What Matters Mondays – August 29, 2016

August 30th, 2016 by admin Leave a Comment

I did an interview a few weeks ago for an upcoming summit called Success Secrets to Parenting Teen Girls. I am so excited for you all to listen to the experts on this summit beginning September 12th! Today I want to share with you one of the points I shared during the summit that I think we need to continue to talk about – IMPERFECTION!

Our kids are struggling with the need to be perfect. They are struggling with this idea that if they look perfect and act perfect that they will avoid criticism, rejection and the feelings of not enough.

I’m going to be really honest with you…I struggled my whole teen and early adult years with perfectionism. It plagued me. It stopped me from tackling things I wasn’t sure I could be perfect at. It prevented me from connection with people that I was afraid might be “better” than me. It kept me armored up so only certain people saw my true, authentic side. It made me feel like a failure.

If you strive to be perfect, you will never win! You will only feel like I did…exhausted and defeated!

So how do we stop this?

The best solution I have is that as parents, we need to do a much better job at modeling imperfection. And I say WE because it is still a conscious practice for me every single day!

In all my years working in schools, when I saw a student struggle with perfection, his/her parent was often struggling with it too. These parents were usually the ones calling to complain about marks, the ones making a big issue because their child wasn’t invited to a birthday party, the ones sitting in the Principal’s office asking if the “other” child was also being suspended, the ones who insisted their child be put in a certain class, the ones doing their child’s grade one project that would hang on the wall in the school (confession: I did this once…it was really awesome, but I fooled no one! lol), the ones getting involved in friendship struggles, the ones bad mouthing the coach who cut their child from the team…the list goes on and on.

The one thing in common…these parents were all afraid to let their children experience disappointment. They were trying to make things perfect. They may have even thought that the issue at hand was a reflection of them.

I want to be very clear that I am not judging any of these parents. Trust me, in any given moment, I can be one of them. I HAVE been one of them.

How do we help our kids embrace imperfection?

First, if we want to help our kids own their whole story…the awesomeness and the struggle…we have to be willing to own our stories. We have to openly talk about our struggles (the ones that are appropriate of course). We have to admit when things don’t work out. We have to let them see and hear our imperfections!

Secondly, we have to circle back (thanks Brené Brown for the term) with people – especially our kids – when we have made a mistake. If I snap at my kids at the end of a busy day, I need to circle back and say, “I’m sorry for snapping earlier. I had a busy day, but that’s no excuse to take it out on you.” What a lesson we teach our kids in this simple act.

Thirdly, we have to LET THEM STRUGGLE! It is so hard to watch your child when they are sad, but it’s in those moments that they are building their resiliency. Rather than fix, solve, blame or get angry…sit with them in the space of the struggle, hear them, really hear them, share stories of similar struggles from your own childhood, let them cry, reassure them that they are loved, let them know you are sorry this didn’t work out like they wanted it to…just don’t try to fix, don’t look for someone to blame…blaming only makes you more mad. It never solves anything!

The fourth point is to teach your child how to be self-compassionate when they are struggling. Put your hand on your heart and say to yourself, “This is hard. Everyone has hard stuff happen. Everyone has moments when things don’t work out. I’m not alone.” And then say, “May I be kind to myself right now.” When either of you are struggling, stop and take a self-compassion break together. When you practice self-compassion, your brain releases oxytocin which makes you feel safe. You have to try this…it is incredible how it works!

Lastly, we have to stop trying to do it all. I remember years ago running my kids to all kinds of programs (even when they didn’t want to go), making homemade cupcakes for school birthdays, insisting on an immaculate house (and yelling at everyone when it wasn’t), always watching what I ate (also known as dieting), going to the gym, working more hours than I was paid for, having play dates…it was exhausting! What I was teaching my kid was that you have to do it all and do it perfectly.

 

If I could turn back time, I would want my teen self to know:

We are ALL imperfect!

Your family & true friends will love you because of your imperfections

It’s okay to admit when you don’t know

You are enough exactly as you are

 

So here it is parents:

Own your story so your kids can too

Circle back when you make a mistake

Let them struggle

Practice self-compassion together

Stop trying to do it all

 

I really hope you check out this FREE summit. I am giving a free offer to those who attend AND…there is a limited time special offer to purchase my new workbook:

“What Matters

Find Your Values,

Live Your Values,

Give Others Permission to do the Same”

 

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What Matters Mondays – August 22, 2016

August 22nd, 2016 by admin Leave a Comment

Some of the greatest conflicts in relationships have to do with values.

What I want and what you want are different and so the battle begins!

I often hear people say, “We don’t have the same values so it won’t work.”

My belief is that you don’t need the same values. You just have to know another person’s values and give them permission to live them. You have to be able to say, “That’s not my value, but I see how important it is to you and that matters to me!”

Let me give you an example:

One of my top values is ORGANIZATION. One of my husband’s values is SPONTANEITY. Are you already feeling the pain?

One day on a beautiful Friday afternoon, my husband called from work and said, “We should go camping! It’s supposed to be such a beautiful weekend!”

My immediate response was, “You mean this weekend? Like today?”

And truly, I was thinking, “Not a chance. We don’t have groceries. None of the bikes are packed. The trailer needs to be cleaned. You are nuts to think this is going to work.”

My husband on the other hand was so enthusiastic about it, telling me how we could make it work.

Now…I stopped to think about which values were colliding and here’s what I realized. We were both trying to live a value. Organization for me, spontaneity for him.  Neither one of us was right or wrong. Neither one of us was the good guy or the bad guy.  We just were going with the pull of our compasses.

If I put my foot down and said it can’t happen…only my value would be honored and his would be stomped on. That’s not who I want to be.

If he said, “I have 12 hotdogs and 12 buns, let’s go,” only his value would be honored and mine would be stomped on. That’s not who he wants to be.

I had to ask for what I needed and it sounded something like this, “You know how important organization is for me. Going camping with no notice stresses me out.  But I also know that spontaneity is important for you, so let’s see if we figure this out.”

His response was, “Tell the boys to load the bikes, you text me a grocery list that I can grab after work, and you clean the trailer. We could leave around supper time.”

I breathed a sigh of relief. Now this worked for me!

We both got our values honored and it didn’t take a fight to get there. It just took me saying, “I get you. I get what matters to you. I see you. Please do the same for me.”

And the best part was….no fight happened! And…we had an awesome weekend!

Can you think of a time when one of your values conflicted with someone else’s?

Did it feel like there could only be one winner? Do you see how stopping to honor both your own and someone else’s value can actually have the best results?

Are you willing to ask for what you need while honoring the other person?

Here are the keys:

Know your own values

Know the values of the people you love and care about

Pay attention to which values tend to collide

Have conversations about them

Ask for what you need while hearing what is needed

It’s that simple –you can both win!

 

My What Matters™ workbook is coming out in September. It has many stories just like this one to help you find and live your values while giving others permission to do the same. Check out my website to order: www.coachonthego.net/shop

 

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What Matters Mondays – August 15, 2016

August 15th, 2016 by admin Leave a Comment

Watching the Olympics is so inspiring…I absolutely love it! I think about the commitments these athletes make to get to where they are in their sports, and I am in absolute awe. Which got me thinking about my own commitments. I’m no Olympian, but I know there are things each day that I wake up and commit to working on. My commitments are my values.

  1. Authenticity – I try to wake up each day and show up as ME. Not a photo shopped version of me….just me. Imperfect, flawed but also awesome!
  2. Balance – I try each day to make time for all the things that matter to me. Not in equal proportions but in a way that makes me feel content.
  3. Connection – I love being connected to people. I love being inspired by like minded people. I like feeling that deep gratitude after a visit or phone call with someone. I need people in my life!
  4. Gratitude – I like to take time each day to practice gratitude. To be grateful for the life I have and for the people that are in it. I practice gratitude daily by writing a thank you card, sending a text or making a phone call to someone who makes my life better by being part of it!
  5. Health – I go to the gym or yoga most days because I want to be healthy and because it feels so darn good when it’s over.
  6. Humor – This past weekend, I spent time with friends who made me laugh until my sides hurt. There is nothing I love more than being surrounded by funny people. And who’s fooling who…I like to be funny too!
  7. Learning – I try to learn something new every day! Being an entrepreneur means I have no choice but to learn each day. I am learning something new every day about how to run a business. I sign up for courses that challenge me and I love it!
  8. Optimism – I choose to wake up each day with a glass half full mentality. Anything is possible is my mantra.
  9. Organization – Living or working in chaos makes my mind chaotic. I don’t need things sparkling, but I am much more productive when things are organized. Just recently I moved my home office upstairs into a room full of sunlight and a view into the farmer’s field. I organized all my books and materials and I think it’s been my most productive week ever! Crazy how a little organization can shake it up!
  10. Understanding – I truly try to live by my own words, “Choose curiosity and compassion over judgment”. I try to understand where someone is coming from rather than judge. I also feel happiest when I am surrounded by those who try to understand me.
  11. Legacy – There is nothing more important to me than being an example to my kids. Not an example of perfection, but an example of real. I do my best every day, but I am not perfect and I need them to see all parts of me…so that they can give themselves permission to be imperfect and awesome too!

I am no Olympian, but I too have commitments each day that help me become the best version of myself that I can. Waking up with the intention to live my values each day is one of the greatest decisions I have ever made!

What are your values that you commit to each day? I’d love to hear!

If you are interested in finding your top 10 values, my NEW workbook called

What Matters?

Find Your Values,

Live Your Values,

Give Others Permission to do the Same

will be available Sept.1st at www.coachonthego.net/shop

 

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What Matters Mondays – August 8, 2016

August 8th, 2016 by admin Leave a Comment

Have you ever felt like a square peg trying to fit into a round hole? Have you ever had moments where you stop and ask yourself why something you used to love doing no longer lights you up? Have you ever found yourself drifting away from certain people in your life and not completely understanding why?

I get it. I’ve been there. I am still there. It’s hard. It doesn’t make sense.

I’ve tried my hardest to ram that square peg into the round hole. If you really work at it, sometimes you can make it happen. But it’s tons of work and the bottom line is…it’s not meant to fit there.

Here’s my key learning from my own experience:

Things happen in our lives that change us. Sometimes they are good things, but often times they are hard things. Some of us experience loss, job changes, divorce, mental health issues, parenting struggles, failures, physical health issues, infidelity, addictions…the list goes on.

When that thing happens, we are changed. When my life was thrown a curve ball, I had no choice but to change. I wasn’t the same person I once was. I re-evaluated life. I reconnected to who I was and realized who I was being was not who I wanted to be. I sat back and reflected. What did I like about who I was showing up as? What did I not like? What led to my curve ball moment? WHO WAS I?

Here’s what I realized. I was not the same person anymore. I will never be the same person. I am changed by what happened. But I do love who I am today. That curve ball was my wake up call. That curve ball made me who I am today.

But I am different.

Some of the people in your life will get it. They will embrace the new you. Some people will struggle with it. Some people won’t get it at all. Some people will be confused when you do things or don’t do things that you used to do. Some people will try to convince you that you want to be that old version of yourself.

What they don’t realize is….that person no longer exists.

That round peg is now a square peg.

It can be hard to exist in the old world as the new you. The world where people had you figured out. Now you are different.

To be honest, being around people I have just met can sometimes feel easier. These people don’t know the old me. These people see the new, different me and that’s all they know. They don’t mourn parts of the old me that are missing today.

What I know is that I have to listen to my heart. I have to make choices that align with my values and the ME I am today. I have to savor and hold close friendships that accept the new me, and allow me to be this “different” version of myself. I have to be authentic and real. I also have to hold compassion for the friends who miss the old me or parts of the old me that no longer exist. Even I struggle with missing parts of me sometimes.

If your life threw you a curve ball and you no longer fit into the square peg, I want you to know…it’s okay. There are enough people in the world for you to re-establish your tribe, to ask for what you need, to align with your values and to be YOU!

Happy Monday you square pegs!

 

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What Matters Mondays – August 1, 2016

August 1st, 2016 by admin Leave a Comment

EXPECT BEAR ENCOUNTERS

That was the sign blinking on the side of the road in Canmore, that was the message on posters in the campground, that was what they were talking about on the radio!

Now this didn’t say: warning, there may be bears.

This said, EXPECT bears!

My first reaction….let’s go home! I’m terrified of bears.

To begin with I found myself a bit paranoid (well actually REALLY paranoid!). Any rustling in the trees made me whip my head around, I wouldn’t go for a run alone, I kept my back to the trailer so no bears could sneak up on me…because I’m pretty sure that’s how they do it right? Lol

And then I started getting used to this thought that bears may come, but I did things anyway. I hiked with friends up Moose Mountain, I went for a few runs with a friend, I stayed alone in camp to read while the boys went riding, I walked back to the trailer in the dark and I NEVER GOT EATEN BY A BEAR!

This got me thinking about fears. Fears keep us from so many things. What if this happens, what if that happens, what if I’m not good enough, what if I fail…the list goes on. It’s no different than the bears. If fear wins, you stay small, and you miss the best opportunities that are right in front of you.

When we were climbing that mountain I was so grateful for the conversation, for the scenery, for the accomplishment. If the bear had won, I would have missed that!

When we went for a run I was grateful to honor my value of health, to run off some of those campfire hotdogs, to chat with a good friend, to explore the area. If the bear had won, I would have missed that!

When I sat and read alone at camp, I relaxed, I gave myself permission to do nothing but read, I got into an amazing book with a great message about finding beauty and gratitude in the small, quiet moments. If the bear had won, I would have missed that!

I think you get the picture. But honestly, how often does FEAR win? For many years, I avoided things I was afraid of. Most of my fears were about failure. If I fail, what will people think? I missed opportunities and I’m regretful. I wish I knew then what I knew now.

Today I know that you can be scared and excited all at the same time. You can push through the fear and be grateful. You can fail, get back up, learn and do it again. You learn some of your greatest lessons through your failures. Life is an amazing opportunity and it’s meant to be lived with our whole hearts. Jump in, be afraid but also be grateful and be brave.

PS. If the sign says EXPECT BEAR ENCOUNTERS….you should still keep your eyes on the bushes just a little bit! Bears are big and scary and dangerous!

 

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