Have you ever felt like there is a whole debate club living in your head? It’s particularly loud when you are under pressure, faced with a challenge or going for a goal you really want?
It’s as if one part of your brain is saying “Go for it, you can do it”, while another voice negates that fiercely, “No you can’t, who do you think you are? Get out while you still can.” And then of course there is that other slightly more reasonable voice that convinces you to" just try" , "do your best" but then comes in and chokes when the pressure gets too intense.
If you have ever had that happen, you are definitely not alone.
For some reason, there were lots of big sporting events for people in my life this past weekend and that is a classic place for this mind game to rear its ugly head. First, my client Teresa was scheduled for a Spartan 10K trail run and called Friday with very “rational” reasons why she should...
Back in California, I had a friend and mentor named Sheva Carr. Sheva taught heart-math, which is the practice of syncing your physiology and emotions through your heart rhythms; It’s a fascinating science. Sheva and I spent a lot of time talking about my love of acting, as well as my ultimate desire to help people.
Naturally, I had concocted a whole strategy on how I would do this.
“First, I’ll redo my resume. Then I need to get a new agent, and maybe a new manager, who’ll help me get a role in a series. From there, I could get cast in a movie, and then I’ll finally be famous enough to help people,” I said, rather proud of my plan.
“Can’t you just do the last step?” said Sheva.
“No,” I said. “That’s what I have to do to get famous.”
“I’ve noticed something about you, Sonia,” she said gently. “You think you have to go ten extra steps before you get anywhere. It can never...
Have you ever felt like achieving success is a hidden mystery and that only certain people have the key?
Or perhaps you are wanting more relationship, health or business success and it feels so far out of reach?
The fact is success leaves clues and if you are ready to put on your best trench coat, dark glasses and detective hat, you can crack the code.
This happened recently as I was catching up with my long-time friend Pam. Our conversation touched on everything from travel to family and relationships to business.
When we landed on work she sighed and said “It’s been so long since I was successful, I’m not even sure it’s possible anymore.
“What?” I protested, as the “life-coaching” hair on the back of my neck stood up, “You are one of the smartest and most creative people I know. Of course, you can be successful.”
Just for the record, she was a highly regarded creative director at a prestigious advertising firm when...
Recently, I stumbled upon the question: Where are you accommodating in life?
In what ways are you settling or compromising? Letting someone else get what they want, but not you?
We do that for a variety of reasons. We want to be liked or needed. We want to fit in. We want to keep the peace. Maybe we’re afraid to go the extra mile. Or maybe we don’t believe in ourselves, so we just do what works for everyone else. We people-please, we discount our own needs.
Interestingly, this came up again when a client of mine, “David,” told me about a business class he took. He went in hoping to learn about negotiating, and came out with a lesson on accommodating.
The instructor began class by asking them to pair up and negotiate a deal. Each person would be marked on various aspects, including whether or not they actually made a deal.
David went about it the way he knew how, in a way that’s worked for him in the past. He started off by asking his partner,...
There’s a lot of buzz out there around the importance of an entrepreneur mindset. Why?
Whether you are running a family or a business or even working for someone else, there are critical skills and benefits that can be harnessed from this mindset: creative thinking, seeing possibilities instead of problems, risk taking, perseverance, developing trust and confidence in oneself, listening and teamwork, and delegating to name a few.
So you might be wondering, what exactly is an entrepreneur mindset? And how do I get one?
According to the Journal of Entrepreneurship, researchers from the Indian School of Business found three main themes in the mindsets of successful entrepreneurs: they are people-oriented, purpose-oriented, and learning-oriented.
Let’s go through each one of those, explore what they mean, and learn how you can apply them to your life and business.
Entrepreneur mindsets are people-oriented.
Clients often lament, “Do I have to do this again? I thought I already conquered that habit (or thought or behavior)."
And they absolutely have in remarkable and very visible ways. They have achieved success and done things that they once couldn’t imagine. And yet sometimes those sneaky little patterns come back to remind us of what we used to do. It's almost like a test.
Has that ever happened to you?
Well, I truly believe that while we can slip backwards in our behavior, we never go backwards in consciousness. The fact is now we know what’s happening and can reverse course much faster.
Repetition is truly the key to success.
In fact, behavior changes happen because of repetition through something called “experience-dependent neuroplasticity”. In English, that means our brains change in response to our thoughts, actions, and experiences.
Every time you think a thought, a pathway of neurons lights up in your brain. If it’s...
It was a beautiful sunny day, several years ago, when a new client, Serena floated into my office. She had a buoyant energy and her smile lit up the room. She glided across the space and sat down in the chair, almost as if it had offered her a royal invitation.
I began, “It’s so nice to meet you, how can I help you today?”
Within in a split second her cheerful demeanor dramatically shifted, “I’m going to be fired, she blurted out. Then with mix of embarrassment and frustration, she added "I’m terrible at my job."
“Oh, I’m curious, what makes you so terrible at your job?” I asked gently
“I can’t ever get things done on time, I’m a chronic procrastinator.” she declared with absolutism. Then without skipping a beat, she named all the reasons why this was “terrible” and how it has “always” been a problem that she could “never” change. She wasn’t even sure why she...
It’s a fact of life: sometimes, things just don’t go the way we want.
Even when we put in gobs of hard work, when we’ve done all the right things, when we’ve tried everything – sometimes, life seems to have other plans.
A few years back, my client Claire came to see me for this exact reason. “I’m ready to give up,” she said, pacing in circles around my office. Claire was a talented businesswoman with an impressive track record. She ran a successful consulting service , and now she was trying to branch off into another of her passions, and create a wellness business – yet despite all her efforts, nothing seemed to be gelling.
“I just don’t know what’s going on,” she said. “I feel like a total failure. Like I’m banging my head against the wall. What should I do?”
Poor Claire. She wasn’t used to not succeeding. She was used to pushing through and making things...
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...
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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