter what’s going on in the world, you are not powerless.

Your choices, thoughts, and actions impact how you feel, and how those around you feel.

Let me reiterate that: You are never powerless.

Today, I want to introduce you to an idea known in psychology as “small self.” This is an important idea because by tapping into it, we can free ourselves from those feelings of sadness, helplessness, and anger. We can open ourselves up to feelings of wellbeing, possibility, happiness, and joy.

Even in the dead of winter, we can choose to feel alive...

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The #1 thing that stops us from starting

coaching Sep 21, 2020

This summer, I had the privilege of working with Shauna, a stay-at-home mom whose dreams of going back to work were completely trampled by Covid.

“I left my career in finance eleven years ago to raise my children. When they were old enough, I started to home-school them,” she told me over the phone. “The plan was always for me to go back to work when they reached high school, but my husband’s job isn’t doing well with the pandemic, and I just don’t know if I’ll ever get to go back to work. Or even work on the things I want to work on.”

“What are some of those things?” I asked.

“I’ve always wanted to start a business,” she said. “I’ve had different ideas over the years. Lately I’ve been thinking that I’d really like to write a home-schooling curriculum and sell it. There’d be support to other parents in the form of an online community, and interactive field trips...

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