All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘stress’

Pragmatic Vs Dramatic Part II: Slow Down! Is Anyone Dying?

I’m always working on not being so rushed.  As much as I meditate and work on being self-aware, the left-brained part of me wants to stay in control and push through everything- fast.  Plus, I’m a work horse of sorts- I get lots of stuff done quickly!  It’s great since I run a company.  Yet, if I don’t stay self-aware of it ALL the time, it can be exhausting and frustrating.

In our culture, we all run around saying how “busy” we are and how “stressed” we are.  In a world that is over-texted, over-tweeted and over-caffeinated, this all makes sense sadly, right? However, there seems to be more to this notion of being so busy and stressed.

To me, it seems we are developing very dramatic brands.  It’s like being stressed and busy are so cool.  I sometimes chuckle to myself when I hear people tell me how busy they are.  Some are so busy they run out of time to respond to emails and calls and to eat.

Really?!?!  No one wants to be around, hire or promote a brand that is so busy and stressed that they forget to eat!!  

Don’t you think others are busy, too?

Every time I open my mouth to complain about being “so busy”, I stop and think how rude it will seem to the listener.  It’s like I’m saying to them, “I’m so much better than you since I’m so busy”.  What I’m really saying is, “I can’t manage my life and time and I like to publicize it because my brand is disorganized and drama”. 

Being this busy is an ugly and unorganized brand.  It is also just way too much drama.

A client of mine said the other day that he’s decided that at the end of his work day he is training himself to leave the office at a decent time to get home to his family.  How? He stops and asks himself, “is anyone going to die if I leave now and come back to the work on my desk in the morning?”  The usual answer is “no”- especially since he is an accountant.

That’s a low drama and pragmatic brand, for sure. I applaud him. You can see the results of this attitude he has: his brand is fantastic – he just made partner and is managing an entire office for his company.  Low drama and pragmatic brands work!

What does this mean for you? Stop and ask yourself:

  • How often do you go around telling others how busy and stressed you are?
  • How much drama do you  have around being busy and stressed- does it bring you some sense of being important to feel you are stressed and busy a lot?
  • What do others see/perceive of your busy/stressed brand? Is it good? Does it get you seen/heard and respected? Does it drive clients, promotions and business to your door?
  • Will anyone die if you limit your activities and stop before you hit your maximum stress limit?  Unless you are a doctor, I think the answer is clear to this one.

Was this post helpful? If so, share it with others who you think may benefit.

Part II: #1 Way To Avoid Brand Failure in 2016: Personal Power


Road endsIn part I on this subject I discussed how to set intentions, instead of expectations, for ourselves so other colleagues and/or friends can’t disappoint us. In this way, our brand shines and we are happy.

I listed that expectations in my world involve: 1) a plan and 2) responsibility.

In this post, let’s take a deeper look at what it means to take responsibility for our expectations. I wanted to focus on responsibility because when I take a look around (and take a look deep inside), I find that responsibility is the one thing we, as humans, lack. I know I personally find it much easier to “pass” on things or “pass” things off or look the other way. Who doesn’t?

Here’s how “Responsibility” is defined in the dictionary:

“The state or fact of having a duty to deal with something or of having control over someone.”

So it seems that “responsibility” involves a duty or control.  What so often happens is that we don’t want to add more duties to our long list of tasks. In a world where we are over-texted, over-tweeted and over-caffeinated, adding more duties to our list seems crazy…and very scary.

Then there’s control.  I always work diligently to stop and examine my state of “overwhelm”.  Overwhelm happens more frequently than I like, still.  The good news is that I have self-awareness about it.  So I can do something about it.  This means I choose to stay responsible for my life and exercise self-control.  The result is that I can stay in my personal power. This means my brand can shine instead of take a hit.  Otherwise, I’d be seen (and go around like) as an out-of-control nutty person.

What’s the alternative? I don’t exercise responsibility and then others have to (notice I didn’t say, “choose to”) control me.  Then I would blame others for being controlling, find more ways to shirk my responsibility and the nasty cycle continues.

If we don’t choose to take responsibility for ourselves, others will have to control us.  You don’t have to believe me if that bothers you.  Just go back and read the definition of “responsibility” above. 

It may not happen all the time, but when I do stay in my personal power and exercise responsibility and thus, control, for myself- oh it feels so good. I produce so much good work. My clients love me even more. I love me more and my personal relationships thrive.  That’s just divine.

What does this mean for you? Stop and consider:

  • When was the last time you refused to be responsible for: a) yourself and/or b) a duty or task? How did it go for you? Did you feel in your personal power or not?
  • The next time you aren’t being responsible in your life, what do others see of you and your brand? Is this view others have of you OK to you? If not, what can you choose to do about it to stay in your personal power, shine as a brand and be happier? I guarantee you, if you decide to choose to find the answer inside yourself, you’ll do so. You are the only one with the right AND the power to do so.
  • The next time you blame someone for “being controlling”, how much of it was up to you? No one chooses to control us unless we allow them to do so.  I promise. 


The Downside To Your Brand of Goal Setting


It’s January and it seems lots of us are goal setting.  I remember setting goals.  It was just awful.  I was always at a loss for what goals to set. I had all sorts of thoughts swirling in my head, like: Should I aim for lofty goals or manageable goals? What if I failed at achieving my goals?  Did I have to share my goals with my team/boss? How much faith was I supposed to have in my goals being “good”? What if my goals didn’t feel real for me- was that ok?

And on and on and on it went….just like a bad movie that never ended.

Until one day when I stopped setting goals. Here’s why.

Setting goals does two things:

1) You don’t achieve your goal and so you feel like a failure.  Great.  Just what you wanted, right?

2) You don’t achieve your goal because it wasn’t your goal in the first place. Your boss and/or team insisted on you setting goals.  So you put down something that has no meaning or passion for you and you obviously don’t achieve it.  Failure again.

Instead of goal setting, I decided to focus on stories and outcomes that made me happy.  Why?

In my formal and informal research findings, I’ve discovered the higher your stress, the lower your self-confidence.  The lower your self-confidence, the less your brand emotionally resonates with me and the less effective your brand.  So why would I set goals if they cause me stress and reduce my self-confidence and emotional brand resonance?

Instead, I now envision what I want to happen and write the story of how it will play out.   I encourage all my clients to do the same.  This method puts you in control of your life and restores your personal power and creative vision for yourself. It’s also just fun to have a blank canvas on which to create your future- as you want to have it happen. It nicely follows my blog regarding how you want to be remembered.  

What does this mean for you? Sit down with a blank screen.  Ask yourself the following questions and start creating your 2016:

  • What one or two things do you see yourself doing really well in 2016?  It can be personal or business.  Write it down and also write down why you do these one or two things well in 2016? These should be things that bring you true joy in your life. Don’t hold back.
  • What kind of work do you want to do in 2016? Be specific. Type out all the details.  
  • What type of clients and colleagues do you want to work with?  Again, specific details create results. 
  • How many hours per week do you want to work and play?  Why? Write it all out.
  • Do you want to relocate in 2016? If so, are you changing homes or cities or states or maybe even moving to a new country? Why?  Write as much detail as you can. 
  • What are you going to do JUST for yourself in 2016? Why? With Whom? Creative use of our right-brain makes for great brands.

Don’t hold back.  No one is going to read this but you. If at first this is too hard and you start to get twitchy, that’s great! You’re on to something. Keep writing. You’ll know when you are done.

Top 3 Tips To Stay In Control Of Your Brand During the Holidays


Ah the holidays are here.  That time of fun and frolic. And madness. You may be a rare bird like me who really enjoys the holidays.  However, you may be like the majority of the population and have deep angst around the holidays.  This isn’t a blog about therapy, so we won’t delve into what your issues may involve (ie, family).  For that, I highly recommend we all regularly see a licensed and qualified counselor who can hear us out and offer support and guidance.

Whatever your angst around holiday time, one thing is for sure: if we can master our own internal control regulator, we will be a much happier and effective brand.

Looking back, as a kid growing up in Indiana, I guess I always loved the holidays.  It was festive, fun, filled with sugary foods and lights.  Plus, I just adored everything Santa related.  I still recall my world crumbling when I found out the truth about Santa.  But the holidays were, and still are, filled with one more thing: frantic, hurried rushing.

As a practicing attorney, I often felt at a loss around the holidays because of the time factor.  Not only did the work load not get less, but the holiday festivities (aka “obligatons”) became more!  How was my brand to survive November and December?!

Long ago, I took a hard look deep inside and realized it was all up to me.  You see, it’s all about control.  I realized that I was desperately trying to control my life and everyone else around me to survive.  The end result got me the exact opposite of what I wanted: a crazy brand where others saw a lunatic AND I never enjoyed it.

One of my staff members said it just the other day- she’s overwhelmed with her volunteer obligations during the holidays.  I asked her why she doesn’t ask for other volunteers to help her out.  She flat out said it’s because she likes to be in control.  Let’s give it up for her deep self-awareness and honesty.  She gets a gold star in my world for sure.

The next step to help her brand out would be to do something about the need to control.  It clearly didn’t leave her with a happy and effective brand.  How?

Here are my top three tips for keeping your brand in tip top shape during the holidays:

  1. Lookie, Lookie–  We can’t control anything except ourselves.  So take a deep and honest look at what I call your internal control regulator.  How much are you “in control” of your life?  That of others?  Is it really working for you and your brand or are you fooling yourself?  How to know, you ask? Are you happy with yourself?  If not, then it’s time to consider choosing to look at your life differently.
  2. Give It Up– You really can’t do it all by yourself.  If you think you can, just know you won’t do it well by yourself.  If you got some help, then perhaps things would get done better AND you would be happier with a better brand.  More importantly, why do you think you can do it all better than others?  What happened in your life that set your internal control regulator so high and led you to want to control everything external, too?  If this question makes you squirm, that’s wonderful.  Stay with it and squirm until you find an answer.
  3. Be Curious– If nothing I say even remotely makes you want to take a look inside yourself, why is that?  Ignorant brands are failing brands. No question about it.


How’s That “Self-Confidence Thing” Working Out? How To Find Your Self-Confidence.


Some things in life are challenging.  Other things are just darn hard no matter how simple it may seem from the outside. In my life, I’ve found that being self-confident is one of those darn hard things.

As an immigrant growing up in Indiana in the early 80s, I  looked different than everyone else. Not only that, my family had a different culture than everyone else. It was hard to feel comfortable in my own skin, let alone be self-confident to others!  So I get it.

I’ve found the biggest obstacle to our self-confidence is simply…… us.  We get in our own way all the time.  We show up not feeling the love for ourselves.  Then we dump our angst onto others; making our lack of self- confidence their problem.

What if we decided we could do anything and be anything?  What if we decided to show up being and acting with that belief?  Would the world end? Would everyone find out we are a fraud?  Just the opposite, I think.

I think this way of being and acting is the only way to find and “own” our self-confidence.  Simple, but not necessarily easy, as Werner Erhard likes to say. The only person holding us back is us.  Why is it that we simply can’t believe we are, and can be, our best motivator and champion?  Who ever told us we couldn’t?  

Strong brands own their self-confidence with ease and grace.  They exude it with happiness and an eagerness to share it via what they do for a living.  Self-confidence is infectious.  

So what does this mean for you? Stop and consider:

– where in your life are you not feeling self-confident? Is it more often than you wish?  A good way to know is based on how stressed you are at any given time.

– now that you are self-aware of your drop in self-confidence, how can you catch yourself and “pretend” to be self-confident with authenticity, integrity and ease?

Remember, simple but not easy.  You’re up for the challenge. I know it!

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First, Know Yourself So You Know What To Market.