If you’re a personality test junkie, I’ve got some bad (and good) news: Personality is fluid.
According to personality science, people change their behavior as a response to situational factors, their moods and mindsets, or their goals. In fact the idea that people can adapt how they show up is the entire premise of leadership development and coaching. Who you are at work may be very different from who you are in your romantic partnership, which may be different from who you are when you’re playing competitive sports. For example.
We’re in an age of disruption and new ventures. Especially before COVID, fearlessness was very “in.”
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for boldness. But as a coach and a psychologist, I know that pushing yourself or others to be bold in a way that denies your fears and pain points, or compels you to suppress them, is generally bad practice.
Instead of thinking you shouldn’t feel fear and self-doubt, I urge you to welcome it.
Fear is NOT the enemy. Acting (or not acting) from fear is.
On a basic level, fear tries to keep us alive. It’s just…
What if you could go from feeling overwhelmed to feeling calm and centered — in a matter of seconds?
Sounds too good to be true? It’s not if you practice this 5 second technique in earnest.
Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed or resistant to something on your to do’s, instead of grumbling or fretting about it, try this reframe: I choose to __________________ (the action/activity) because I want __________________ (result).
This takes some getting used to and you may even try to resist it, looking for answers in someone or something else. …
What’s your relationship to commitment? I don’t mean romantically (not specifically). I mean commitment to results.
Positive, negative, neutral? What are your patterns, and how do they show up?
I see 3 main patterns in clients:
We love to have choices — but choosing is another matter.
In grade school my class got t-shirts to support saving the rainforests. I picked a black shirt with an ocelot, but the white shirt with a toucan was more popular. I had a now familiar twinge of doubt. Did I make the right call? The ocelot was cuter in real life, but the toucan was more colorful, and I looked better in white.
I didn’t know any ocelots personally, but I imagine I would have felt differently if I did.
I had no personal connection.
I find the same…
Winning is a big part of my alma mater’s ethos. When I started university in 2003 Pete Carroll was USC’s football coach and we won the national championship twice (eventually revoked and/or ending in controversy).
USC’s motto? “Fight on.” While ‘SC battled to get and keep its titles, for me the battlefield was my work and the competition, myself. For me “fighting on” meant:
Human beings are wired to want the next thing. And the next, and the next, and the next. Desire is rooted in raw survival instinct. This applies to anything we enjoy — achieving our career goals, tasty food, physical intimacy.
The flip side of this, of course, is the dissatisfaction that often comes with unfulfilled longings or outcomes we have yet to achieve. It can give a sense of “never enough” or grass is greener. Even if we get the thing we want, we almost immediately want more, or we want something else. …
You ran 7 miles, got to inbox zero, cleaned your whole house, etc etc, etc etc… You’re on top of it by all appearances. But what if these seemingly helpful actions are ways to avoid doing something bigger and more important?
A career change, a difficult conversation, an exciting-and-intimidating project, perhaps?
Welcome to the world of procrastin-acting, where busyness and productivity… are entirely at odds.
My procrastin-action habits of choice? Cleaning, shopping (and returning half), creating to-do lists I never finish, going down bunny trails of way-too-much-information, and editing my work a zillion times.
Usually procrastin-action includes behaviors that are…
When it comes to career achievement, we ladies often get it backwards.
We do things because they look good, substitute others’ opinions for our own, constantly chase the next accomplishment, and verbally lash and push ourselves in ways that at the end of the day, just don’t feel good. At the other extreme, we may get cocky, desensitize and pursue our goals irrespective of the impact or opportunity costs to others.
The same came be true for men.
I’m no stranger to these patterns. I took the path of many a second generation American with a 4.3 GPA in high…
In a world that puts so much emphasis on appearances and external indicators of success, shoulding is common and in some cases outright dangerous.
Many of my clients start out with fixed mindsets or full of “shoulds” for what they do and how they do it. Like them, I played by a strict set of rules, swimming in a sea of musts, shoulds, “I am this way” and “the world is that way” for most of my life. I have a lot of compassion for those who work this way to their own detriment.
Because what often appear to be…
Psychologist, success coach, believer in solid behavioral science and the power of tuning in.