Life Coach

2016: New Year Musings 

I quit my job on 12/31/15 and I’ve been on a journey of learning and experiencing ever since. I’m not making the same type of “change” (but I have never gone without for either my needs or wants). I don’t get to dress up in skirts and heels all the time and I don’t work alongside a whole heap of people. Wait. This is sounding more appealing as I write it. Lol! But if quitting a job yields the year I had, I kinda wish I had done this sooner rather than later. My year in review reads like a cross between a travel/self-help/spiritual/relationships book. I had fun. I really did. 
I traveled. To Martha’s Vineyard, The Poconos, NYC, Hawaii, mountains, beaches and all the other places in between. I ate garlic shrimp from the side of the road. I had pasta in a cozy New York restaurant. I stayed in a cabin one week and a multimillion dollar golf property the next. I enjoyed mountain living sitting on a porch in a rocking chair. Walking alongside a lake enjoying the late summer breezes. I enjoyed it all. 
I stretched myself professionally. Working in spaces with people I would not have otherwise been exposed to. Learning new systems, processes, approaches to the body of work in mental health. My brain appreciates the growth. My mind is excited to know learning is still my first love. 
I made new connections. Joined a mentorship fellowship and a leadership fellowship AT THE SAME TIME. While I wouldn’t recommend doing this simultaneously, I’m kinda glad I did. I experienced mentorship from different perspectives in leadership and personal growth. I’m blessed to have been mentored by women who look like me and by others who didn’t, but were willing to extend themselves all for the greater good. 
Tons of other things happened along the way in 2016. Some stupendous and some just downright stupid. I learned that when you exit certain circles, there will be those who write you off and out. There others who reel you in and make the experience so much more bearable. I started the year feel irrelevant and realized my relevance was based on the wrong things for the wrong reasons. Lesson learned. 
I was Indiana Jones looking at the chasm between where I was and where I needed to go. I took that first step and threw the dirt. I then saw the invisible path really wasn’t invisible. Many along the way served as the visibility I needed to keep walking one step at a time. The referrals. The calls. The references. The heads up. The emails. The opportunities. And when their voices dimmed, there stood God reminding He had never left me and never would. Even in the silent times. 
You may not have plans to quit your job. But I’m sure you’ve got some deep seated dreams you need to step out on. Scared money don’t make money. Closed mouths don’t get fed. You get the point. I had to crucify my personality and my fears on the cross of change to BEGIN to change to SEE change coming. It won’t be easy. Trust when I say. I went from buying a pair of shoes every week to buying a pair of shoes on a quarterly basis! Joking. But you get my point. 
It’s okay be scared. Goodness knows I was. Let your fear be a driving force. Not a hindrance. Here’s to 2017 and all that it holds. 

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Career, Life Coach

Getting Ready to Get Ready

I jotted down oodles of notes from a recent women’s leaders conference, gave up trying to type on my IPad. I realized earlier on this was no business meeting and my typing couldn’t keep up with all the knowledge dropping that was taking place this day.

Being back on social media has been a lesson in humanity’s funny way of doing things. Barely have we gotten through Thanksgiving and I see the #2016 hashtags popping up. I’m guilty of having my own–#goaldigger 😆. Go ahead and steal it!  I know I did.  Right off Pinterest. I sho’ did. 

We’re psyched! Who needs to talk about prepping for a weekend with family we rarely see, when we can talk about all the things we want to do come January First.  Poster boards flying off the shelves while we prep for Vision Board parties; leaving the 20 pound turkeys behind in the freezer. We are gung-ho. Applying for jobs, calling our trainers (oh the shame!), buying up all the books on self-help. All in the name of getting ready. 

Then the speaker stops me cold, hard in my tracks with this thought. We get caught up in the business of getting ready to get ready. Screech! Stop! What say you? Say it ain’t so! Yep. It is. 

Getting ready to get ready is procrastinating. You’ve been talking about writing this Great American Novel and haven’t placed pen to paper or fingers to laptop. You’ve been talking about going back to school to get that much needed certification but if asked which colleges has that program, you can’t pull it out your… well you get the point. You’re ready to start a family but haven’t found a reputable OBGYN to consult with. Genetics counseling? Huh? Pregnancy planning apps? What’s that? 

Getting ready to get ready is operating in fear. When you can’t move beyond a bunch of Facebook posts and Pinterest likes, to the actual “doing” of what you wish to do, it’s an indicator that something or someone is holding you back. That someone can be a parent, child, friend–husband/wife (gasp!) but that person usually ends up being you. You holding yourself back from getting down and dirty in the planning. You holding yourself back from getting in the muck of researching your competitors and developing that business plan, first draft, or portfolio. 

Getting ready to get ready is being lazy. Reality shows have  an entire generation and a half of another one believing you can call yourself an entrepreneur without putting sweat, blood, and tears in the game. I’m from the World Book Encyclopedia and card catalog generation. It meant I had to go somewhere to get what I needed. Real work takes elbow grease, not copying and pasting what you find on Wikipedia. It doesn’t have to be a college degree (although a four year degree never killed anybody) but it does mean taking some classes, getting a certification, and learning a new skill.  It doesn’t have to be leaving your current job, but the side hustle sure can’t hurt until that glorious day when you strike out on your own. Inhale. Pray. Leap. Exhale. 

John Maxwell, the guru on all things leadership says it best. “Intentional living is all uphill.” 
So let’s move from the getting ready to get ready to the business of doing what you are more than qualified and ready to do. Drop kick that spirit of fear! Say ciao to that spirit of laziness! Turn your back on that spirit of procrastination!  It’s the enemy’s way of holding you down. Last I checked believers don’t operate with a fearful mind yet rather in the confidence that the lamp at our feet only moves when we do. 

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Risk-Taking Isn’t Just For The Young

Last week I said goodbye to a job I held for ten years. Today I start on a new journey in a new role. My mentors would say I’m young enough to start anything new. But my 40-something brain sometimes think I should be content and not try to make too many waves.

Change seems to be the only constant and with this knowledge we should continue to embrace transition. How many times have you reached the fork in the road and just wanted to sit there? People do and when they get up, five years have passed with no movement.

That fork in the road can be a new profession, a move to another state, deciding to have another child when you said you wouldn’t, or even a new personal perspective on life. There will be the detractors in the guise of friends and family members. It takes resolve to silence the voices and go with your heart.

Taking risks should not just be left to college grads and desperate millenials. Rather it is for anyone who has a yearning to be different, to do different, and make a difference. Age may impact how swift it can take place. Yet with adequate thought, prayer, and planning it can happen.

Take the time to consider your priorities. If there is a family to think of, look at the bigger picture and be sure your decision has factored in how your spouse and/or children will be affected. Failing to count the entire cost could be detrimental. Once you have done your research, considered the pluses and deltas, then you make your final decision.

Once all is said and done and you know change is in your future, then by all that’s good and perfect do the damn thing! Trust me, your heart won’t miss a beat and you will know, that you know, that you know, taking that fork in the road was worth the risk. You choose which side to take–none else.

Ecclesiastes 11:4-6
“He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap. As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything. In the morning sow your seed, and at evening withhold not your hand, for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good.”

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