Posts Tagged ‘twitter’

Just finished reading Brene´ Brown’s book “The Gifts of Imperfection“, a great book by the way. One thing that really resonated with me came near the end when she talks about being cool and always in control. This has been a theme in my life, and having lived in DC for the past 10 years hasn’t helped to change that. This town is generally about being on guard, conforming, and keeping your silly side under wraps. No freak flags are flown here, at least none that I’ve seen.

article-2287524-18686F27000005DC-646_634x436Being cool, in the context of the book, is not particularly a good thing. We’re too cool when we’re afraid of looking silly in front of others by doing things like laughing too loudly, singing off-key, or dancing around like a fool.  On the other hand, we’re uncool when we can fully embrace our vulnerability in situations like these, and let our authentic selves come out – and in the process, not caring what others may think.

Brown tells a funny story about how she and her daughter were dancing in the shoe department at Nordstrom’s to a catchy song that was playing in the background. Even though other shoppers were shooting them judgmental looks, that didn’t stop them from freely expressing themselves. She writes, “When we value being cool and in control over granting ourselves the freedom to unleash the passionate, goofy, heartfelt and soulful expressions of who we are, we betray ourselves. When we consistently betray ourselves, we can expect to do the same to the people we love.”

Like anything else, being uncool is a process…and for me, a really “cool” place to get to!


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One of the first things I look for in my personal or professional interactions with others is some level of interest in who I am, what makes me tick, or even how I make a living. I am so tuned into this, and when I sense the opposite happening, I retreat.

I recently attended a virtual networking event, which in itself is a great idea…if everyone has at least some networking know-how. I was building relationshipsdisappointed that at least half of those I spoke with had their own agenda: to tell me who they were, what kind of job they were looking for, and to ask me if I could help them.  Mind you, this was in no way balanced by any interest in, or curiosity about me. I couldn’t wait to end the conversations. Maybe it was just a bad day because I don’t usually encounter, fortunately, such a slew of weak networking skills all in one event. I’m more than happy to help my fellow networkers however I can – when it’s a 2-way street. After all, that’s what networking is all about: building professional relationships and helping others whenever possible.

Good karma is alive and well when it comes to effective networking! It requires a certain mindset as well. We would do ourselves a favor by going into any networking situation, not with the idea of finding our next job, but with the goal of making meaningful connections and supporting others in their career pursuits.

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I was at the gym the other day, doing a new zumba class – new instructor, new moves. Whenever I have trouble following a new move, I’ll just break into my “Charlie Brown” dance  (remember the scene in A Charlie Brown Christmas where the Peanuts gang is rehearsing for the upcoming Christmas play?) Yeah, it’s a silly, foolish-looking dance. The important thing here, though, is to just keep dancing until you get back on track (and of course have fun at the same time.)

I think this is a good analogy for life. Now even though some view Charlie Brown as a loser, I see him differently. Although he’s insecure and self-doubting, I prefer to see his other side: he’s someone who just keeps on going, filled with determination in the face of obstacles and adversity. So whether it’s literally or figuratively, it’s fitting that I do his dance, at the gym or facing some bigger obstacle in my professional or personal life…until I can get back on track.  If something throws you for a loop, just keep moving through it, stay positive and keep your cool. Think about the last obstacle in your life that you had to overcome. How did you react to it? Did you shut down or did you keep moving?

Here’s a sample of the Charlie Brown dance, just in case you’re not familiar with it!

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In a recent post of mine, “Are You Your Job?” I talked about the importance of not letting your job define you. This was from a “work-life balance” perspective. While watching Oprah yesterday, I realized that there’s another angle to look at.

What if you’ve been laid off from your job? Do you feel as though you’re a failure because of a temporary job loss? Many times, people fall into this trap even if the layoff had nothing to do with their job performance. What do you do now?

Well first off, it’s time to give yourself a break! And the first step is to realize that your job is what you do, not who you are as a person. You’re much more than just your salary or job. True, your career is an important aspect of your life, but the trick is to not let it define you.two-women-having-coffee1

If you’ve been laid off, take this opportunity to reevaluate your value system. True, your salary can buy you things you like to have, but ask yourself this: Are you further defining yourself by the “stuff” you accumulate or are you measuring yourself by your value as a human being, your traits, and by your relationships? When the economy is down, it may be necessary to cut back on some of the creature comforts at least temporarily.  Just keep in mind that “stuff” can’t make you truly happy. It’s the simple things in life that really matter, the things you can’t buy.

On the Oprah show today, the guest made some great suggestions about how to deal with job loss and getting back on your feet. And I quote, “Go outside yourself.” And I couldn’t agree more. Exhange ideas with those in the same situation, reach out to family and friends, and just connect with others in general. It’ll have a really positive effect and you never know who you might meet as a result!

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Are You Your Job?

I had a very enlightening conversation/coaching session with a friend of mine yesterday. He’s in the process of looking for a new job, and has some very clear and definite ideas of what he wants in his new position. High on his list is that he wants a life outside of work. He put it very well – “My job is what I do, not who I am.”  I couldn’t agree more, and was very happy for him that he was able to make that distinction! Although it’s an important part of your life, your job shouldn’t define you as a person.

Take time for the fun stuff too!

Take time for the fun stuff too!

Here are some good questions to ask yourself:

  1. “Is my job/career preventing me from having a life outside of work?”
  2. “Am I in it just for the money?”
  3. “Am I sacrificing myself and my values for this job?”
  4. “Am I taking on unrealistic responsibilities at work just to please the boss?”

How many of these questions did you answer “yes” to?

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Balance Well…

Work-Life Balance: It’s important all the time, but especially nowadays when stress levels tend to be higher than usual. Here’s a quick assessment to measure how well we’re balancing life with work, as well as our ability to laugh and lighten up.* How many of the following statements are true for you?hammock-image4

1. I am able to lighten up and avoid undue seriousness.
2. I laugh freely and often.
3. I approach difficult or challenging tasks from a playful point of view.
4. I enjoy and take time for spontaneous activities.
5. I avoid taking on unnecessary and unrealistic burdens and responsibilities.
6. I use relaxation techniques to transform stressful or negative attitudes I have towards my work.
7. I balance the challenges and stresses of my life with playful and nurturing attitudes and activities.
8. I value myself for who I am, not just for what I do.
9. I make an effort to play and work cooperatively, not competitively.

*Source: Wellness Inventory

Reach all your goals with The Wellness Inventory

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Breathe Well…

Breathing exercises help us relax and refocus, and are especially important to incorporate into our often hectic lives. And especially these days, who couldn’t use a quick and easy stress reliever? Take a few minutes out of your day for this one:

1. Find a quiet place and close your eyes.breathing-image1
2. Inhale through your nose for 4 seconds.
3. Hold the breath for 7 seconds.
4. Exhale through your mouth for 8 seconds.

Simple as that! After about 5 minutes of repeating these steps, you should notice a greater feeling of relaxation.

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