You Are Enough

Have you been waiting to hear those words since say…kindergarten? I have. I generally have stayed uber-focused on my penmanship (horrible), my height (too tall) and my value as a human being (a work-in-progress). This happens to the distraction from my more valuable traits like writing, coaching and being present. I am more worried about the illusive atta-boy (-girl) from my sixth-grade math teacher or my parents finally being happy with the career I have chosen.

Unfortunately, if you go looking for someone to say: “Cathy, you are good enough,” you will be waiting a long time. Your value is not determined by those outside of yourself. It’s an inside job. It’s between your ears. You need to decide you are good enough. No one is going to do it for you. Decide today. You are worthy. You are good enough. Go ahead. I’ll wait right here.

These might be the reasons holding you back from being enough:

The yardstick of perfection. Anne Lamott wrote brilliantly in Bird by Bird, “Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life… I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won’t have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren’t even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you and have a lot more fun while they’re doing it.” It’s OK if my handwriting isn’t that legible. It’s OK if I am taller than the rest. It’s OK if I have honestly wasted half a Saturday getting over vertigo and not writing. I just spent part of the morning criticizing myself for not going to the gym first thing or writing a post. Really? Like the exercise and blog gods are sitting around judging me for recovering from half a day spent getting to the bottom of my vertigo? So what? As Lamott says, you will die anyway. Spending time trying to be perfect is empty and completely unrewarding. You are good enough right now.

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A gold medal won’t change a thing. Lamott famously quotes a 400 pound has-been coach, “If you’re not enough before the gold medal, you won’t be enough with it.” Interesting. If you are not enough before you lose 30 pounds, you won’t be enough after. If you are not enough before the big promotion, you won’t be after. If you are not enough before the divorce, you won’t be after. Worthiness is not a line in the sand. It’s not a point in time. It’s not after the big achievement or disappointment. You are worthy right now. And now. And now. Sit in that. Let it sink in. A gold medal will not make a difference.

You are uniquely you. The mold is busted and there is only one of you and your individual view on life. As Dr. Seuss famously said, “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” Even you and your identical twin would have different shortcuts on your desktop. One of you was picked last or first on the soccer team. It has made all the difference. You now fight for the downtrodden or represent soccer player’s rights. Neither is better or worse. Just unique. Be you. Own it. Embody it. Be the unique you that you are.

Comparison is futile. Lamott said, “Never compare your insides to everyone else’s outsides.” You have no idea what your neighbor is going through or your coworker or your dog for that matter. You may be jealous of that new car but don’t realize they had to take over payments for their daughter. Your coworker is battling stage 4 colon cancer. Your dog has been barking at that neighbor dog for the last ten years and has yet to get the last word. We really have no idea what is going on for someone else and comparing it to your current situation is a recipe for disaster. Comparing does not make you feel worthy or enough. So stop comparing.

What other people think of me is none of my business. This is a Wayne Dyer quote that stops me cold. You have absolutely no control over what other people think of you. Let it go. I’m not saying it’s easy. It’s not. We’ve spent so much time on worrying about what others think. I remember having 11 different pairs of colored corduroy Levis in high school. It did not increase the number of friends I had. AND I was probably the only one who noticed. If you cannot move the needle on it, don’t bother worrying about it. Besides, you are perfectly good enough right now.

I was the last pick a lot in elementary school. My mother was upset with how I held a pencil in my hand. I didn’t have a ton of friends in high school. It’s OK. Let the past go and move on. It has no impact on my worthiness right now. Let go of the judgments from the past and be enough. You are good enough. And so am I.

“What other people think of me is none of my business” – Wayne Dyer

Are you having trouble wrapping your head around that title quote? I did. I still do. I’m not sure if it’s my upbringing. The Wear clean underwear in case you’re in an accident and What will the neighbors think? kind of upbringing. My parents are always passing judgment on whether or not so and so is too thin or too fat, or spending their money unwisely. I know when I dress in the morning, I’m wondering what people will think. Is the skirt too short? Is the blouse too tight? I’m not paralyzed by this, but as I read that statement, I realize it’s a monologue that goes on in my head unconsciously.

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Actually, the source of this valuing other’s opinions above all else is Junior High School life at its finest. I was in 7th grade in the 70’s. Bell bottoms and corduroy were the rage. I had purchased 10 pairs of corduroys in 10 different shades with all my hard earned babysitting money. I cared a lot about blending in. God forbid I walk into the cafeteria and stand out by wearing a dress. My world centered on what others thought about me;  if I gained weight or lost weight, had an opinion different than theirs, had a bad hair day…the list goes on and on. Heck, I do that today. Has anyone noticed I lost 5 pounds? Should I point it out? Am I expecting too much? Do people really notice me? I realize I spend a lot of time and energy wondering about others’ opinions.

 

Here are some ways to let go of the importance of others’ opinions:

  1. Realize that this is self-inflicted pain. Bryon Katie’s book, Love What Is, posits that the suffering is in your head. The first question of “The Work” is “Is it true?” When I work with clients, I hear all kinds of statements that are causing the client pain. “She doesn’t like me,” “He wants me off the project,” and “They think I’m incompetent.” How can you verify that it is true? Realize that believing it is true is in your own head. You are suffering from your own beliefs and thoughts.
  1. Beware of how you accept both criticism and compliments. These are two sides to the very same coin. Someone can be validating you and giving you feedback that sounds like or is actually a critique. Whether it’s positive or negative it is an opinion that you could potentially benefit from and has no bearing on who you are. You are still you. If you are focused and enamored only with praise. When you are criticized, you will roll down the other side of the hill and be thrown off your game. I believe a simple “Thank you” for either is just fine. Temper your reactions and how you internalize feedback. Find a way to benefit from the critique of those whose opinions you trust.
  1. Let go of the battle. In Jack Kornfield’s A Path with Heart, he writes, “Let go of the battle. Breathe quietly and let it be. Let your body relax and your heart soften. Open to whatever you experience without fighting.” Fighting requires a lot of energy. It’s exhausting to spend your day worrying about what everyone else is thinking. Put down your armor and let go.
  1. Be skeptical. As written in Don Miguel Ruiz’ book, The Fifth Agreement: A Practical Guide to Self-Mastery, “Doubt takes us behind the words we hear to the intent behind them. By being skeptical, we don’t believe every message we hear; we don’t put our faith in lies, and when our faith is not in lies, we quickly move beyond emotional drama, victimization, and the limiting belief systems our ‘domestication’ has programmed us with.” When you find the truth for yourself, you are free to live without regret and fear.
  1. Let go of attachment. Kornfield has some wonderful meditations in his book. One of them is letting go of anger. He writes, “The strength of our anger reveals the strength of our attachment.” It’s amazing how many things I am attached to and how much suffering it causes. It’s my control freak inside who doesn’t want to let go. But this constant striving to control the thoughts of others is unobtainable. This is a huge insight for me. It’s futile. Don’t attach.
  1. Be careful of your own language. My daughter made me aware of this. I would say, “Have you lost weight?” She asked that I say, “You look healthy.” You might think that it’s a compliment but as she explained, it’s also a value judgment. It is essentially saying that you were or weren’t thin enough before.
  1. Give up the idea of perfection. I think about this when I meditate. I feel like when my thoughts wander (and they always do) that I am not being perfect at meditation. So what? It’s the same with your self-dialogue. When you are trying out #1-#6, let go of being perfect. So when you start worrying that your boss thinks you’re incompetent, acknowledge that you let that thought slip in and maybe you can avoid it the next time. Perfection is exhausting.

All of this can be difficult to try and implement. It’s a habit that you’ve likely been doing since you were a child. Changing your thoughts takes patience and trial and error. We are all just works in progress. How wonderful it is that we have others to help us!

5 Myths of Motherhood

I always wanted to be a mother.  I’d see Carol Brady on the Brady Bunch or Marion Cunningham on Happy Days and look forward to being the patient, approachable, unflappable mother that had all the wisdom in the world.  They made it look so easy.  I babysat the two kids next door several afternoons a week for 6 years.  I remember watching Sesame Street and making dinner.  I thought (at the wise old age of 14), I can do this.  Motherhood is about sitting on the couch learning to count with the Cookie Monster and popping a frozen dinner in the microwave.  Easy peasy.  Not.myths of motherhood

 

Motherhood is shrouded with all kinds of mythology.  These myths hold us back from letting go of perfection.  They cloud our judgement as we work feverishly to make sure that our children have all the latest toys yet skip reading them a book at night. The myths make us worry more about what the neighbors will think about how we’re raising our children instead of actually raising our children.  Letting go of these myths can help us get present with our children and our relationship with them.

 

So let’s debunk some of the myths we have about motherhood:

 

  1. Children are an extension of you.  This was a big aha with my own mother.  She never seemed happy if I was living my life on a different avenue than she expected.  I was always out of town too much or driving 2 hours for my son’s 6-minute wrestling match.  I wasn’t frugal enough.  Then I turn and look at my own children.  I remember wanting my son to apply early to Cornell (my alma mater).  It would have dramatically boosted his chances of getting in. I realize now I was wrapped up in my own ego.  I want my kid to go to an Ivy League school.  He is himself.  He is not me.  He needs to find his own path.  Thankfully, he did in sunny Miami and not snow ridden Ithaca. Give up the myth that your child is our mini-me and let them be themselves.
  2. The nurturing Madonna.  There is a Madonna statue in every Catholic Church I have been in.  The bucolic baby resting happily on the Madonna’s lap as she smiles at her little cherub.  I never remember feeling like a Madonna once. Ever. I do remember trying to breast feed for 2 plus hours in the middle of the night with no success.  I remember weeping because it wasn’t working and wondering how I was going to last another 18 years with this infant needing sustenance from me.  When I purchased formula I felt guilty for many months.  My sister-in-law had breast fed twins!  Why can’t I do the same?  Because I am not perfect and it’s OK.  I have two of those cherubs who made it past 18.  I wish I had not been so wrapped up in being the nurturing Madonna.
  3. Working full time means abandonment.  When my daughter was born, I owned a restaurant in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  My first husband and I rotated managing the restaurant.  I went back to work after two weeks.  Yes.  Two WEEKS!  We traded my daughter off in the middle of the afternoon.  I am not advocating women go back to work after two weeks.  But I have to say that because my husband and I traded her back and forth, I had her undivided attention when I was home.  It was Mommy and Missy Moo time.  I believe I was a better mom because I was satisfied with my career and ambitions and didn’t hold any resentment that being a mother would keep me from a successful career.  I also had a reason to work hard as I wanted the best for my daughter and, later, my son.
  4. Mothers are in control of their children’s views.  This is funny because both of my kids have strong opinions and viewpoints.  I remember mentioning my daughter’s support of a political referendum when she a junior in college.  A peer at work who disagreed with the referendum said, “You can’t let her have that opinion.”  My peer had small children. She had no idea that she would not have control over her kid’s views as they aged.  I’m not saying that as a mother you don’t have an influence but ultimately your children’s viewpoints are their own.  You are not in control.  Influence, yes. But not control.
  5. Mothers are a Jane of all trades.  I did not want to ask for help when I became a mother.  I thought I could handle it all.  Flawlessly.  This is untrue.  I needed someone to clean my house.  I needed a nanny.  I didn’t cook meals from scratch anymore which aggravated my internal Foodie.  My Dad drove my kids to McDonalds (perish the thought) and to local parks.  I had to let go of the idea that I was going to be in every memory my children had.  Just because I didn’t do EVERYTHING didn’t make me less of a mother.  Heck even Carol Brady had Alice.  I see clients who are mothers who suffer under this expectation. Don’t suffer.  Let it go.

 

These myths strangle us.  You are perfect as you are.

What other people think of me is none of my business – Wayne Dyer

Are you having trouble wrapping your head around that?  I did.  I still do.  I’m not sure if it’s my upbringing.  The Wear clean underwear in case you’re in an accident and What will the neighbor’s think kind of upbringing. My parents are always passing judgment on whether or not so and so is too thin or too fat or spending their money unwisely.  I know when I dress in the morning, I’m wondering what people will think.  Is the skirt too short?  Is the blouse too tight?  I’m not paralyzed by this but as I read that statement I realize it’s a monologue that goes on in my head unconsciously.

Actually, the source of this valuing other’s opinions above all else is Junior High School life at its finest.  I was in 7th grade in the 70’s.  Bell bottoms and corduroy were the rage.   I had purchased 10 pairs of corduroys in 10 different shades with all my hard earned babysitting money.  I cared a lot about blending in.  God forbid I walk into the cafeteria and stand out by wearing a dress.  My world centered on what others thought about me;  if I gained weight or lost weight, had an opinion different than theirs, had a bad hair day…the list goes on and on.  Heck, I do that today.  Has anyone noticed I lost 5 pounds?  Should I point it out?  Am I expecting too much?  Do people really notice me? I realize I spend a lot of time and energy wondering about others’ opinions.

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Here are some ways to let go of the importance of others’ opinions:

  1. Realize that this is self-inflicted pain. Bryon Katie’s book, Love What Is, posits that the suffering is in your head. The first question of “The Work” is “Is it true?”  When I work with clients, I hear all kinds of statements that are causing the client pain.  “She doesn’t like me,” “He wants me off the project,” and “They think I’m incompetent.”  How can you verify that, that is true?  Realize that believing it is true is in your own head.  You are suffering from your own beliefs and thoughts.
  1. Beware of how you accept both criticism and compliments. These are two sides to the very same coin. Someone can be validating you and giving you feedback that sounds like or is actually a critique.  Whether it’s positive or negative it is an opinion that you could potentially benefit from and has no bearing on who you are.  You are still you.  If you are focused and enamored only with praise, when you are criticized you will roll down the other side of the hill and be thrown off your game.  I believe a simple “Thank you” for either is just fine.  Temper your reactions and how you internalize feedback. Find a way to benefit from the critique of those whose opinions you trust.
  1. Let go of the battle. In Jack Kornfield’s A Path with Heart, he writes, “Let go of the battle. Breathe quietly and let it be. Let your body relax and your heart soften. Open to whatever you experience without fighting.” Fighting requires a lot of energy. It’s exhausting to spend your day worrying about what everyone else is thinking.  Put down your armor and let go.
  1. Be skeptical. As written in don Miguel Ruiz’ book, The Fifth Agreement, “Doubt takes us behind the words we hear to the intent behind them.  By being skeptical, we don’t believe every message we hear; we don’t put our faith in lies, and when our faith is not in lies, we quickly move beyond emotional drama, victimization, and the limiting belief systems our ‘domestication’ has programmed us with.” When you find the truth for yourself you are free to live without regret and fear.
  1. Let go of attachment. Kornfield has some wonderful meditations in his book. One of them is letting go of anger. He writes, “The strength of our anger reveals the strength of our attachment.”  It’s amazing how many things I am attached to and how much suffering it causes.  It’s my control freak inside who doesn’t want to let go.  But this constant striving to control the thoughts of others is unobtainable.  This is a huge insight for me.  It’s futile. Don’t attach.
  1. Be careful of your own language. My daughter made me aware of this. I would say “Have you lost weight?”  She asked that I say, “You look healthy.”  You might think that it’s a compliment but as she explained, it’s also a value judgment.  It is essentially saying that you were or weren’t thin enough before.
  1. Give up the idea of perfection. I think about this when I meditate. I feel like when my thoughts wander (and they always do) that I am not being perfect at meditation.  So what?  It’s the same with your self-dialogue.  When you are trying out #1-#6, let go of being perfect.  So when you start worrying that your boss thinks you’re incompetent, acknowledge that you let that thought slip in and maybe you can avoid it the next time.  Perfection is exhausting.

All of this can be difficult to try and implement.  It’s a habit that you’ve likely been doing since you were a child.  Changing your thoughts takes patience and trial and error.  We are all just works in progress. How wonderful it is that we have others to help us!

Ambiguity. How to Thrive in a Gray World

Everyone wants to live in a black and white world. We want to know what is right and wrong. Good or bad. Left or right. Clear concise decisions with no gray area and no regrets. It’s not going to happen. The world is way too complex. We need to embrace ambiguity and march forward with no misgivings. Very little is black or white anymore. There are a million shades of gray. Ambiguity.  How to Thrive in a Gray World

Every time you venture out of bed you are entering an ambiguous world. Heck, even if you stay in bed, the ambiguous world keeps rolling along. The stock market goes up or plunges down, it snows ten feet or doesn’t rain for three years, your wireless router quits for the third time in 18 months, your partner dumps you or you find the love of your life. Nothing is certain. The only that is certain is uncertainty (oh, and death and taxes).

There is hope in all of this but you have to go through and not around. Here is my take:

Perfection. Give up perfection. This doesn’t mean quitting. It means you need to let go. Perfectionism is a false construct. There is no end. You never get to perfect. Your ideal weight plus the perfect job plus the bulging bank account plus the sexy sports car and the perfect, patient, happy spouse will not align in The Perfect Storm. So you might get a flat tire on the way to the airport, you may not land that new job, the next project launch may not fly. Don’t keep score on perfection.

Paralysis. There is no perfect solution. Analysis paralysis has thwarted many a decision. Just one more data point, one more month of sales, another data cut, one more project bid, or one more applicant. The only decision you are making is to not make a decision. Your team, your family, your partner, your boss are counting on you making the decision. One more data point will not make it crystal clear. Stop the analysis.

Surrender. As my good friend, Janine, says with regard to ambiguity, “I am seeking to embrace and sit with uncertainty and not necessarily take action to move through it. More of a surrender to the ambiguity.” There are times when you have to surrender and the best action is no action but to be uncomfortable with ambiguity. I remember starting a new job for a company many years ago and on my first day they decided that the business unit was for sale. Two years later it was resolved. I had no control over the sale of the business, I surrendered to the uncertainty.

Wrong. It’s OK to be wrong. I have grown up with a Mother who always had to be right. There was my way, everyone else’s way and then there’s my Mother’s way. The only way was her way. Being right was highly valued in my house. Being right does not embrace ambiguity. There is no acknowledgement that there might be another way. In fact as CRR Gobal espouses “everyone is right…partially.” So accept that you may be right but may be only 10% right. This allows for ambiguity and you won’t need to engage in lots of righteousness, which can be exhausting.

Chunking. I find that many of my clients make headway when they break things into chunks. A lot of the curse of ambiguity lies in the fact that it can be overwhelming. Ambiguity is a huge monster that incites fear. When you break off an eyelash, it becomes manageable. It’s doable. It’s understandable. It’s not so scarring. Instead of it being a monster, it’s just an eyelash. And then another eyelash, and another.. When you can metaphorically hold it in your hands the ambiguity evaporates. Break it into chunks.

Pause. Ambiguity is stressful. It’s easy to engage your lizard brain (the fight or flight or freeze mode). It’s instinctual. We all started as hunter-gathers. The lizard brain had a purpose which was to save you from a Saber-toothed Tiger or from poisonous plants. But lighting up your lizard brain all day, every day with mountains of email, the latest shooting or terrorist attack and your boss’ endless barrage of requests is simply not healthy. Yoga, meditation, a long walk or run, sitting down with a good book, anything to shut down your lizard brain will help you see ambiguity with fresh eyes.

Agile. As Beyond Philosophy said in their article on Ambiguity, “Work on your flexibility. Be willing to change course as more information comes to light. Don’t let pride delay you from correcting your course. Ambiguity can reveal facts at any time that are going to affect your best decision.” There will be more data points that come along after you set your course. Accept them and make a course correction or completely bail out. Let go of your ego and move on. Be agile.

This not easy. There is so much ambiguity permeating life every day. It’s not just work, or your marriage or your finances. It’s omnipresent. It’s the new normal. How do you embrace ambiguity?

Good Enough

Good Enough IS Perfect. 5 Ways to Get Off the Perfection Treadmill.

Sometimes there is this feeling that you are settling when something is good enough. Like you left some money on the table or you aren’t trying to be an over achiever. But it turns out that good enough will make you happier, satisfied, and content. In Tal Ben-Shahar‘s book, Pursuit of Perfect, there is a big price to pay for the constant striving for perfection. The author paid the price while attending Harvard. Anything less than an “A” was failure, so he worked constantly to make sure he could maintain his perfection. And the price? He wasn’t happy. When you are constantly striving for perfection, you never get to the destination. You think you are but you never arrive. That’s if great success is supposed to be a college degree, making your first million or finally getting married. You might hit a bump in happiness, but the next day, you are back on the perfection treadmill.  Good Enough

I am amazed at how many of us are out there on that treadmill. Beating ourselves up for every B- paper, one pound gained or bad hair day. We are ever vigilant to find out how we failed and how we did not attain success. The constant interior score card. “I should have stayed late”, “I can’t believe I ate the chocolate cake,” or “I never spend enough time with my kids.” It’s the constant balancing act of being all things to all people. I remember thinking I was stretched in college between school work, my social life and my part-time job. That was way before email, smart phones and the digital deluge made you feel overwhelmed, let alone children, aging parents, full-time jobs and a spouse. Ben-Shahar had some great points on how to achieve good enough and to embrace being human.

Here are some ideas on how to be OK with good enough:

1. Accept. We need to accept the good with the bad. The problem is that we tend to over react and ruminate over the failures. In focusing on all that went wrong, we gloss over what went right. I can tell you ever bad training I’ve facilitated but will forget the successes. I remember everything the boss didn’t approve but when it comes to the laundry list of things she has approved, they are buried deep, never to see the light of day. I can’t tell you how many people can’t take a compliment. I say “I love that necklace!” Co-worker “This old thing? My mom bought it from a street vendor in Mexico. I don’t think it’s worth 5 bucks.” We are hard-wired to reject the good and focus on the bad. Accept what is good in your life.

2. Open. Be open to feedback. Perfectionists want to maintain a façade of perfection. They deflect criticism. They hide from it for fear they will crumble. If you seek out feedback from both good and bad experiences, you become more resilient. I seek out feedback from both coaching clients and training participants. I embrace and accept the “That was great, Cathy” and the “I felt rushed” comments equally. I find that people who aren’t open to feedback tend to get paranoid. They are afraid that everyone dislikes them which makes them even more fearful of feedback. Really? There aren’t that many people that are unilaterally disliked (i.e. Madoff, Hussain, etc.). But they are so busy preserving their self-image that they can’t make course corrections like “being a better listener” or “you could delegate more clearly” along with the “you have a great sense of humor” and “that meeting took courage”. Open up to it all.

3. Release. Try and release that you need to be all things to all people all the time. I have to admit that this has been a struggle. This is especially difficult during the holidays. There was a time when I baked 20 different types of holiday cookies with my then small children (they weren’t that helpful and there was a lot of raw cookie dough consumed) and delivered them to all my employees at the restaurant I owned. All the burnt, dented and mal formed cookies befell my stomach and the rest of the “perfect” cookies were given to all my deserving employees. While this was a very noble gesture, it was completely impractical and made me very anxious every Christmas as my kitchen filled with hundreds of cookies, my kids did not have my full attention, and I become overwhelmed. I am wiser now. I instead put out about a third of the holiday decorations, walk right past the chocolate chips at the grocery store and give a card to my employees. To be good enough means to release the unrealistic expectations.

4. Allocate. Find ways to reasonably allocate your time. Perfectionist are looking ways to maximize their day to try an accomplish EVERYTHING. When they don’t? They are crushed by the failure. Be realistic. Can you really take the dog for a walk, work 10 hours a day, make dinner, take your daughter to ball practice, do the laundry, read a novel, AND run for 2 miles? No. You can’t. OK, you can for maybe one day out of the week but you will be toast by the end of the day. Toast. Figure out how much time you want to spend in a given week on everything that is important to you and then back off about 30%. So if you want a date night with your spouse every week, go out every other. If you want to get that project done at work, schedule an hour every day instead of trying to plow through it in a day and a half. Knowing that you have allocated the time and will be able to have an adult conversation with your spouse at least every other week will feel great, and make sure it actually happens instead of feeling guilty that you couldn’t do it all. Allocate your time.

5. Mono-task. Multitasking is exhausting and it’s really just task switching. You aren’t really texting and driving, you are driving, then texting, then driving, then texting, then driving (then crashing). When you spend your day talking on the phone while answering email or watching TV while eating dinner, you are numbing yourself to the world. You are not present and it is completely unsatisfying. So decide you are going to text, and sit down and text. Talk to your brother on the phone and turn off the television. Go out to dinner with your son and put your cell phone in your pocket. You’ve decided where you want to allocate your time, so go be present for that time. Embrace mono-tasking.

The interesting thing is there are certain pockets of our lives that we reserve for perfection. For me, it has been my coaching and facilitation work. It was wonderfully freeing to me when my coach mentor, Satyam Chalmers, said that there was no perfect question. If a question falls flat, your presence is more important than finding the perfect question. Whew. What a relief. It’s the same for facilitation. I can feel like I haven’t followed the “script” but going with the flow of the room is much more important. I’m good enough and enjoying the work so much more.