On the radio today, I got the opportunity to have a conversation with a good colleague around over-committing ourselves and what to do about it. Do you recognise it? Especially this time of year. So many of us stressing out about all the events we have committed to. Here’s the truth: it’s never about how much is in the calendar. It’s how we tackle it. We all have 24 hrs in a day, and this time of year gives us the opportunity to become even better at tackling busyness. Tip #1: you have committed, accept that it is what it is Tip #2: plan for respectful and smooth arrivals and departures Tip #3: be present Let’s unpack each one of them. First of all, when you have committed – that’s it. Stop running stories in your head or out loud about how you have over-committed or how busy it is or how full-on this weekend will be. Advance coaching: stop it! You say yes or no upfront, and when you have committed, no need to waste brain and air-time creating dramas around it. Secondly, if you have been slightly over-optimistic with how much you can fit in a day, be … More Over-committing myself…. who me??!! »
What do we do when we’re not OK? When we’re not 100%? Most of the time we keep pushing through – or fall into a puddle of self-blame. Would you be curious if I say there is another way? Be kind. What??? Be kind to yourself. That’s it??? You’re kidding me??? Not really. This is where change starts. When you feel un-wellness creeping in or feel stuck it is a gentle reminder from your inner voice (or sometimes not so gentle if we keep turning the deaf ear for too long…) for you to check back in. When we feel off-kilter, when the body is telling us it needs a break or when our emotions tell us that something is not quite right, step one of turning it around is to be kind to ourselves. It’s a reminder to listen to that inner voice (hello….hello…..I know you’re in there….even if I haven’t paid attention to you for a while….). You may have gotten off track in some way and it’s OK, you will get back on track if you give yourself a chance. This comes in two ways, so stay with me: Either you’re coming from the NARCISSIST side of … More Hello….hello…..I know you’re in there!! »
We all need connection. To feel we belong. Somehow, somewhere. Whether it’s taking 20 minutes to go and chat with the older man down the street – or putting your phone away and being fully present while you talk with your family. Whether it’s playing 100% in a workshop room and truly connect with the others – or having that one-on-one conversation that goes one step deeper. We see it in their faces, feel it in our hearts when a connection is created. The energy in a big room goes up dramatically when you as a facilitator allow the participants to share insights with the person next to them. It’s very seldom about the content. It’s very often about the connection. Because that’s what we really long for: connecting, somehow, somewhere. This week, do your best to be fully present in all your interactions. Listen to understand, enter with resourceful intentions. Be part of creating true connection. And enjoy witnessing the outcomes. That’s the power of connection.
You know what it feels like when you have a shitty day. And you so wish it would get better, but most often you’re waiting for something outside of you to shift. Don’t. Wherever you are on the feeling-shit to feeling-awesome ladder right now, YOU are the one in control of shifting it. And here’s the thing: don’t be unrealistic by wanting shit to become shine in a second – take one step at a time. That’s also why it can be annoying with a well-meaning friend on a much more positive radio channel wanting you to ‘think positive’. Just because they are able to reach that frequency right now doesn’t mean you can reach it – this is where the positive psychology movement can be misunderstood. Take the step that’s available to YOU right now – and it will make a difference. Here are the simple steps: 1) Reach for the best-feeling thought you can come up with right now. This will switch the radio channel you’re currently listening to one step up. 2) Notice the shift and relief as you allow a better-feeling-thought and let go of what you were feeling just a moment ago. 3) Do this … More One step up the feeling-good ladder »
How many of you leaders and business owners have kids? Small or leaving home or adults. The age doesn’t matter, it impacts us. It impacts our businesses. And so it should! As we dare coming to work as humans, as all who we are, it IS part of how well we perform and the level of results we get. Family life gets in the way – or IS it maybe the way? For pushing all our buttons, exposing out sore spots and as we dare to deal with it, we become better human beings, better leaders, better business owners. I’m NOT saying all you leaders without kids aren’t amazing. I’m just appreciating that those of us with kids have an extra challenge – and an extra practice field to learn from. With the recent holiday season, I thought it pertinent to share these thoughts as we all push back into the routines again. Because it hurts realising that our work always comes first. Because that’s what happens – even if we say the opposite. “I’ll just take this call”. “I just need to check a few emails”. “I’m just on a webinar (as you leave the dinner table)”. Do you … More Work comes first – always »
It’s ironic how we think and tell each other that we should serve others before we tend to our own needs. That we’re selfish if we follow our own needs. Isn’t it ironic? Isn’t that other person wanting you to tend to their needs first the one who’s being selfish here? I love myself. I like how I apply myself, take responsibility for my happiness and energy. And that’s provoking to some people. Because often it feels safer hiding or pleasing others or blaming everyone else and wanting them to make us happy/motivated/fill-in-the-blanks. Other people’s light can inspire us. But our light comes from within. So, I want you to follow yourself. Only YOU know what makes you feel good. What makes you able to be the best version of you. And that’s not being selfish. That’s your job! Accept yourself and be OK with yourself first, the good, the bad and the ugly. Then you can start accepting others like they are, too. Be kind to yourself. Be true to yourself. Follow yourself. Don’t hurt others doing it, don’t bring them down to get you up, come from a place of kindness. Towards yourself and others. Healthy selfishness opens … More I love myself… you what?? »
From Hair the musical you may recall the chorus: let the sunshine, let the sunshine in, the sunshine in. How often do we focus on the squeaky wheel in the team instead? Spending most of our time fixing the issues created by them directly or inadvertently? Or focusing on the sales gaps instead of the opportunities to create even more value. It makes us tired, we risk losing our momentum and passion by the mundane, repetitive focus on mistakes and correction. What if we instead let the sunshine in? Focused on the strengths and the stars of the team? The new client opportunities? Going for the greatness leading into that chorus: life is around you and in you. Don’t run away or hide from the issues. Deal with all issues with decisiveness and minimum time and effort spent. To allow time and focus for the sunshine. Somewhere, inside something, there is a rush of greatness. The reason you love doing what you do. Bring the focus to what matters most – and create a place of drive and sunshine. Let’s be the hippie counterculture and create great results and great teams through letting the sunshine in.
Nearly 11 years in Australia has made me curious. About the millions of women with lovely, curly hair who every morning spend ages straightening it. Are you one of them? I would love to hear what makes you do it. Why you prefer it like that. Is it for you or for others? I’m aware that the humidity doesn’t go well with curls, you easily end up looking like a haystack after a storm. But is that enough to hide it away every day? I’m on the urge to start a rally to free curly hair. Let it be, let it bounce our lives. But again, I may be the only one having that thought. I know I’m not normal. In so many ways. But what is normal anyway? I have always liked my curly hair. I have only every straightened it twice (and a half… regretted half-way through between sound check and a concert, as not any of my friends were greeting me and it felt really lonely not getting any of the usual smiles when our eyes met from a distance. They simply didn’t recognise me). Well, I like my curls. They take attention away from my big … More An Ode to Curly Hair »
Remember those early morning walks or runs where you unassumedly get a spider web across your face? That’s what can happen when you are the first to walk the path. Last morning in the bush, I had a group of women taking off at the same time as me, but as they were walking, I got to the water at the bottom of the track first. As I was zen-ing at the water, they caught up and with a smile told me that I had missed a spider web, a web I should have cleared. They thought they were safe with me in front of them, probably didn’t look out for them – and this one they caught, head first. It’s a great metaphor: how we catch spider webs for those who follow in our footsteps. That morning my limited height (160 cm on a good day) came in handy – or maybe it was the one where I ducked to let the spider keep its well-earned beautiful work. So, that web they had to take. Where are you trotting new paths? There will be spider webs that get in your face. You can hold up a stick, but some … More Catching the Spider Webs? »
Yesterday morning I discovered curiosity as my secret sauce. Curiosity as a go-to-state. When I put on my curious glasses I can’t be grumpy, or disappointed or judgmental at the same time. Not at myself, not at others either. Maybe that has always been my secret sauce, my super power? I loved school and learning, was it really because it triggered my curiosity? The kind of subjects I’ve studied that logically should never have been able to excite me – but then a teacher (Karen, Kit: macroeconomics!) or a fellow student or something else got me curious. Sometimes maybe even the fact that it was so far from my current sphere that it had to be explored. When first my curiosity was triggered, there was no stopping me. With our daughter currently travelling London, another example came to mind: becoming au pair in London when I had only ever babysat once (with poor results) and generally had no interest in or experience with small kids. But this amazing mother inspired me, she had a marketing background, had run her own Cafe, cheeky and fun, and I became SO curious about these two little boys, these fascinating human beings, how different … More Curiosity as my secret sauce »