Have you ever been on the receiving end of feedback that you are “too much?”
And what on earth are you supposed to do with that information?
Behave with less authenticity? Passion? Energy?
FRIENDS!!! I am beyond excited to announce a brand new, 8 week online course called… drumroll...
My partner-in-crime/best-selling author/host of the delicious Beautiful Writers Podcast Linda Sivertsen and I have been working for months to bring this concept, these practices and this content to life for you… and it’s finally READY!
So, what is Time Debt?
It's the misspending of time—either consciously or unconsciously—in ways that lead to a life half lived.
2017 was a year of indiscriminant literary hook ups… hardly the serial reading monogamy I usually engage in. I attribute this to some really poor book choices I made. But despite abundance of one-nightstand stands, there were some OMG reads scattered in there as well.
These are the OMG Books of my 2017. Some titles are old, most are new, but each one made my heart race, melt or break with their word wizardry, plot twists, and teachings (I effing love a good self help book).
What do Gloria Steinem, Steve Martin, Marilyn Monroe, and Luna Lovegood have in common?
They’re on my Virtual Board of Advisors, and they “live” above my writing desk.
I think everyone needs a Virtual Board of Advisors.
We play so many roles in our lives—mother/father, daughter/son, teacher/student…. We move through our weeks paying bills, shuttling kids to team sports activities and birthday parties, commuting to work—white-knuckling it until Friday, when we can finally relax and binge watch TV.
There’s nothing wrong with these activities, per se.
But if my life were the sum total of only these things, I might lose what few marbles I have.
That’s what the Virtual Board of Directors does for me—they remind me that there is a lot more to life (and a lot more to ME) than just going through the motions of driving, feeding, clothing and emotionally supporting the people around me.
Have you ever been in a conversation, or in a meeting, and suddenly someone says something to you that cuts you to the core?
You start asking yourself questions like:
“Wait, did she/he just say something shitty, or am I imagining this?”
“Am I ok here?”
“Did I just do something bad? Say the wrong thing?”
I’ve found that most psychic attacks aren’t shouty or obvious to the outside observer, but to the recipient, they hurt like hell. And they usually come out of nowhere, catching us completely off guard.
It can feel like a trap door opens beneath you, and down you go, your dignity and confidence trailing behind you. Or maybe your stomach turn to liquid, your throat suddenly feels tight, or your mouth gets dry.
One of my favorite techniques as a communication coach was given to me (albeit indirectly) by my daughter when she was barely 2 months old.
It was 2006, I had just had Stella, and was back to work with almost no childcare whatsoever. I was a train wreck. My identity was wobbly, none of the time management techniques that had worked for me in the past made any sense, and I was chronically exhausted from trying to front like I had it all under control. One night, in a state of desperation, I went online to seek out information on mindfulness, positive thinking, coping techniques for overwhelm… anything to get me through the next 24 hours.
I came across one piece of advice that made me furious:
Tell yourself a story of abundance... No matter what your schedule says, repeat this phrase to yourself:
‘I have plenty of time, and all is well.'
I wanted to punch that writer in the neck.
I remember the moment very well.
It was sometime around 1999 or 2000, and I had recently announced my decision to leave my job at Blanc & Otus for the greener pastures of Scient. Word had made its way around B&O that I was moving on, and when I saw our CEO, Jonelle Birney, approaching me in the hallway, I assumed she’d heard the news as well.
As she got closer to me, a pit opened up in my stomach. How would she react? Would she be angry at me for abandoning my clients and the few folks who reported to me at the time? Was I even a blip on her radar screen? I mean, jeeze, maybe she didn’t even know how to pronounce my name!
“Why do I always do this to myself??”
If my thoughts were audible, you’d hear this message with steady frequency.
This thought is always accompanied by a set of physical sensations: butterflies in the stomach, a dry throat, and my heart beating fast and hard.
It’s the thought that crashes through my mind just before I do something that scares me: like standing in front of a microphone, either to teach or to sing.
My Favorite Reads of 2016
It’s that time of year, friends… it time to take stock of the year, and report back on what we read that was worth reading.
Normally, my list is dominated by fiction. But this year? Of my 10 favorite reads only ONE is fiction. It’s not that I didn’t read fiction, I did. I read plenty. But only one of them passed the “OH MY GOD… you HAVE to read this book…” test.
Ah friends. We come to it at last…
the final installment of Manterruptions, Mansplaining & Bropropriations.
To the men who have followed this series… two words:
It takes a lot of courage to go into the belly of the gender imbalance beast in our culture. It takes even more courage to take on the perspective of someone else, and these pieces were definitely written from a woman’s perspective for a female audience. So I honor you and thank you.
Thanks to this delightful election cycle (and by "delightful" I mean "vile"), I’ve been hearing the words “manterruption" and "mansplaining” every five minutes. In the next few installments, I’ll be offering some techniques and tools for women on the receiving end of these behaviors. And to our male allies, read on! The more you know, the more progress we can make together.
Let's start with manterrupting, shall we?
By 5:00 p.m. last Wednesday, I was completely drained and exhausted.
And no wonder, it had been an incredibly productive day: I started a blog post and had a fantastic coaching session with a brand new client, I got closer to closing two new accounts and sent out my first-ever piece of email marketing. In between clients and hours on the computer, I ran all manner of suburban mother errands.
I should have mentally high-fived myself (see “If They Only Knew…”), but the voice inside my head—the one I refer to as my Inner Ice Queen—berated me instead.
“You are so pathetic. You had a normal work day, and look at you. You want a NAP? Are you nuts? You have three kids, homework, and dinner to cook next. Get your sh*t together. Keep moving. Pour a glass of wine. Have another cup of coffee. Do something. But for God’s sake, have some self-respect and don’t lie down.”
In Sunday’s New York Times, Adam Grant contributed a great article entitled,“Unless You’re Oprah, ‘Be Yourself’ Is Terrible Advice.” In it, he took aim at a concept that has become quite fashionable as of late: Authenticity.
Grant describes the danger of being “authentic” at all times, and how it can lead to blurting out all manner of inappropriate things to people, and how your life will come to a screeching halt if you let authenticity have free reign over your mouth.
There are few things that scare me as a public speaking coach, but this phrase does it every time:
“Yeah, once I memorize my presentation script, I’ll be good to go.”
This is the point when my circuits get jammed, and I want to reach across the table and shake my client and warn them with language as strong as I can muster…
DON’T. MEMORIZE. YOUR. TALK.