Why failure is your second best option

Growing up most of us were taught that failure is bad and we should do everything we can not to avoid it. Did you ever play on a sports team where everyone got a trophy even though one team clearly lost, but everyone was told they won?

I think people’s intentions were good, but they were not doing us any favors.

Whenever you are trying to reach a goal, success is the best outcome, but failure is the second best. Yes, FAILURE IS THE SECOND BEST OPTION.

If you really stop and think about it, your best outcomes in reaching your goals are:

  1. Success
  2. Failure
  3. Not trying
  4. Procrastinating

Success is what we are aiming for. Failure is just a feeling that won’t actually hurt you. Not trying is simply failing ahead of time and removing the option of success. Procrastination is failing ahead of time, but also stressing about it because you want to do it, but just aren’t.

So tell me, what would you be willing to do if you weren’t afraid to fail?

If you want help being willing to fail and reach you goals, sign up for a free session. Sign up here.

How to stop feeling overwhelmed without changing your to-do list

How many times a day to you think about how overwhelmed you are because there’s too much to do and not enough time?

There’s weekly business review meetings to prep and dig deeper into, 1:1’s to set agenda’s for, those 15 people you need to follow up with, that big project that’s coming due soon, all of the other daily tasks that have to get done, and 4 meetings happening today that will probably include additional things you need to follow up on after. All this before you even open your email in the morning.

And let’s not forget you are a person as well. You probably need to grocery shop, do some laundry, go through that pile of mail that’s growing by the day, return a few items, schedule a dentist appointment, grab a birthday card for your friend, and try to find time to call your mom.

Cue all that overwhelm and stressing out because there’s so much to do.

Most of the time, we just accept that we have too much to do as fact and try to find ways to be more efficient.

Maybe you start buying meal delivery kits and hire out the house cleaning. Or you try to come into work 30 minutes early to get a head start on the day before everyone else gets into the office.

But no matter what you try, it still feels so overwhelming and never ending.

Guess why?

The only reason we feel overwhelmed is because of our thinking. Having “too much to do” is not a fact. It’s a thought. If you were not thinking you had too much to do, you would be feeling something else.

What is “too much?” Who decides it’s “too much?” How do we know when it’s “just right?”
Instead of focusing on how to be more efficient, try focusing on better thoughts that don’t make you feel overwhelmed.

Things like, I know what’s on my agenda today or I don’t HAVE to do any of this, but I’m choosing to.

If that doesn’t feel believable to you, try digging deeper and asking yourself why?

What would you have to give up to stop feeling overwhelmed because of the thought “there’s too much to do.”

Maybe it means giving up being a perfectionist and not spending an extra 4 hours on that document because you’re not actually improving the communication. You’re just moving commas around.

Maybe it means giving up control over what people might think of you and asking for more time on a project and prioritize what’s already on your to-do list.

Maybe it means giving up being a people pleaser and telling your boss you don’t have the bandwidth to own that additional project.

Maybe in means give up self-doubt and asking how spending time finding answers to the questions asked in the business review meeting are going to drive the business forward.

The only reason you are feeling overwhelmed is because of the THOUGHT “there’s too much to do.” All you have to do is find a new thought you already believe and practice thinking that instead.

If you want help applying this to your specific situation, let’s jump on the phone for a free mini session and get you out overwhelm. Sign up HERE.

When you can’t stop the ticker tape of non-stop thoughts

Do you ever have those days (read as years) where you can’t stop the ticker tape of non-stop thoughts.

Things like:
– Why can’t I get up earlier?
– This is never going to work.
– If I knew how to do what you are asking, I would be your boss.
– There’s not enough time.

When I really started digging, I realized it was all because I was really good at feeling self-doubt and worry over what other people were going to think.

I always thought I was confident, but when I was pushed outside of my comfort zone, my anxiety took over and it freaked me out because I did not know what to do.

I read all the books, watched all the Ted Talks, and watched every documentary I could. It was not until I found actual tools that I could literally apply TODAY that I started to feel more confident.

Now, I just use these tools all the time and am back in the land of confidence and plan on staying there forever.

I’ve put together a course teaching exactly what has made the biggest difference for me because sharing is caring. You’re welcome.

Check it out here!

How not knowing can be your most helpful asset

Whenever you start a new job, team, or major project, there’s always a learning curve involved.

It usually starts with a few weeks of blind bliss and low expectations over all the new things you don’t know. You go around soaking it all in and getting a pass on adding any real value. After all, you’re just the new kid. Monthly Business Review doc due next week? You get a pass this month and can own it next time. Need to escalate that the team is going to miss key deliverables? You get a pass on the worry and stress because you are just the messenger. Need to respond to a question mark email from the CEO, you get a pass since you don’t know the background. These are the days you sleep well and start to get a feel for work life balance.

Then you hit the middle stage. This is where the acute anxiety kicks in because you now know what you don’t know. You’re freaking out the team is going to find out how under qualified you are and how much you need to learn. Deliverables are being thrown your way at a quicker pace and your new kid pass has expired. When your manager asked you for a status update, you know how many holes are in your report. Or maybe you are asked to write the business strategy doc for a key team project and you have no idea how to approach it. Or it’s now time for the quarterly business review and you don’t even know who to work with on it. This is usually when you start working crazy hours and drinking coffee like it’s water.

Then miraculously you get over the hump and start feeling a bit more confident. When people ask you questions, you start to know the answer. When your manager throws a last-minute request your way, you know how to handle it. When the team makes a mistake, you are able to write the Cause of Error report. You still work ridiculous hours, but have stopped second guessing your decision to work on the team.

Today I was coaching someone that is feeling stuck right in the middle. They are very aware of what they don’t know and finally realized getting help was going to get them so much further than pretending they knew what to do. They nervously reach out for a free coaching session and laid it all out there.

Talking through it, they could logically see why they were feeling stressed and anxious (spoiler: it was all because of their thinking and drama around their project), but could not get to a happy place about it.

That’s when I offered them a different solution.

So often we just want to feel good, but it’s hard to go from anxiety and stress to excitement and confidence. Instead try to get neutral. By better understanding what thoughts were stressing them out, we were able to look at the facts and realize, they are not good or bad. They are just facts. Being neutral about their project not only felt better, but now they are actually doing the work necessary to get out of the middle stage. Instead of seeing what they don’t know as a disadvantage, they see knowing what they don’t know as the answer on where to start. Don’t know how to write a PR/FAQ? Start reading wikis and asking coworkers for example docs. Don’t know how to provide the right level of detail in the weekly business review? Ask you manager for feedback.

Taking massive action is what will get them out of the middle stage and adding value to their team and their career goals. Removing the drama and just getting neutral is the first step to feeling confident.

If you want help applying this to your situation, sign up for a free mini session today.

If you could believe anything, what would you want to believe

A belief is a thought you’ve had multiple times over an extended period of time. The more time you think a thought, the stronger the belief. The strong the belief, the easier it is to think so we are not always fully aware of them.

It’s kind of like trying to find Target in a new city. The first time you have to Google Map it and get turn by turn directions. The second time you probably just look at the map for a quick refresher and consciously make your way there. After the 3rd or 4th time, you can drive there without really thinking about it.

Thoughts are the same way. The more times you think them, the easier they come to mind and the less conscious you are of the thought. It’s second nature so you don’t even have to think about it.
I’m not just talking about spiritual beliefs. I’m talking about any belief you have about yourself, your life, your job, or any aspect of your life.

You might believe things like:

  • Time is money
  • I always find a way to get it done
  • There are limited opportunities
  • It’s never good enough
  • You have to be an extrovert to be successful at my company
  • I’m not very good at being in a relationship
  • Life is not fair

So, what do you believe about yourself? What do you believe about your life? What lessons did your parents teach you? What do you believe about the future?

Better yet, what do you WANT to believe?

One of my clients recently realized she believes she’s a slow learner. When we started digging into that belief, she realized there really is no such thing as “fast” or “slow” learning. Really, she’s just always learning and this new belief was so freeing. Now instead of feeling bad and embarrassed about her learning abilities, she’s more curious and wants to learn even more.

It seems like such a small shift, but thinking “I’m a slow learner” feels so much worse than “I’m always learning new things.”

The first step is awareness. Write down 30 things you believe about any aspect of yourself or your life. Then really evaluate which ones are helping you and which ones are holding you back.

If you want help doing this and finding beliefs that serve you better, sign up for a free mini session. On this call I can help you with your specific situation and there’s no obligation.

So, what do you believe?

How to always get the best manager

In my 7 years with my current employer, my manager has changed more than 7 times. With constant re-orgs and rotating teams, it’s one of those things that is out of my control.

Since your manager impacts so much of your day to day life at work, I used to freakout if I was put under a “bad manager.”

Then one day I realized that I’m actually the best manager for myself.

I’m the one who really knows what I am great at and what I’m not. I know what’s really going on with me. I know what I need to grow and to learn. I’m the one that will do the work to get myself promoted.

It’s all me.

It was empowering to realize this. Who my manager was did not really matter because it was just a circumstance. It was just reality. I could fight against it and make myself miserable, or I could manage myself. I could manage my expectations, work, and priorities. Who my actual manager was became irrelevant.

Learning the skill of managing your own mind is the MOST important skill you can ever learn and will make or break your career. It will push you to try new things and make you unstoppable at reaching your goals.

If you want help learning how to manager your brain to slow down the ticker tape of stressful thoughts, sign up here for free coaching. You have nothing to lose, but so much to gain.

Research is a waste of time

Have you ever thought about making a big change in your life, or buying an expensive item, or taking some kind of big risk? Usually the first thing we do is research, but it can be such a waste of time.

Say for example you are looking to buy a new car. You might go online and look up reviews and features, ask a few friends and then test drive a few cars. But now what? Do you decide and move on, or keep researching?

Or maybe you are thinking about making a job change. You might check out the job board, have a few coffee chats, talk with former colleges who left the company and think about what you want in your next job. But how long do you spend researching things and waiting for the perfect job?

Most of us spend so much time researching because it feels better then taking action.

What if we make the wrong choice? What if we do not have all the information?

What if you just keep researching and never decide?

There are no such things as wrong choices because it is the decision that was made. When you argue with reality you lose every time.

You will probably NEVER have ALL the information because things constantly change.

I think they best way to move forward is to give yourself a set about of time to research and then make a decision and decide ahead of time that you are going to love your decision. Now you’ve changed your life or bought the new expensive thing or took the risk and you love it. You are moving forward with your life and getting more information as you continue to make more decisions.

What area in your life are you passively researching and wasting time. Commit to making a decision by the end of the week and commit to loving your decisions.

If you want help applying this to you specific decision, let’s jump on the phone for a free coaching session and help you start taking action in your life. Sign up here.

The dreaded, “Quick Touch Base” meeting invite

Last week I got a meeting invite from my manager with the subject “quick touch base” and no additional information.

My monkey brain immediately went into panic mode and was convinced I was getting fired.

I tried going through all of my meetings notes and reviewing my todo’s but I could not figure out why I would be in trouble so my heart rate started to slow down and my brain eventually became more logical.

The meeting was only for 15 minutes. If I was in trouble, it would be longer. A 15 minute meeting almost always means one thing – Reorg.

They happen all the time at work. In my 7 years, I think this is probably my 10th or 11th reorg. I honestly can’t remember.

My colleges all got a similar invite and like any normal team, we started to speculate over IM what the changes were going to be.

Our “touch bases” came and went and we all knew what was going down.

It was fascinating to watch the difference reactions. Some people freaked out because they no longer felt like their work was valuable to the team. Others were pissed we were changing directions again and immediately started searching the job board. I just kind of sat back and took it all in. Again, I’ve been through this a few times.

I decided to just look at the facts and decide how I wanted to feel about it. I have to be honest with myself at all times so I was not in a place of joy and excitement, but I could get myself to just be curious and open to the change so that’s where I focused my thoughts.

Instead of stressing about all the unknown to current and future projects, my involvement, and reporting structure, I decided to focus on how I could add value with the shift. How I was going to learn so much with this new strategic pivot and that it was going to give me so many opportunities to partner with other teams, which I love doing and am great at.

So here we are in week one of the reorg, and guess what. The people thinking they are no longer valuable are not adding much value. The pissed people are still mad and pushing against reality.
But I’m just overhear doing my job. And when it really comes down to it, not much has changed. I still have most of the same projects and a few new ones, but it’s just another day. I’m still in control of how I feel at work and I’m still choosing to be open and curious and I’m loving where it’s taking me.

Want help applying this to your specific situation? Sign up for free coaching here.

What’s your story

We all have a few stories we tell. There’s the story we tell other people about our life and the one we tell ourself.

The one we tell others usually highlights the good things and masks the bad.

Mine use to sound something like this.

I work full time during the day, am a mom to 3 wonderful girls, am a life coach on the side, and love spending time with my family.

But the story I use to tell myself sounded like this.

I’ve been with my employer for over 7 years and don’t know how I’ve lasted this long. It’s sucking the life out of me and I’m so over it. My kids drive me crazy. Having twins is so hard and I hate when they act their age. I don’t think bedtime is going to get any easier for a long time. I feel bad that I don’t spend much time with my family because of my coaching stuff, but I just love it and if I’m not working on myself how can I help my family. There’s not enough time to get everything I want done, but I’m so sick of feeling behind on everything in life. Why can’t I just figure it out and make it work? What is wrong with me?

Am I alone here? I did not think so.

What you tell yourself about your life is what your brain will find evince of and let me tell you. I use to have a buttload of evidence to backup my story. However, it was not helping me reach my goals or allowing myself to grow in a healthy way, but just kept me stuck and feeling like I was on a crazy cycle that would not end.

So one day I decided to re-write my story. I told myself I had to present it as good new, but I also had to be honest. Here’s how it went.

I’ve made a ton of money at my job and am so lucky to be mortgage free at my age. It’s so freeing. My job has taught me so many things about running a successful business and I love a lot of the overall theories and concepts I’ve learned. My kids are hilarious. Every night at bedtime they like to show me their “ice cream dance” and shake their tinny little bums until they fall down. It drives me crazy, but I also can’t help but laugh every time. I’m getting a lot of great practice coaching people and it makes me so excited. These tools are amazing and I want everyone to have them. I love that I have so many big goals and dreams and I love that I’m willing to work hard to reach them. I can’t wait to see how it all turns out. I’m proud of how much I’ve grown and that I’m still a human being that makes mistakes but keeps on getting back up.

What’s your story? Try writing down your current story and the re-write it in a positive way that you already believe. Then read the positive one over and over until it becomes your default story so your brain can find buttloads of evidence for it. It’s the coolest thing ever to literally see the change in yourself.

Want help applying this to your specific situation? Sign up for free coaching here.

Take a minute

Today started off with a bang. I was calmly reading through emails when they started rolling in. 1, then 2, then 3, and finally a 4th high priority email in a row. I was excited to see where this was going to lead.

Pretty much, there were some major changes we needed to make and it needed to happen quickly. I pinged my coworker and together we shared a virtual moan at the rework that was about to instill.

She told me she was just going to tell them no. They can’t make the changes for at least a week. She was all sorts of frustrated, and rightfully so.

While I agreed with her in principle, I’ve also been around long enough to know that at the end of the day, we will do whatever they say so just saying no was not going to get us anywhere productive.

I called her on the phone and asked her why. Why a week? Why not now?

She gave very valid reasons why we should wait. I told her a better approach might be to communicate what is at stake if we make the change now. To just focus on giving leadership all of the facts and let them make the decision since they are the ones that have to answer to it either way. We laughed about the change happening (again) and jump on the phone with leadership.

She calmly stated what was at risk by making the change now, but sincerely was onboard with whatever they decided. And guess what, they went with her recommendation.

The fact was leadership said we needed to make changes. It was not good or bad. Just a fact. She had all kinds of thoughts about it that felt justified, but when she stoped and took a minute to decide how she wanted to approach this, she decided to drop the drama and move forward.

Taking a minute to step back, and purposefully decide what you want to think about any situation is crucial. Who you are at work all comes form your feelings and only you can make yourself feel anything based on what you’re thinking.

So take back control of those thoughts that want to run wild and show you brain who’s the boss.

Want help applying this to your specific situation? Sign up for free coaching here.