perspective

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Normal Lies-Episode 4- Cracking the Myths of Job Search & Careers with the Career Sherpa, Hannah Morgan

 

Hannah Morgan, CareerSherpa.net

 

In this episode, Hannah Morgan, job search strategist and founder of CareerSherpa.net,  shares how the old truths about job search and careers are no longer valid in the current work climate.  Hannah not only  relates  helpful tips and creative strategies when it comes to the current job search arena, she also provides valuable insight into the future of jobs and careers in our country.

 

 Hannah Morgan provides ambitious professionals with help and hope as they look for new opportunities and maneuver through today’s unfamiliar job search process.  She founded CareerSherpa.net to combine her career expertise with her love of writing, speaking and social media. She is a nationally recognized author and speaker on job search strategies, was previously a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report.  She has been quoted by media outlets, including Kiplinger, Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.

 

Be sure to subscribe and share with your family and  friends. 

 

Please rate and leave a review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts. I promise you that I read every single review and even select one review to read on the podcast every month.

 

You can find this episode here: Normal Lies on Apple Podcast

 

You can find Hannah on Linked In: Hannah Morgan

On Twitter: @CareerSherpa

On Instagram: CareerSherpa

 

Normal Lies- Episode 3- “Momming,” Shaming & Vulnerability Hangovers

Linda’s special guest is  Amanda Harrington,  a wife, a mom to a two and a half year old son, who somehow finds time to lead a product strategy team as a senior product manager at an international tech company. 

 

Linda & Amanda discuss the joys and  struggles of motherhood,  mom-shaming and being a working mother in this day and age.  There are a few twists and turns in this episode as an unexpected guest shows up and Linda is confronted with the good and the not so good of her own motherhood experience. 

 

Shame and vulnerability researcher, Dr. Brené Brown coined the term, vulnerability hangover. It refers to the time after we take an emotional risk and we are uncertain of the outcome. That is exactly how Linda felt after this interview. 

 

Be sure to subscribe to the podcast, so you never miss an episode and share with your family and  friends to get a discussion going. 

 

If you enjoyed this episode, please rate and leave a review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts. I promise you that I read every single review and even select one review to read on the podcast every month.

 

You can find this episode here: Normal Lies- Episode 3

 

Normal Lies- Episode 2- What’s Wrong With Me?

 

Have you ever felt like you just don’t fit in, like there’s something wrong with you? That’s exactly how Linda Heeler felt not only as a child but the majority of her life. Linda relates the story of her struggle with paralyzing anxiety, fear, guilt, perfectionism, people-pleasing, how it developed, and her journey to “fix” herself.

Be sure to subscribe to the podcast, so you never miss an episode and share with your family and  friends to get a discussion going. 

 

If you enjoyed this episode, please rate and leave a review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts. I promise you that I read every single review and even select one review to read on the podcast every month.

 

YOU CAN FIND THIS EPISODE HERE: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/episode-2-whats-wrong-with-me/id1556459385?i=1000511434731

 

Normal Lies- Episode 1- What Are “Normal Lies?” & 10 Principles to Break Up Yours

 

In this episode,  you will come away understanding exactly what “normal lies” are and the harm they cause us. We also delve into 10 principles that have consistently come up in my work over the years.  From,  #1- It’s all about you to #10- Find your people, these principles provide a framework that help you uncover and begin to break up your “normal lies.”  They also offer action steps so you begin making positive changes in your life, immediately.

 


Be sure to subscribe to the podcast, so you never miss an episode and share with your family and  friends to get a discussion going. 

 

If you enjoyed this episode, please rate and leave a review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts. I promise you that I read every single review and even select one review to read on the podcast every month.

 

You can find the podcast here: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/episode-1-what-are-normal-lies-10-principles-to-break/id1556459385?i=1000511434732

 

Taming The Voice In Your Head

Click the image above to see my Facebook Live
Click the image above to see my Facebook Live

There is nothing wrong with you. Do you believe me? I bet the voice in your head is saying, maybe there’s nothing wrong with you, but there is definitely something that needs fixing in me!

Let’s talk about that voice in your head, it’s been called “ego” “inner critic” “shadow voice” “survival mechanism” even “obnoxious roommate living in your head.”

Whatever you choose to call it, it is a collection of thoughts, fears, negative beliefs and stories that you made up as a child. Yup, it’s like having a little kid living inside your head.

I keep a photo of myself as a little girl just to remind me that the voice in my head is just a scared little girl. In my case, a little kid with a potty mouth because it says things to me and about me that I would never say to another human being.

6 year old me

The inner critics job is to keep us safe and protected inside our comfort zone.

I remember, years ago, how scared I was when I was supposed to go to a party or gathering, it didn’t matter whether I knew the people there or not. Thinking about walking into a room full of people made me sweat, my heart would beat out of my chest and panic would set in, just by thinking about it.

This was definitely outside my comfort zone and something that was effecting my relationships and my career. I needed to do something about it because there were many times I could not bring myself to walk into a room full of people, without a glass of wine or two.

My shadow voice would shut me down and I would hide.

Even though we develop our ego or survival mechanism to help us cope and survive childhood, as adults we don’t really need it anymore.

And, just by thinking about what we want and the action we need to take to get there can be enough to trigger our ego or inner critic.

I knew that there was nothing to fear from going to that networking but that voice was running the show and shutting me down. Kinda hard to make progress with that going on.

And, that’s where we normally stop. We get stuck in the thoughts, the fear of stepping into the unknown.

The hard truth is, to keep growing and reach our goals, we must feel the fear and keep going.

So what do we do about that obnoxious roommate (or scared child) that lives in our head?

  1. Realize that that voice is not who you are. It’s just something you made up as a kid.
  2. Understand that the inner critic will likely speak first and speak loudest.
  3. When you notice your ego is triggered, do not react, as this will likely lead to all sorts of bad choices. Stop, take a breath and allow the thoughts to move through without sticking. Let them flow on down like a sparkling stream.
  4. Once you have space, you’re able to connect with your intuition (instinct, higher self) and then choose from there.
  5. Don’t try and push it down or get rid of it, it will only come back stronger. What we resist persists, as the late Debbie Ford said.
  6. Take away its power by NOT giving it what it wants, your attention. I recently had an email in my inbox with the subject, ‘Your ego is the enemy.’ Personally I don’t think we should give our ego that much power. What do we do with an enemy? We normally try and fight it. Stop fighting and go back to step 3.
  7. If you notice that you are stuck in a hole of negative thinking, check first on your well being. Are you tired, hungry, been working way too much? When our well being is off, we are ripe for being triggered.

The bad news is that your ego is not going away, it is yours to keep. The good news is that with practice you can learn to tame that obnoxious roommate living in your head.

With practice, and, there will always be ample opportunity to practice, you will begin to create a more joyful, calm and peaceful life. Life won’t be so heavy. It’s worked for me and for my clients so give it a try and let me know how it goes.

5 Simple Steps To Reduce Stress, Anxiety and Overwhelm

Are you stressed out, feeling swamped and anxious? These five simple steps will help bring more ease and calm into your life AND still get stuff done.

One of the things that my clients often struggle with is feeling overwhelmed or frustrated. Either over the amount of things they have to get done or with all of the stress and anxiety in their life.

When you get stressed, anxious, overwhelmed or frustrated, what happens?
When your thoughts are running rampant, you’re confused and overwhelmed, how does it normally go for you, what’s your pattern?

For me, I’m going to shut down, burn out or go hide.

My best friend and I developed something that we have used for years and now I use it with my clients. (Pretend you see me touching the tip of my nose with my finger.) This means, do the next right thing in front of your nose.

I’ve boiled this down into 5 simple steps that you can use starting immediately, when you’re feeling stressed, frustrated, anxious or overwhelmed.

  1. The first is, STOP. When you notice that you’re feeling stressed, anxious, frustrated, overwhelmed, just stop.
  2. Next, take a breath. Give space to those thoughts that are running rampant in your head right now. Breathe. Our current culture and societal pressure is to get stuff done and succeed. Stopping and taking a breath releases pressure and brings us out of our heads and into the present moment. Which leads us to step 3.
  3. Give your thoughts some space. As we disconnect from our head, we can drop into our heart, intuition, instinct, higher self, whatever you call that part of you that connects with your inner wisdom and guidance.
  4. The next step is to ask, “What is the next right thing to do?” You’re not looking out over the week or even the day, you’re looking at just NOW, what is the next right thing to do?
  5. Finally, do it. We can’t get anywhere if we don’t get into action. After you do that thing, check in, how are you feeling? If you feel the anxiety coming back, follow the steps again. There are days, I follow this even when I’m not feeling stressed because it keeps me moving and helps me get out ahead of the stress and anxiety.

It works really well when you have a partner because we are not always reliable to notice when we are caught up in our emotions. There have been days I’m talking with my friend, spiraling into a story of overwhelm not sure what to do. She simply touches the end of her nose and I’m immediately brought out of my head and into the present.

I have been able to get things done when I didn’t think I could. It’s worked for me and for my clients.

I have a video on this that you can share. (https://www.facebook.com/linda.heeler/videos/10218420561973393) Give it a try and let me know how it goes.

Unpacking My Social Anxiety

Photo courtesy www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk

  Until recently, I couldn’t think about going to a party or even to the grocery store without breaking into a cold sweat. My heart raced, my mouth would go dry and I got tunnel vision.   It didn’t matter whether I was meeting family/friends or a roomful of strangers.   I remember using the excuse that I wasn’t feeling well because the thought scared me to death.  

“All eyes are going to be on what I’m wearing.”

“They’ll think I’m fat.”

“What if I say the wrong thing and they think I’m stupid.”

“I might offend someone and then they’ll yell at me or be mad at me.”

  These are just a few of the incessant thoughts that caused me to become shy, withdrawn and miserable.   Even if I did end up going to a party, I would lie in bed playing back the evening in my head so that I could make sure that I didn’t say or do anything stupid. If I thought that I did, I would replay the scenario, beat myself up and then figure out how not to make that stupid mistake again.   It took boatload of energy to get myself psyched up not only to walk in the door but also to make small talk. A glass or two of wine helped but it felt wrong using it as a crutch.   I’ve lived with this anxiety since I was a teenager. Fortunately,therapy got me on the road to recovery in my 30’s and coaching picked up where that left off.   Once I got a handle on it, I began to unpack my anxiety and discovered its lies:

1. “Everyone is judging me!”

Not true. My anxiety was ALL about MY judgments. I made up stories in my head that “everyone” was judging me, and, while some may have been, it started with me not accepting myself.

2. “If I don’t conform to what everyone wants then no one will like me.”

My anxiety was a by-product of people-pleasing. I became adept at morphing myself into who I THOUGHT the person standing in front of me wanted me to be. The thought of walking into a room full of people was overwhelming simply because I knew I couldn’t be everything to everyone in the room.

3. “I can’t make a mistake because then everyone will see that I’m not perfect and a fraud.”

Hello Perfectionism! It made me nauseous to even think about being wrong. The embarrassment of being wrong or making a mistake was enough to make me want to run and hide, and that’s what I did for the majority of my life. If I wasn’t around people then there isn’t the possibility of screwing up. What I realize now is that my survival mechanism or ego had me convinced that I needed to be perfect to survive and be worthy of love.

4. “Sally’s got it all together, I’m such a loser next to her but at least I’m not a hot mess like Matilda.”

Welcome to my comparison thoughts. These are just another form of judgment. It seems like they would be ok, at least the ones that make us feel good. I’m better than Matilda so I have that to feel good about. In the end, all of this comparison creates competition and somebody has to lose. It is a constant up and down of emotions as we judge others as better/worse than us. It is a game we cannot win because the rules keep on changing.   What an exhausting way to live! I don’t like to think of myself as selfish but look at the thoughts: they’re all about me! My anxiety had nothing to do with anyone but ME. Primarily, the thoughts and judgments in my head. Rather than focusing and connecting with the people in the room, my focus was on me and how I look. I realized that I’m not alone. Most people are so focused on how they’re being perceived that they don’t even think about me. I finally learned that I am not going to die if I’m not perfect. I don’t have to be anyone except who I am and I really like who I am. I know myself to be someone who will own my mistakes and do my best to make it right when I mess up. I now practice honoring myself as well as the people around me.  

My confidence began to rise as I stopped comparing and beating myself up. I practiced trusting me.

 

Does this resonate with you? What can you do?

~ Notice your thoughts. What are you saying to yourself? Meditation is great for helping to put space between you and your thoughts.
~ Question your thoughts. Is it true that Sophie gave you a dirty look across the room so she must be mad at you? Maybe her eyes were bothering her, maybe she had a stomach ache, you don’t know. Stop making things up and stick with the facts.
~ Give yourself permission to start focusing on you. What do you like? What do you want? Separate yourself from the need to make everyone else happy.
~ Have fun! Release the pressure and be who you are. Let life be joyful and begin to flow.
A great resource is Byron Katie’s The Work. On her website you can view videos of Katie working with people to question the thoughts in their head. She also has worksheets that you can download for free to help you through the process.   If you find that you need something more, consider working with a therapist or a trained coach. If you’re not sure which is right for you, contact me and I’d be happy to help you figure out what’s best for you.   I wish I had a magic wand so I could quiet all of those negative thoughts, judgments and fears but I don’t. You’ll have to do the work yourself.   I promise you, it’s worth it!  

What’s the Deal with Easily Offended People?

“Humans are nervous, touchy creatures and can be easily offended. Many are deeply insecure. They become focused and energized by taking offense; it makes them feel meaningful and alive.”

                                                                                                                        ~Michael Leunig

 

I believe we should be offended by things like mistreatment of people, animals and the environment to name a few. But lately, I have noticed an increasing number of people who are easily offended.

 

I saw a recent Facebook post where a friend used the term “folks” at an event and their waiter acted offended and asked her not to use that term again. Really?!

 

I bet you have examples of Easily Offended People (EOP) in your life.

 

Why are people easily offended?  Here are my thoughts.

 

First, I think they like drama.

 

I blame TV for some of this, especially reality shows. The “Real” housewives are EOP and definitely NOT real. However, there would be no show if someone wasn’t offended and acting out, after all, drama boosts ratings.

 

EOP have someone or something to take issue with and that means they are upset or angry a lot. My guess is they are the same people who say “I hate drama!” but drama keeps showing up.

 

EOP also like to go on rants to prove how much they’ve been wronged. How many times have you seen those social media posts? DRAMA!

 

I don’t have drama because I choose not to even entertain it.

 

“To be offended is a choice we make; it is not a condition inflicted or imposed upon us by someone or something else.”           ~David A. Bednar

 

Second, I believe being an EOP makes them feel powerful. THEY would never use the word “folks” so they get to feel superior. Although, I think it’s a facade for a feeling of inferiority.

 

Third, when someone is easily offended it immediately stops the conversation. It’s a wall that shuts out any intimate, authentic connection because we’re walking eggshells trying not to offend.

 

I find it’s virtually impossible to cultivate a friendship or intimate relationship with EOP because I’m constantly having to apologize for something I said or did.

 

However, EOP are unwilling to forgive and seem to love holding grudges. At times, we may not even be aware that we’ve offended them. We may be stunned that something trivial, such as using the word “folks,” or an equally benign comment, was offensive to them.

 

If you’re an EOP, you’re probably offended by this post and have stopped reading by now. Or, you are crafting a rant to post on social media or in the comments below.

 

If, by chance, you are interested in changing, I recommend you seek out a professional, either a therapist or a coach. They will help you learn why you keep this pattern of behavior in place and help you shift it.

 

I imagine the weight of carrying around all your offenses must be draining. Think about the time and energy it takes to look for things to be offended by. (You’re probably offended because I ended the sentence with a preposition:).

 

Let go of the Dark Side and join us DOP (Difficult to Offend People)! I promise you that life is glorious!

 

If you’re dealing with EOP, I don’t have much advice. Should you have the courage and bandwidth to call them out on their shiz, then do it.  Just know that there will likely be DRAMA. They will be offended and not talk to you and may even talk shiz behind your back or post something on social media.

 

FYI- If your EOP is a waiter then I recommend you be polite, you don’t want something unfortunate to happen to your food.

 

You need to decide if it’s worth it to keep EOP in your life.  If you’re honest, they probably weren’t a great friend to begin with so no big loss.

“Everyone is so offended all the time. The new police force that we weren’t told about: the moral police. No qualifications, no training, no understanding of actual morality, but they have a degree in the art of being offended.”                                                                                ~Karan Johar

 

Personally, I try to avoid EOP. I find them draining and too much work so I practice what I call, “bless and release.” In other words, I send them a hit of compassion and release them to the Universe. When I encounter them or another EOP, I am polite, keep the conversation light and quick, and quietly wish them well when we depart.

 

If you decide to continue to walk on eggshells around your EOP, you might consider limiting interaction. It’s also not a good idea to be around them when you’re tired or stressed as they will likely trigger you and could end up in drama (do you see a pattern here?).

 

I want to live a happy life so I choose not to be easily offended and these two practices make it possible:

  • Forgive everyone, everywhere, everything
  • Assume best intentions

 

That’s really all I’ve got. If you liked this post, please share and post any other advice or tips you may have on dealing with Easily Offended People, I promise not to be offended.

Begging Your Pardon: 5 Steps to Forgiving

As much as I hate to admit it, I stink at forgiveness.

 

When I was hurt, all I heard was, “You need to forgive and move on.” I was stumped, what exactly is forgiveness?

 

My first stop was the dictionary for the definition of forgiveness; “to grant pardon for or remission of an offense, debt, etc.”

 

The word that intrigued me was “pardon.”

 

I suddenly pictured a judge sitting behind a court bench pounding her gavel or, the president signing a presidential pardon saying, “You have received special dispensation and thus you are hereby pardoned of your offenses!”

 

This hit home the fact that I have the power and a choice to make.

 

I imagined someone with whom I had been holding onto some hurt. I pictured myself signing a decree that, from heretofore this person is officially pardoned.

 

“Forgiveness is me giving up my right to hurt you for hurting me.” ~Anonymous

 

I wasn’t condoning what they had done, I simply was saying I will no longer hang on to the negative energy that resulted from their actions. I felt the hurt begin to melt away.

 

I also pictured signing that executive pardon for all the embarrassing, hurtful and stupid things for which I judged myself.

 

If you’re struggling with forgiveness, give these steps a try:

  1.  Make a list of the people with whom you’re currently holding a grudge. Don’t forget to include yourself.
  2.  Go through the list and write down (or state out loud) what they did to hurt you. Dig deep, and don’t forget yourself.
  3.  Before moving to the pardon, ask yourself, “What did I learn from this experience?” Don’t skip this as it can help you see patterns of behavior and/or help to avoid repeats of the situations and people that you are now trying to forgive. Again, don’t forget yourself.
  4.  One at a time, imagine them standing before you. Declare that they are officially pardoned and bang your pretend (or real) gavel. Move on to the next person and, you guessed it, don’t forget yourself.
  5.  This takes practice. You may have to run certain people or situations through the courthouse more than once. However, if there are people and things you just aren’t able to forgive and move past, consider seeking support from a licensed therapist or counselor.

 

By taking a few minutes to forgive, we can free up energy to begin again with a clean slate. What a great way to say good bye to 2018 and welcome 2019!

 

Did this work for you or do you have another way that helps you practice forgiveness? Please let us know in the comments below.

“Why” Curiosity Keeps You Stuck

 

A client recently noticed that she was continuing to let her sister tell her what to do. At the end of lamenting, she said the same thing she says every time this comes up, “I wonder why I do that?”

How many times have you asked yourself “Why?”

“Why did I blow off my walk today?”

“Why did I play video games instead of working on my job search?”

“Why did I finish that whole bag of peanut M&Ms?”

“Why, why, why?”

“Why?” is a strategy to stay stuck inside your comfort zone. When you ask, “Why is my apartment such a mess?” conversation shuts down and you end up going in the opposite direction of your destination. Suddenly you’re exploring the past, your mental woes and all the bad things that could have caused this when all you really wanted was a clean apartment.

“Why?” is a great diversion as it sends you on a journey to figure out what happened to cause this pattern of behavior.

You’re doing a great thing, right? You’re healing the past and your hurts.

Let’s say that you actually do figure out “why” you’re eating all those peanut M&Ms. Great!!!

Ok, now what? You know the “why,” so what?

Does knowing “why” help break out of the pattern that is keeping you stuck?

Nope. And you can tell by the results you’re getting.

So how do you break out of the analysis paralysis of “WHY?” Here are 4 simple steps:

  • Practice noticing when “Why?” shows up. This can be tricky because we are so used to stopping when it shows up. Hint- Are feeling stuck? Are you thinking about the past?
  • When you notice you’re stuck in “Why?,” stop, take a breath and tell yourself, “It doesn’t matter “Why?” or “Who cares?!” or “Frankly Scarlet, I don’t give a darn!”
  • Remember the old cheer, A-C-T-I-O-N, ACTION, ACTION, WE WANT ACTION! Ask yourself, “What is the next right action I can take RIGHT NOW, that will get me closer to my goal?”
  • Then DO IT, no matter how small.

For example, say you are miserable in your current job and are ready and anxious to find a new one. Instead of updating your resumé, like you said you would, you’re sitting on the couch playing video games, for the third time this week!

You hear yourself saying, “I did it again! WHY do I keep doing this?!” Instead of analyzing, get into action. Shut down the video game and grab your computer. Set a timer for 20 minutes and get to work on your resumé. When time’s up, set the timer again and give yourself permission to play video games for 20 minutes. Continue this pattern until the resumé is done.

The only way to break this or any pattern of behavior is to stop letting yourself get sucked into the “Why?” and get into action.

I hope this helps you to leave the drama of the “Whys?” behind and move toward designing your destiny!

Let me know how you handle your “Whys?” in the comments below.

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